Sam Wiggins GSK Graduate Image

Sam Wiggins

University of Newcastle
Engineering Graduate - 2015 to 2017
Sam studied Bachelor of Engineering: Mechatronics from the University of Newcastle

 Why did you want to work for GSK?

As an engineer you can impact the world in different ways, shapes and forms. The healthcare industry is special in the sense you can really impact a world of people and when I first learnt about GSK’s core values and beliefs it resonated with me as they are values I share. The company is a large organisation with many opportunities in terms of impact, career progression and professional development motivated by a strong sense of worth, which is why I wanted to work for GSK.

What degree and university are you a graduate from?

Bachelor of Engineering: Mechatronics from the University of Newcastle, NSW

What type of work do you do?

I currently work in compliance engineering at the GSK Ermington site, where we ensure the various processes and equipment onsite align with company, Australian and international standards. My team apply this guidance in order to improve the safety of operations, quality of the product we produce and the performance of our lines.

My role in particular looks at how we can improve the safety of the industrial processes and machinery onsite through the direction of GSK’s Global Engineering Standards (GES’s). This involves interacting with many stakeholders onsite including engineering and facilities managers, EHS representatives, process experts and tradesmen. Furthermore, the role involves interacting with almost all engineering related disciplines to help solve real engineering problems throughout the site’s journey to ensure compliance to these standards.

What was your pathway into the business?

In my final year of university I applied online for the Future Leaders Program in Automation Engineering. Being accepted into the graduate program has been my pathway into the business.

What rotation(s) have you completed so far?

My first rotation was at the GSK Boronia site in Victoria as an Automation engineer. The Boronia site specialises in a unique packaging technology called Blow Fill Seal (BFS), where a large proportion of the manufacturing and packaging process is supported by an in house automation team.

I was fortunate to be part of a new implementation of BFS technology and responsible for the development of its automation system. My team and I developed the automatic sequences for a sterile product transfer and packaging process comprising of cleaning, sterilising, filling and then decontaminating of a brand new product line. This project was especially valuable as it took me on a journey through design, installation, commissioning and validation of both physical and software components of the product line.

I am currently based in Ermington, NSW as a compliance engineer.

What are the best aspects of being part of the Future Leaders program at GSK?

The future leaders program at GSK is special as it empowers the graduate to take control of their experience with the company. Graduates are encouraged to take ownership of important work, direct their own development raise the bar in terms of their own performance and engagement with others. The program is an amazing opportunity to gain breadth of experience within several sometimes completely different job roles throughout – a rare opportunity for any employee.

What are some of the challenges of being part of the Future Leaders program at GSK?

The program is very important for the development of key talent throughout the network and receives a lot of attention. It is with this comes a heightened expectation to perform, take on tasks and raise the bar. Rotating into new and often different roles with an (often self imposed) expectation to hit the ground running is another challenge. Thankfully there is a great support network from management and those around the business.

What advice would you give to students and graduates considering an internship or graduate role at GSK?

If you consider yourself good with people, calm under pressure and up for a challenge, GSK houses an environment you will thrive in. An incredibly diverse company with literally something for everybody, the future leaders program allows graduates to truly test themselves in a dynamic, constantly changing and challenging setting. Take on a challenge, be proactive and interact positively with those around you. In addition to this, it is important to be yourself and act genuine in both at the interview stage and throughout the workplace.

How would you describe the impact of being part of the Future Leaders program at GSK, on your career so far?

It is without a doubt that the future leaders program has had an incredibly positive impact on my career prospects so far. The development opportunities have been invaluable through formal training and workshops to on the job experience. The future leaders program offers breadth of experience in several job roles which is key to success in a modern, dynamic workplace.

GSK also encourage experience between sites, states and countries to develop their employees. With a massive network of manufacturing, commercial, research sites and more, the opportunities for career progression are endless.