Global Challenge 2014: GSK Procurement Internship, Buenos Aires: Blog 2

Just starting week five now in Buenos Aires and it is going so unbelievably quickly, at the end of week four we had a review with our direct line manager about positive and negative aspects of the internship in order to alter it for future students. We have really enjoyed working closely with the team for the catalogues, but we have been fortunate enough to have been given another project on top of the catalogues. Still working under ‘Procurement’ but working on behalf of ABAC which stands for Anti-bribery and corruption.

Monday morning began with some online training which was all available within the GSK portal. We were able to read up on UK and US legislation when it comes to preventing bribes and corruption from taking place within businesses to gain a business advantage. As GSK is a UK business and registered in the US, despite them having offices in other parts of the world they have to follow UK and US law as well as laws in the retrospective countries.

Monday afternoon entailed sending out emails to the different regions which GSK operate within (Europe, China, Japan, APAC, North America, South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa – Latin America has already been completed) so they would be able to contact their custom brokers to ensure that the contracts which we sent out get signed. These contracts put an emphasis that if a company breaks the anti-corruption and bribery agreement, then GSK is able to cancel the contract that they have with them at any time. As GSK operates in so many countries it is difficult to track down the right people and they in turn need to contact more people, but slowly we are seeing results and are at 30% completion, still a way to go but we are making steady process. We have still been concentrating a great deal on the catalogues, but as we have now identified a number of them we are now in contact with suppliers to agree on price changes for the upcoming year and once we have finished this the catalogues should be ready to go ‘live’ onto JD Edwards.

This week we had the privilege of meeting Ricardo, the Procurement Director, where we were able to exchange our experiences of working here and he was able to tell us all about how he started working for GlaxoSmithKline (when it was SmithKline Beecham). He is very keen on us leaving a mark within GSK before we leave, so he has definitely provided some inspiration for us to continue producing more catalogues and working hard on getting the ABAC contracts returned. We have also decided to create three manuals, one for future interns explaining how to create more catalogues with the correct formatting, as the task of creating catalogues is certainly a long process! The second and third manual is for employees of GSK on how to use the catalogues on the system of JD Edwards as well as GSK Purchase. One of the reasons for why people do not use that catalogues is simply a lack of understanding. We spent some time deliberating what would be the most appropriate way of delivering training and realised a manual would better as the end user could go at their own pace with the screenshots for reference rather than using a video demonstrating it!

We have also been involved with meetings in our department, where we had some training on the use of E-Forms, a review session with the department on performance and a call with the Procurement managers from Europe, US and Middle East Asia to explain what the ABAC project entails.
During weekends, we have still been travelling a lot around Buenos Aires (there is a lot to see!). We managed to go to two museums, one about Evita who was the vice-president of Argentina, she is a very popular figurehead and still very loved within Argentine society due to her work in improving rights of workers, families and children. The other museum we went to was the MALBA (Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires), which is very active in changing their collections, fortunately we were incredibly lucky to see artwork from Frida Kahlo and her husband Diego Rivera. We have also had a night out to a bar and then a club in B.A. for Mariano’s birthday (one of the employees) and this week we also went to a typical Argentine parrillia, where we shared chorizo, morcilla, steak, chicken and even kidney, with sides of chips, sweet potato fries, salad and red wine. This weekend, we have plans to go to Tigre (a town on the outskirts of Buenos Aires), as well as to the market in San Telmo, which I have heard is a must see in B.A! I have decided to stay on for another couple of weeks to travel round Argentina, truly an opportunity not to miss, so once the internship is over I have tickets to go to the waterfalls in Iguazu for a few days and after I will be going to Cordoba and Mendoza before returning back home.


About careersbham

Student Engagement Officer for Careers Network University of Birmingham

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