The Personal Side of Pulse

My Pulse assignment catapulted me into a new life, in a new city, and a new job far removed from the comfortable and predictable life I  knew. I left the rolling hills and southern hospitality of the Bluegrass state (Kentucky) to make my home in the city that never sleeps – New York!  This is my 5th month on assignment and I thought I would share with you some of my reflections on the personal side of pulse.


Musings on living in NYC:

Grocery Shopping is an acquired skill:

“Ding-ding”  the bell rings and you are hastily directed to one of thirty cashiers dealing with the relentless entourage of shoppers. Picking up a few items at Trader Joe’s is a lesson in being strategic and efficient.  By observing my fellow New Yorkers, I have learned the fine art of   “shop and scoot”. Here’s how it works – you secure a spot in the endless checkout line, set your basket down, race around the store filling up your basket while being mindful of scooting your basket forward. If you forget to” tend your basket” you will find yourself kicked out of line and your one hour shopping experience will morph into a two-hour shopping experience.

The subway: a source of amusement or annoyance:

The subway is an adventure in and of itself and you never know what will unfold on your daily commute. Will the train be packed so tightly that when the door opens you have to be a contortionist squeezing yourself inside and finding yourself practically cheek to cheek with a total stranger?  Will you be lucky enough to get a seat on the train only to find that your seatmate is eating corn on the cob dripping with butter and  a greasy river is winding its way toward you? Or will you be fortunate enough to be entertained by an acrobatic performance.   It all happens on the subway – personal grooming, eating. singing……just keep riding……

You will be fortunate to meet some amazing people on your journey:
pulse-orientation-msg The Pulse program tends to attract like-minded people and you will are able to develop friendships easily and comfortably with people you just met. They become your support group, kindred spirit friends, helping you navigate the challenges and obstacles that are invariably heading your way…..and make no mistake…. those whitecaps in the distance…..they’re heading your way!

You will receive more than you can ever give:

The National Center for Disaster Preparedness is affiliated with the Earth Institute of Columbia University and can best be described as a “think tank” where experts in the field of climate change and disaster preparedness work tirelessly leveraging research to create policies that protect our communities and families from the ravages of disaster.  They are true “servant leaders” passionate about their work and creating policies that benefit us all.  I have learned so much from their unspoken commitment to excellence and their openness and receptivity to new ideas and ways of thinking.

My colleagues at the NCDP have shared their world with me…
lleaders-summit I had the privilege of attending the World Leader’s Summit where I heard the President of Namibia, Hage Geingob, share his view on good governance, reform, and transparency in Africa and I have also attended a myriad of other lectures by political and climate change experts.

And I have shared my world with them…

At GSK we provide our clinicians with condition state education as well as scientific support for our products. My NCDP colleagues participated in an interactive presentation called Turning Point, where we discussed the ingredients in a toothpaste as well as the role of therapeutic toothpastes in treating common dental conditions. As partners from two different worlds, understanding each other and our ways of working has allowed us to work more effectively together.

Pulse has been change on every level and as with most experiences in life it’s all about the people you meet and the connections you make. I will forever be grateful to GSK for this once in a lifetime experience which has transformed my life in so many ways. In this season of giving thanks my heart is full!


  1. This is magnificent! I love the stories about the grocery store and subway. Very well written Trish. You are a genuine example of a true lady and top notch professional. I am so glad that I met you. I listen to Turning Point when I am at home. And I too will be forever grateful to GSK for this true gift and once in a lifetime opportunity.

    1. Thank you Mandi for your unwavering support. You have been such an inspiration to me and I admire how you have overcome so many challenges with such grace. Looking forward to catching up!

  2. I love how you describe living in NYC – with your experience of the different shopping and travelling habits!It sounds as if you have met some amazing people on your assignment and you are both learning and sharing knowledge at the same time.

  3. So glad you experienced my birthcity – as a native NYC girl I truely enjoyed hearing your story.
    Your NCDP experience is life changing-hope we get to put your learning to practice here in the Bluegrass state-my second home!
    See you soon Trish-you are the Change maker PULSE talks about-ggw

  4. I had to chuckle while reading your experience shopping in NYC grocery store…sounds like every day hustle and bustle in the Big Apple. What a great experience to step outside your comfort space to witness how life is in NYC vs Kentucky. It really gives great insight to how we all contribute to society no matter where we dwell. I am so proud of all the work you have been doing there and happy that you were given this opportunity.

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