GSK: We're not all scientists

Case study

GSK: We’re not all scientists

At GSK, we take on some of the world’s biggest health challenges and have employees all over the world, many are based at our sites around the UK which includes our global headquarters. As a science-led global healthcare company, some of those people are doing jobs you might already think of in a company like ours; scientists, pharmacists and researchers, many of them working in a lab. However, there are so many more roles in a company like ours in different areas of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), like manufacturing and supplying our medicines, vaccines and products to research and development as well as important areas that make the company run like technology, finance and human resources through to sales and marketing.

Following on from the celebrations of this year’s Tomorrow’s Engineers week, we thought you might like to meet a few people who work at GSK in jobs you may know less about and find out more about the sorts of skills they use.

Emily, Mechanical engineering associate


How would you describe your role, Emily?


Over a 3-year graduate scheme I will have 3  differentroles within Mechanical Engineering. My first job is within the Plant Engineering team at GSK Montrose in Scotland. I am responsible for the day to day engineering support for my area of the site and I m responsible for any engineering changes in my area.

This involves reviewing engineering drawings and working  with other technical experts on site for guidance, as well as problem solving activities to understand why pieces of equipment have failed and put actions in place to prevent this failure happening again.

What are you excited about for the future of your role?

I am excited to see where I end up and what I end up doing! I will finish this job at Christmas 2020 and move on to complete two further roles at different sites in 2021 and 2022. I would be excited to see if I go back to any of these roles or sites or ifI discover other roles that may interest me, there are so many opportunities for STEM roles within GSK that the possibilities are limitless!

Oyiza, Clinical data manager


 Tell us a bit about your role, Oyiza.


My role sits within Global Clinical & Data Operations in Pharmaceutical Research & Development (R&D). This means I manage the data collected in clinical trials. At the moment, I am working on a clinical trial for COVID-19 patients around the world.

What is something you would like people to know about your job?

I don’t work in a lab! As a Clinical Data Manager, I can work from an office or from home. There are a lot of STEM roles that aren’t lab-based. I still work with lab-based scientists, nurses, doctors, clinical researchers, chemical engineers, pharmacists, statisticians, programmers and more!

Megan, Emerging Tech Manager, GSK R&D Tech


How did you get into STEM and why does it interest you?


I think I was born an engineer! My parents tell me that as a young child I took a screwdriver and took apart the door handles around the house to see how they worked. My father, who is an electrical engineer, worked in the early computer industry meaning I always had access to a computer growing up, and I would enjoy changing game code to see what effect it had on the game. I also spent a lot of time building, fixing and upgrading radio-controlled cars – more time than I spent racing them! I was diagnosed with Dyslexia so written and English based subjects were difficult for me, but I always did well in maths and science and enjoyed them a lot. When choosing what to study at University, I was still unsure of what I wanted to do for a career, so decided to study Mechanical Engineering to give me broad skills – which have worked well for me in IT.

What is the best part about your job?

Working in Technology means that things are ALWAYS changing, and there are many new things to learn and understand. That’s what I enjoy the most, future possibilities.

As a member of GSKs LGBT network leadership team I am an out, open, and visible role model for everyone to be  their authentic self at work or home.

Leonora, Associate clinical development manager


Leonora, can you tell us a bit about your role


I am involved in the testing of a new medication in a human clinical trial, I work on the study team in a study management role, ensuring the trial is conducted ethically and safely, across multiple sites and countries.

What about your education, what route have you taken?

After taking Biology, Chemistry, English Literature and Health and Social Care at A level, I went on to do a degree in Neuroscience at Bristol University. This gave me a broad biomedical degree with background knowledge in pharmacology (how a drug works), physiology (how humans function), and biochemistry (the molecular basis of this).

And finally, would you share one thing most people would not know about your job?

That it exists! I had no idea there was a whole team of people organising a clinical trial before I found this job. It showed me there are thousands of roles in science that I have yet to discover, and I can still use my science background even if I’m not working in a laboratory role.

Click through to read the full case studies of Emily, Megan, Oyiza and Leonora.

Want to know more?


If you’re an educator working with young people, why not use our What is a data science? module to explore a fascinating career path outside the lab. Find out how coding skills can link to work like Megan Bell’s here, or explore our learning resources, including those that link to various curriculum areas that will help prepare young people for careers in engineering.