Today at 10pm, I will be boarding a flight to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. However, my journey to get to here started around 8 months ago, when I asked my manager if she would be supportive if I applied to the PULSE programme. After gaining approval from management, I started the lengthly application form and was lucky to get through to the next stage, an interview with the PULSE team. Up next was the matching process, where the PULSE team reviews all of the applications and matches the profile and skills of the GSK employee with the needs of the NGO.
What is PULSE?
It is skills-based program that embeds GSK employees with global NGOs for a 6 month assignment. The assignments can either me at home (domestic) or international. This year, 66 people, from 20 countries, are set to be deployed to 30 different countries, to work for 26 different NGOs.
I was matched with Amref Heath Africa (https://www.amrefuk.org) which is an African based NGO, whose headquarters are in Nairobi, Kenya. I will be based in their Tanzanian office, which is responsible for implementing projects within the country. I will be working in their procurement function. Amref works with local communities and governments to improve the lives of people across Africa.
“Working primarily with women and girls, our vision is of lasting health change within Africa’s most vulnerable and remote communities.”
Source: Amref Health Africa 2016 annual report
Since doing an internship with GSK 5 years ago, it has always been on my radar as something I would love to do. I wanted to get international experience whilst having the opportunity to work with a NGO, to be part of their journey and to contribute using the skills I have learnt in my career with GSK. I can’t believe that 5 years later, I am now ready to go (albeit I have 2 overflowing suitcases next to me that won’t close).
I’ll end this first blog with a huge thank you to everyone who has helped me get to this stage, Sophie for saying the first yes, my lovely family and friends for being so supportive and of course Amref and the GSK PULSE team.
Here I go…..