Global Challenge: GSK HR internship, Casablanca, Morocco: Blog 2

Essaouira Beach

Essaouria Beach

And it continues…

During the second and third week of my experience in the GSK office in Casablanca I received some new assignments and gained some valuable insights in the Human Resources side of a high-grade employer like GlaxoSmithKline.

Due to the fact that all my assignments surround aspects of internal communications, I sat down with my supervisor, Redouane, to discuss previous internal communications campaigns and survey feedbacks that have been acquired as the result of national and corporate surveys. These serve as the basis for my projects. As mentioned in my previous entry the main project I am working on is an internal communications improvement campaign.

So far this project involved researching, both in an academic manner by using the university resources (mainly Proquest) that are available to me via the internet, whose usage I have learnt in some of my modules, as well as in a generic manner making use of Google, which actually also provided me with decent results. The results I collected were of good use for designing the first draft of a survey questionnaire. The questionnaire will be sent out to all staff of GSK Morocco, hopefully by week 5 of my internship. I set out objectives and a goal for the entire project, which I have reviewed with my supervisor and we have made some changes – mainly by expanding it to three objectives.

In the third week the survey questionnaire was extensively reviewed by Redouane who has provided me with good directives. These include guidance on how to further expand the entire questionnaire in terms of what quantitative and qualitative measures should be included that address specific issues. Furthermore, he gave me some tips on the kinds of question types that should be used.

During the last two weeks my supervisor made me join two teleconferences with HR staff from Pakistan, Brazil and the UK, which were conducted via Microsoft LiveMeeting™. I discovered that this software is very beneficial to use, as it enables you to activate the webcam or share one’s desktop to explain/show something to the other participants. The content of the first meeting was surrounding the design of the HR newsletter that is sent out via email. During the meeting I was asked for input several times, which I found was great. Generally speaking it was a great opportunity to observe how a multinational makes use of alternative communication channels other than telephone conferences.  The second meeting was about the social media aspects of talent recruitment. During the meeting the person that joined from Brazil had her desktop shared to show us their Facebook™ channel and explain how they go about using this channel for recruitment, which was exciting to see and hear about.

Another one of my assignments is the creation of an intranet benchmark. Many countries have a so-called ‘community page’ on the organisation’s intranet page and my supervisor is currently thinking about launching one for GSK Morocco. In order to facilitate the launch I was asked to do a benchmark of existing pages – to be more precise, the pages of Emerging Markets & Asia Pacific. These include 30 community pages, however I could not benchmark some of them as they are in their local language and not in English. In the benchmark I firstly listed the sub-headers that are available on the page (e.g. events, feedback, departmental pages…) and then wrote about the positives and negatives of the page.

Skills I feel I am developing as a result of this fortnight are

  • Verbal & written communications
  • Multi-tasking
  • Understanding of Human Resources aspects, especially deeper understanding of Internal Communications
  • Independent Research

The company has now started organizing a weekly football match, which is very enjoyable. We go to play on Astroturf pitches directly after work for one hour and we have had a very good time both times.

During the weekends I have been travelling a lot. The trips were to Rabat and Essaouria with my flatmates and these trips gave me a great insight in Moroccan culture and cuisine. We have been having an amazing time. In Essaouira there was a music festival going on where there was traditional African music playing, which was very interesting. There were many people in town on that weekend, therefore there were many people selling Moroccan craft & souvenirs. I bought a painting for my room for next year at university. In the hostel I saw the first cockroach of my life which nobody could believe – more than 19 years without seeing one. Rabat was also great. It is the country’s capital. The medina (old part of town) was impressive and gave a great insight in Moroccan culture. A good thing is that we are always travelling with at least one Moroccan, so he will take over the bargaining with the locals.

So far I simply love it here, but time is flying. Unfortunately.


About careersbham

Student Engagement Officer for Careers Network University of Birmingham

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