During my assignment I learned about:
I joined Roche in October 2016 and started my first assignment as a Project Manager in the Global HR for Finance & IT team. One of my projects is focusing on Diversity & Inclusion and I have been working on developing an initiative that aims to enable and foster an accelerated development for diverse talents across the Finance organization. I learned about Roche’s strong commitment to building diverse talent pipelines and creating an inclusive work environment in which diversity of any kind is embraced. The second project is around the set-up of a new Shared Service Center for the APAC region, and I have been involved in employee engagement and onboarding topics. As part of the project, I also had the chance to travel to Kuala Lumpur to work with the local HR colleagues on-site which enriched my learning considerably. It was fascinating to experience a “start-up setting” within an established organization such as Roche and how much it differs in terms of pace, priorities, and challenges.
Being part of a team of experienced Global HR Business Partners is also very beneficial as they are always happy to share their expertise with me and I gain an understanding of how the collaboration between global, regional, and local HR teams functions. During my first months, I have also learned about the structure of Roche and specifically the set-up of the HR function and how to navigate in a matrix organization. My projects reinforced the importance of engaging and managing stakeholders effectively and building my internal network. At Roche, you are surrounded by colleagues having diverse backgrounds and experiences, but what unites them is their willingness to collaborate and share their feedback with you.
Now I am already looking forward to starting my next assignment as an HR Business Partner in South San Francisco. This rotation represents another opportunity to develop and grow since it will be my first Business Partnering role.
From a personal perspective my biggest learning so far is:
Reflecting upon my first months, I feel there have been so many different learnings due to the exposure I get and challenges I face on a daily basis. From Day 1 I have been amazed by the open and collaborative approach across all organizational levels which encouraged me to proactively ask questions and continuously ask for feedback. I always appreciate discussing this feedback then with my mentor which contributes significantly to my development. Working with colleagues from various cultures and backgrounds also enables me to experience different approaches and learn from diverse perspectives. At times I have felt overwhelmed by the complexity of some projects and the amount of new information to absorb. I learned to then take a step back and think about the bigger picture and overall objective, while reducing the complexity by setting clear objectives, clarifying deliverables, and continuously managing expectations.
At Roche, you encounter a new situation every single day, so you will never stop learning – which is the beauty of it after all. However, the right attitude is needed to thrive in such an environment, thus you need to be curious and eager to learn and take responsibility for your own development. If you take on this approach, development opportunities at Roche are sheer endless.
My challenges are:
I have been challenged on different levels since I started the program, but finding ways to overcome these challenges is the best way to learn and grow. I find it difficult to balance my every day job responsibilities, while also investing time to build my network and proactively looking for my next assignment. On top of this, it is crucial to also take time to reflect upon myself and my development needs as I continuously face new learnings. When working with colleagues across the organization, I encounter different and partially conflicting opinions. This clearly adds complexity to my daily tasks and represents a challenge for me as I highly value input from others and naturally attempt to consider everyone’s perspective in my decision-making.
Despite having previously moved to other countries for studies and work, I find it challenging to start over three times within two years. It takes time to settle in one place, learn the dynamics of your new environment, and build personal relationships in- and outside of work. Once you feel comfortable in one place, it is already time to move on and say goodbye to colleagues and friends you have become close to.
HR Perspectives is indeed an accelerated development program and being aware of the challenges helps me to focus my energies on how to effectively deal with them. I consider myself very lucky to be part of this program and I am excited to see where my journey at Roche will take me next.