June 08

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Journey into space? Mission possible!

Preparations for our PULSE assignments have been excellent. The PULSE team are quite remarkable – the planning and organisation that goes into a programme like this is extraordinary – it truly feels like we are embarking on a journey into space, particularly when you hear “the countdown has begun!” and “how to prepare for your re-entry to GSK….”!

It is exactly 4 weeks to the day until I board the plane and whilst I’m excited to get there and start my assignment, the butterflies are also kicking in. I know this is completely normal – everyone is feeling the same, but I have fears – not just to do with flying (I resist the urge to scream “we’re all going to die!” during take off nowadays…a great improvement), but about the assignment itself. Can I make a difference? Can I make a sustainable change? Will they accept me and my help? How will I manage the tough times? Etc. I’m absolutely sure, like my fear of flying, these are irrational thoughts and it will all be fine. And this is why:

We began our preparation with a series of live meetings which introduced us to the journey ahead – logistics, communications and resilience followed by a face to face 3 day orientation to our PULSE assignments. This was amazing. We had a great insight into the NGO world by Andrew and Amanda  – 2 highly experienced NGO volunteers who have worked in incredible places throughout the world for NGO organisations. They are invited especially to these orientation sessions and we learnt a huge amount from them – below, for example, we are learning about food culture!

Exquisite Thai cuisine!

Exquisite Thai cuisine

Day 3 focussed on GSK’s ADP (Accelerated Delivery Performance) and how these approaches and tools can help us during our assignments – I’m keen to try them out now I understand them better.

Problem solving using Fishbone Analysis

Problem solving using Fishbone Analysis

Last week, we were invited to GSK House to attend the GSK-Save the Children partnership induction.  We listened to  a series of informative presentations from GSK and Save the Children about the work and great progress that is happening with this partnership (check out Orange United!). It was incredibly useful to understand the variety of workstreams within the organisation and their objectives, initiatives and achievements. This has really helped my understanding of the area I’ll be working in and feel excited about the possibilities of this mission…. so thank you mission control!

Next stop….Tropic of Cambridge – preparing for the Philippines. Speak soon, Alli 🙂