Global Challenge – GSK Procurement internship, Costa Rica: Blog 2

I’ve been here nearly a month now and I’m feeling a lot more settled at work and in San Jose in general. Things are progressing little by little in the project that I’m working on here. After analysing the purchases and spend of the top 30 suppliers for each country in the Central American and Caribbean region, I had a meeting with the buyers in Costa Rica and my supervisor. In the meeting they told me which suppliers were the best options for catalogs for each country and after the meeting I had to contact each supplier asking for a list of their services/products and what the GSK rate was for each item. This ended up being more time consuming than I originally expected as many of the suppliers didn’t reply or took a while to reply. The suppliers are probably used to working with a certain person in GSK and as they didn’t know who I was it caused some confusion and they were slightly hesitant to hand over the information I needed.

There’s also a specific template that has to be completed in order to upload the catalogs onto the system, so once I had all the information from the suppliers I had to fill in this template for each supplier. I then had another meeting with the Head of Procurement for Latin America who checked that the templates I’d completed were correct and explained how to upload the catalogs onto the system. My job for the next week will be to finish uploading the remaining catalogs and have a buyer from each country check if they work properly. Once this is done we can look at more opportunities for catalogs in order to expand the usage of catalogs in Latin America.

Outside of work I’ve been exploring more of Costa Rica. One weekend I went to the Irazu Volcano which is about an hour outside of San Jose. Although it’s an active volcano, you can still drive to the top where you can see several craters and on a clear day there are some great views from the top. Unfortunately the day we went was quite cloudy so we couldn’t see the craters as well as you might have on a clear day, but it was still a good experience. In Costa Rica, August 2nd is a national holiday and the tradition is that people from all over the country walk to the church in Cartago, which was the old capital of Costa Rica, to pray for something or give thanks for something that they’ve received. It’s really amazing to see so many people walking there. I was told that one million people take part in the pilgrimage and some take weeks to do it, as they start from somewhere that’s very far away from Cartago.

Another place I went was Tortuguero National Park, which is on the Caribbean coast. The whole park is protected, which means that there are no roads and you have to travel everywhere by boat so you really feel like you’re in the jungle. The park is also the only stretch of land where the green turtles are protected, so if you go to the beach at night you can see them emerge for the sea and come to the beach to lay their eggs, which is a really interesting ritual to watch.

I can’t believe I only have four weeks left of this internship. I hope to progress further with the project and also continue to take advantage of all that Costa Rica has to offer.

About careersbham

Student Engagement Officer for Careers Network University of Birmingham

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