Settling into working life at GSK in Buenos Aires!

Trying the local food

Trying the local food

With a month down, life here is becoming normality and day by day we are feeling more like porteñas (people from Buenos Aires). Our dinner times are becoming later, and the once disgusting traditional drink mate is becoming more palatable, tango has been attempted and we are eating our way through every part of the cow (insides included!).

We are also settling into work life at GSK. We have completed the entire supplier categorisation for Argentina, and validated each code with the category managers. The next step was to take on countries individually to speed things up. I have been working my way through the supplier lists for Venezuela and Costa Rica, and I am currently in communication with the procurement managers in those countries to make sure it’s completed properly. As we have received very little training in this project, at times it feels like guess work. However, GSK are very keen on the 70:20:10 model, whereby 70% of learning and development comes from on the job experiences, 20% is feedback from colleagues, and the remaining 10% is from formal training. Therefore, the more we continue with this project, the more we are learning from the mistakes we make and the questions we ask.

Our project manager, Estrella, is also very keen on us leaving our mark here at GSK. We are beginning to set aside a proportion of our time to develop something which will continue to be used once we leave, and will hopefully make a difference. We are currently planning on producing a handbook we gives a concise definition with example suppliers for each of the codes used in Latin America. Throughout the coding process we have discovered how subjective it can be, and how even category managers can be unsure as to which code to give based on the small description provided.  Next week we shall be presenting these plans along with our current progress to procurement directors for Latin America. Therefore, there is a lot more planning to be done and strategies to be made!

At weekends and evenings we have had lots of time to explore the city. We are working our way through a long list of museums, markets, parks and restaurants. Despite being here a month we are still not short of things to do! We have recently discovered the Buenos Aires equivalent of Boris bikes, which is a free government scheme and are perfect for post work sunset bike rides!

Sunset cycling!

Sunset cycling!

A couple of weekends ago we took a trip to Uruguay by boat to the sleepy city of Colonia. It’s a small historic town with lots of quaint cobbled streets, a lighthouse with an incredible panoramic view and lots of souvenir shops. There was not much to do other than to walk around and soak up the relaxed atmosphere, but it was nice to briefly escape the hustle of the city. Another recent personal highlight was running in a 15km race in the city. Without a huge amount of training, it was a bit of a shock to the system, but it was a great atmosphere joining in with thousands of other on a route across the city.

Site seeing

Site seeing

By Alice Wynne

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About careersbham

Student Engagement Officer for Careers Network University of Birmingham

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