Making a meaningful impact on society as a GSK Future Leader

Making a meaningful impact on society as a GSK Future Leader

 February 04, 2020

Belgium-based Claire works in manufacturing operations and quality (vaccines).

After a few years of working in aerospace research and development (R&D), she just felt like something was missing. The work was interesting, career prospects were great, but what she really wanted was a more meaningful impact on society. She knew about GSK’s Future Leaders Programme (FLP), so she applied – and her wish came true.

Producing a polio vaccine

On Claire's very first rotation she joined a team responsible for producing a polio vaccine. Claire explains that polio is an extremely contagious virus that can result in long-term paralysis and can even in 5-10 per cent of cases, lead to death. It is thanks to vaccines like this as well as organisations like UNICEF and WHO, that polio is almost globally eradicated. 

"We know that someday soon, we’ll no longer need to produce this vaccine – and we can’t wait for this day to arrive," she adds.

Learning a lot in a short space of time

Another reason Claire chose the FLP was the opportunity to learn a lot in a short space of time.

"Well, as a production supervisor, I was put straight into the middle of the action at GSK. The experience has taught me the true meaning of urgency, responsibility and people management. It’s also taught me that I still have a lot to learn," she says.

Claire GSK Future Leader

Great responsibility in her role at GSK

Claire's team is responsible for all the equipment, facilities and processes involved in making GSK vaccines. From quality, health and safety standards to production schedules, there’s a lot for her to think about but it’s a role where she can have a real impact.

In her role, she started as a supervisor for a small team, then later taking on an additional, larger team.

"It was a challenge to stretch from one team to two, and I had to adapt my own style to their unique differences. The first required me to be much more hands-on, while the second looked to me more just for guidance on important decisions. It’s really interesting to see how these groups evolve differently," she explains.

"It felt a bit strange at first, managing a team of people who all have more experience than I do! But you learn that it’s ok to be yourself, play to your strengths and help others play to theirs, and eventually you’ll get things done."

Learning to listen and respect what people have to say

One of the biggest lessons Claire's FLP experience has taught her is to stay humble.

"There are brilliant people all around you. Listening to them and respecting what they have to say is the smartest thing to do," she comments.

"I’ve also learned the FLP is a phenomenal toolbox, but you need to be proactive if you want to make the most of it. We’re encouraged to be curious about what others are doing, get out and meet them, and build our network. We can develop a vision of the career we want – but only we can go and get it," she adds.

"There are brilliant people all around you. Listening to what they have to say is the smartest thing to do."

Work on important healthcare projects with GSK

Like Claire, women at GSK have the opportunity to work on healthcare projects that make a major difference to the lives of people worldwide.

Search and apply for a job at GSK.


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