You may have heard of our student bursary scheme – you may even have applied for it yourself. We love to hear from past recipients, to find out how they’re doing, what’s going on in their lives and how the bursary has helped them! So here is Stephen, he received the bursary from us back in 2015. We caught up with him a few months back to find out what he’s up to!
What have you been up to since the bursary?
I am currently on the GSK Future Leaders Programme (graduate scheme) in Pharmaceutical Science, I completed my first rotation in Materials Science, providing technical support to the global manufacturing network. My second rotation is in the manufacturing Informatics team, managing data products for the global network of sites. Both of these rotations have been in Ware, Hertfordshire. I am also on the global leadership team of GSK’s internal graduate network, TalNet. In addition, I am studying for an MSc. in Data Analytics at the University of Glasgow, which was something I had an interest in and fortunately I was given the support from the company to undertake this.
What has the bursary meant to you in your career as a pharmacist so far and how has it helped you achieve your goals?
Receiving the bursary gave me the freedom to focus on my fourth year as well as contribute to the British Pharmaceuticals Students’ Association (BPSA) as Public Relations Officer. Allowing me to lay a strong foundation for my pre-registration training, I knew this would be demanding as I had a split pre-reg between Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and GSK, so to have a strong basis for pre-reg training was crucial to succeeding on my journey to becoming a Pharmacist. I was awarded the Jeremy Clitheroe Award for Contribution to the Life of the School of Pharmacy at LJMU , this was in large part due to my contribution to the BPSA during my studies, which was enabled in my final year by the bursary. Having a strong pre-reg year was instrumental in me securing a graduate scheme with one of the UK’s highest rated companies. I was also a finalist in the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s Pre-Registration Trainee of the Year Award.
What are your hopes and plans for the future?
I will be completing my third and final rotation on the GSK Future Leaders Programme from January to August 2020, in an informatics role embedded on the Barnard Castle manufacturing site in the north east of England. I hope to secure a landing role within GSK. I am also due to graduate from my Masters course in 2021.
Anything else you would like to add
The bursary was something I didn’t think I would be eligible for, it was only when my lecturer encouraged me to apply and I sat down to write the hardships I had faced that I realised what they were – I would encourage those who “just get on with it” like I was doing to really consider applying for this bursary, you may think your situation is manageable, but that extra help from Pharmacist Support could really change your studies and career. The biggest impact I believe the bursary had on me is that I was able to take some time to focus on my studies, and I don’t know for sure, but I may have burnt out had that support not been there. This was an important lesson in resilience and realising when things have the potential to become unmanageable.
Information on the bursary
If you are an MPharm student entering your final year in autumn 2020, you may be interested in our national bursary scheme. The scheme will make awards to students who demonstrate financial hardship, outstanding and exceptional qualities to overcome an ongoing adversity, sound academic performance and who are expected by their school of pharmacy to make a positive contribution to pharmacy in Great Britain. Further information can be found here
Further details for 2019/2020 Bursary to be announced.