June 20

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My Journey begins..

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Like any journey there is a start, middle and end. So firstly, where did mine start? I think we must go right back to the beginning with my heritage and culture. I am Indian by origin but born in Uganda and like so many members of my family came to England in 1972 because of Idi Amin dictating the removal of all Asians within a space of 90 days.  What a frightening time it must have been for all Asians leaving Uganda? Fortunately, me and my mum where on vacation in England at the time and I was too young to remember. What must it have been like for my mum to hear she wasn’t coming back and all she had was a suitcase of vacation clothes. My dad was able to join us after a few months with little more than what he could carry. How do you start again? They tell me of the hardship but also the kindness and support they received during this time. This has stayed with me and my family ever since in terms of giving back to people and society, which is also a foundation of our Hindu culture. So, the seed was sown at an early stage. How can I make a difference? Growing up and seeing how my parents built and supported me and my sister instilled in me the importance of how we do things. Doing a pharmacy degree further fuelled this need to help and support people. This led on to a career in the pharmaceutical industry. I have learnt and gained so much by putting people first in everything I do in work and life. I have been fortunate to work with so many people in the roles I have had. This led to one of my key drivers in supporting and development of individuals and teams. These key drivers and ongoing development plan discussions with my manager led to the start of my PULSE journey. After consideration over Xmas 2018 and discussion with the family, with support of my application by my manager Clint I started the application process in Jan 2019. This then led to a further assessment with the GSK PULSE team, then potential alignment with an assignment and then the final stage before approval of the assignment is the assessment by the NGO, Save the Children International. This whole process was completed in April this year.

I then moved into a preparation stage for my assignment, which included a fantastic orientation program with many highlights including meeting the other PULSE ambassadors, inspirational talks from previous PULSE ambassadors, dealing with difficult situations, and who would have thought bhangra dancing as an energizer! I have had fantastic support from so many people at GSK to enable me to take up this opportunity and I feel so grateful to my GSK team and colleagues. This helped to build the energy all the way to starting my assignment this Monday 17th June.  In the three days so far, I have gained so much understanding of Save the Children International as an organisation and have started to meet the most important aspect of the assignment the people and understanding key objectives and deliverables to help millions of children’s lives around the world.  During my 6-month secondment with Save the Children, I will be working with the SCI Health and Nutrition team supporting the Pneumonia Centenary Commitment as well as some of the Health and Nutrition Communities of Practice work. I am excited and inspired to see where the journey takes me next…