Saltire Scholar Success with GSK

Spreng Thomson blog

GSK, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies has hosted a record 76 Saltire Scholars since 2009. GSK have now hosted more scholars than any other host company and have further endorsed the programme by recruiting interns into full time roles.

In the 10th anniversary year of the Saltire Scholar programme, Scotland’s leading global internship programme highlights the value of the programme with long-time supporter and host company, GSK.

GSK currently employs 11 Saltire Alumni in a wide variety of roles across the world not all of whom interned directly with them. They have also provided a pipeline of students with valuable work experience that has allowed them to go on and secure roles with other organisations.

Eilidh Dillon, a Saltire Scholar in 2010 who interned with GSK in Montrose and Singapore, and secured a full time role with GSK as an Operational Excellence Analyst in 2011. Since then she has progressed to become Manufacturing Unit Manager within the HIV and oncology business at GSK’s flagship site.

Eilidh, said: “The opportunity I was given and the faith people showed in me during my Saltire Internship gave me the space to grow and succeed. Faith and opportunity are two fundamental values that I try to display and develop in my team every day.”

GSK Saltire Scholars have had the opportunity to intern on a range of roles including drug manufacture, supply chain, engineering, communications and IT. Working with a global company has also provided Saltire Scholars with international experience at GSK offices all over the world.

To celebrate GSK’s partnership with the Entrepreneurial Scotland programme, an event was held in London last week to recognise the company’s commitment to the programme. Guests included the 12 Saltire Scholars currently interning with GSK, previous GSK interns and Saltire Alumni, senior members of the GSK team involved with the programme, alongside Head of Saltire Scholar programme, Sara Nelson and Entrepreneurial Scotland CEO, Sandy Kennedy.

Commenting on the partnership, Sandy Kennedy, said:

“As the backbone entrepreneurial organisation it is key that we have programmes in place that nurture the next generation of talent and can match them to organisations that are seeking people with an entrepreneurial mindset that can help take their business to the next level.

“Our partnership with GSK shows the value of having access to talent and proof that Saltire Scholars are gaining the right experience to become the next generation of business leaders and a great source of talent for international businesses.”

Angus Freeman, Vice President of Procurement Transformation GSK said:

“Saltire Scholars bring energy, enthusiasm and diversity to their projects which are invaluable to our business. Investing in early talent is critical to our business and the Entrepreneurial Scotland’s Saltire Programme consistently demonstrates a high return on investment. It is a great partnership which will continue in the future.”

The Saltire Scholar programme led by Entrepreneurial Scotland provides Scotland’s most talented students with opportunities to work with world leading organisations.  Saltire internships are open to undergraduate students from Scottish Universities in their penultimate year of study and are fully funded through supporters and donors of the Saltire Foundation charity which aims to find, fuel and spark the next generation of business leaders in Scotland. The Saltire Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Entrepreneurial Scotland.

The 10th cohort is the largest yet with 165 participants, up from 142 in 2016. Scotland’s leading internship programme has grown significantly since it launched in 2007 with just six participants. The 2017 cohort has students representing 15 of Scotland’s Universities and is 57% female and 43% male.