Meet Tonya

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My background is quite technical, and I have a degree in Computer Science from Purdue University in the US. I started out as a programmer for Roche over 25 years ago and from there took many different positions within IT, both on the application side of IT and in the operations area. While still in the Diagnostics division I had various management positions leading areas such as SAP, Database, Client, Platforms, and Data Center Operations. I have also been involved in several global initiatives, including planning for the globalization of operations and various mergers and acquisitions. Most recently, in 2010, I moved to global headquarters in Basel, Switzerland for an expat assignment in the Global IT Operations department.  It turns out I really liked living and working there, so I made the move permanent and am now a local employee in Basel. 

What is your current job?

I am currently the Global Head for Applications Services. We are a global team of about 130 people in the operations area, with team members in eight locations across six countries on four continents (Madrid, Basel, Mannheim, Penzberg, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, South San Francisco, and Indianapolis).  My teams help IT Application partners connect infrastructure and services with our customers and their applications. We insure that their solutions are fully integrated into our operational landscape. Teams include Database, Infrastructure Platforms, Application Integration & Middleware, Application & Desktop Virtualization, and Solution Integration.

Why did you decide to join Roche?

I knew there was a lot of opportunity there to be on the leading edge of my area, and at the same provide a key service to the community. Over my time at Roche, that has been proven over and over again. I have been able to progress in my career while feeling a great deal of satisfaction at seeing incredible results for our patients.

In which Roche location are you currently working? What can you tell us about that location as work environment?

I spent most of my Roche career (over 18 years) in the US at the North America headquarters for our Diagnostics division in Indianapolis, Indiana. When there was a global reorganization I took the opportunity to take an assignment in Basel, Switzerland. As Basel is the headquarters, there is always something happening here. It is an exciting place to be and it's great launching point for me to learn more about the different European cultures.

What makes this such a great job?

I work with great people that make it a pleasure to contribute to the team. I continue to learn every day from my leadership, my peers, and my employees. Knowing that what we do helps to improve patient lives makes it fulfilling on an even deeper level. One of best people aspects is the cross-cultural experience and collaboration. It has really changed the way I look at my career and the world in general. 

What are the common next steps once you have been in this role for a few years?

Because Roche has so many interesting areas in which to work, the career opportunities are many also. Within operations people can work toward management careers, or continue to move up in individual contributor roles as their expertise grows. Many people choose to move into other technical disciplines to broaden their perspective and gain more experience before deciding on a path. Some decide to move out completely to other IT areas such as project management, architecture, or engineering. Because of my teams close relationship with the IT Partners, some also move into the application areas. 

What kind of person would really work well in your team?

I like people that are intelligent, curious, and passionate about what they do. We have high expectations and I need people that are ready for that challenge. While we are serious about our accountability, we want people that can have some fun and share a laugh too. Flexibility and cross-cultural awareness are also key to success in a global team like ours.

What would you advise job seekers who want to join us?

Be ready to work and contribute - we need people who are motivated and passionate about what they do! Don't be afraid of change. Roche is a dynamic company that is always on the move, always presenting new challenges and opportunities.

Tags: Spain, Career Blog, Information Technology