Kirat Braich is studying A-levels in Maths, English and Business Studies at The Chalfonts Community College. During a ‘Great People Day’ held at the school, she met with Dr Jane Griffiths, CEO of Janssen – the pharmaceutical branch of Johnson & Johnson. Kirat subsequently organised a week’s work experience for herself at Janssen. Here’s how she got on, in her own words:
Day 1: “On my first day, I felt intimidated by the towering, corporate and reputable building that stood before me. I was put with the department of Infectious Diseases where I met placement students, managers and directors. I attended TC’s with people around the world and shadowed meetings for new up and coming drug launches with influential people. It was a warm environment and full of charisma; everyone was willing to take time out to talk to me about my future based on their personal experiences, contacts and interests.”
Day 2: “On the second day, I worked with the department of Neuroscience on the marketing team, learning marketing strategies.”
Day 3: “I was out in the field in London on the sales team, where we had various consultations to promote certain drugs for mental health diseases. This involved going to psychiatric wards, where I realised that not only was I part of a corporate reputable company which is financially massive, but also that lives are being changed and influenced by this organisation and that people chose this company to help save lives. Through their sales team’s enthusiasm, I learned that you should pursue a career because you enjoy it. This was ingrained in everyone I met and I learned that it’s what makes you a successful person.”
Day 4: “I spent day 4 in Oncology, where I explored a range of different job roles through networking with: a communications associate, a senior project manager, a marketing assistant, a placement student, the commercial leader, as well as with business intelligence associates. These people gave me good advice and opened my eyes to a whole new perspective of the future and what different types of career there are, especially in the pharmaceutical industry – it’s not just pharmacists!”
Day 5: “My last day was in Haematology where I planned a London event and met doctors. I was honoured to have lunch with Dr Jane Griffiths, CEO, who offered me advice for my future. She took great interest in my ambitions, recommended further placements and a potential graduate scheme with the company.”
“Despite this taking a week of my holidays, I was excited walking into Janssen from 10am-4pm each day, knowing that I would meet someone new, learn something new, and create another stepping stone to my future – which made it less scary and more reachable.
This work experience offered me something that school can’t, through networking with top directors and CEOs, it gave me confidence in my speech, communication, and myself as a person. I made contacts through receiving lots of business cards and it gave me a taste of the real world of work. This has helped maintain my motivation and drive for the exams. My future is now much clearer.”