After the first week, the train line 60 was still an utter nightmare. Now the new problem was that they had run out of petrol. However, now we were getting taxis into work, so being late was never an issue. If anything, we were early and this meant that we could get breakfast provided for us at GSK. The kitchen staff were the all too familiar Sodexo staff, who also work in hospitals around the UK.
After having our food we would continue with categorising suppliers. The amazing thing about working here was that we had set targets, so that we could start work when we felt ready and could work faster to finish our days sooner or work slower meaning we could stay at work longer. This flexibility was encouraging.
Furthermore, it was highly interesting learning about the different suppliers and how important they were to the company both nationally and internationally. If ever we needed guidance with our work, we could have it immediately, and our line manager was very helpful. She was a girl originally from New York but had lived in Argentina for a while now. Estrella would look after us and her role was as a graduate on the ‘Future leaders’ programme, a programme that Glaxo Smith Kline is notorious for.
Estrella helped us out in explaining tasks to us. As she was proficient in both English and Spanish she was able to translate everything if ever we had any difficulty in communicating with anyone. There were many young graduates here, and a few had even studied on exchange programmes in the UK, which made working with them and conversing so much easier.
Estrella also informed us about projects she had set up to further the equality of women throughout the continent. A continent where domestic roles of women were dominant and encouraging women to be more than their stereotype saw slow progression. It was amazing seeing how forward thinking Estrella was when it came to not only a working environment but also a social climate too. She truly is an inspiring young woman.
The culture in Latin America was different in some respects as was the technology. Again, due to political turmoil exports and imports in Argentina are not as good as they could be. So for this reason, the technology was not that good, the laptops they used were a brand called ‘Bangho’ which were not as fast as Apple Macs, and problems with the Wi-fi were common occurrences. However, learning to deal with delayed meetings and other such restrains taught us to be less reliant on technology, because of course, technology can falter.
Moving on to lunchtimes, the food at Glaxo Smith Kline is provided. There is a lot of choice in desserts, starter, main course and snacks throughout the day. I’d say a person can never go hungry in the autonomous city of Buenos Aires. The food here, with respect to the UK is much cheaper, and the restaurants are divine. As we live in Palermo there are a lot of nice places to eat and so we for this reason delve into the culture and enjoy the local Latin American Cuisine. We also went to MALBA museum, which has its focus on the culture of Latin America and it’s finest art and is conveniently free for students. After work, there were many things to do in this buzzing city. Such as a planetarium, which is free for the public, a zoo, Japanese gardens, tango lessons at Mill house hostel and many buzzing markets.
By Navneet Bal