Final Chapter: Shaun’s PULSE Journey – before, during and after…

As many of you are aware, I began my local PULSE assignment at East Durham Children’s Initiative (EDCI) in August 2016 and transitioned back into GSK in March 2017.  My journey – filled with excitement, fear, revelation, and ultimately victory – continues to inspire and move me in a way indescribable.  I would like to take a few moments to reflect on my story….before, during and after!

Before: Gaining the courage to say “yes”

Have you ever experienced a longing in your soul…a calling to do more and serve in a greater capacity?  It’s that feeling that compels you to step out,  dare to dream, reach for the impossible and believe with conviction.  Well, when pondering over the decision to apply for PULSE, this very feeling gave me the courage to move forward.  It’s the same feeling that pushed me out of my comfort zone of the familiar.  You see, while GSK has 76+ manufacturing sites around the world and other key business areas with amazing opportunity, I’ve comfortably worked at the same location in Zebulon for 18 1/2 years.  Just when I thought I had life all figured out, something happened….that “feeling” began to rise up and push me towards more.  I answered the call and said, “YES”!

During: The journey of self discovery

I eagerly started my assignment with fiery ambition to make a difference.  What I wasn’t prepared for was the anxiety of starting something new and possibly failing.  Fear of the unknown can often grip and paralyze you, causing you to lose the battle before you even begin.  I quickly realized that in order to change my outcome, I had to first change my mind.  I suddenly saw myself winning.  With ongoing support from my GSK & PULSE managers and PULSE community, I began to venture on the side of curiosity and explore new methods to ensure success.  I discovered my authentic voice and leveraged new-found strengths to influence change.  I also gained a broader perspective and now approach life with deeper clarity and tremendous gratitude.

By the end of my assignment, I successfully completed key stakeholder analysis and bench marking, developed a revised branding/marketing strategy, facilitated capability workshops, introduced project management concepts, created standard work scripts, revamped the internal reward and recognition program, redesigned EDCI’s new facility, and organized several volunteer events with 80+ GSK employees.

I also led a GSK PULSE project to recognize our previous CEO, Andrew Witty on his retirement with the company.  A heart felt video tribute and photo keepsake was presented to Andrew before he departed from GSK.  I felt honored to work on and lead such an amazing effort.  Watch the video clip below.

I cannot solely base my success on individual performance.  Without the support of my GSK team mates, EDCI partners, community, family and friends, I would not have accomplished any of these things.

After: My contributions back to GSK

I now find myself back at GSK with a renewed commitment to drive positive, sustainable change.  I resumed my previous communications role but approached it with fresh perspective and new ideas.  My responsibilities have also increased with expanded focus on employee engagement including: inclusion and diversity, health, wellbeing & resilience and community outreach.  I am also very grateful for the ongoing support and mentorship from my manager to ensure a balance between business performance and career development.  I am thrilled to be back and will continuously strive to be the change I wish to see in the world!



  1. We were so honored to work with Shaun during her time at EDCI. You truly left a legacy here–of kindness, support, strategic thinking, and so much more.

    We miss you and wish you the best in the next steps on your journey!

    Lauren Stephenson
    Development Manager

    1. Thank you so much, Lauren. I value your leadership, but most of all your friendship. You made my time at EDCI so enjoyable and they are lucky to have you. #myfriendisarockstar!!!!!!

  2. Great job Shaun! We all take pride in your contributions to our community. Your renewed energy, commitment and perspective are of great value to GSK.

  3. Amazing! I also would like to say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to Andrew for the Pulse Program and for many other initiatives.

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