Meet Simon, Head of Business Intelligence & Master Data
Tell us a bit of yourself
I was born in West-Berlin 35 years ago when East and West were still separated. I majored in economics and computer science before starting my career at Roche in Grenzach in 2002 as an intern. I moved to Basel in 2009 and have held a wide variety of positions in IT (and one in Finance) ever since. Somehow I managed to be rather often (8+ times) in the part of IT that was re-organizing.
My life as a family man started with getting married mid of last year and continued with welcoming our daughter into this world recently here in Malaysia.
What is your current position at Roche and where are you located?
The last part of the question is easy: I am currently located in Kuala Lumpur in our great new Shared Service Center office at Sunway Pinnacle. My position is pretty flexible right now and I would describe it as a combination of multiple roles. I feel reminded daily about what it said in the job description/posting when I first applied to Roche “...where the job description is just the beginning...” First, I am still leading the Business Intelligence and Master Data Management team globally in IT Delivery (Shared Platforms and Applications) and contribute to the SP&A Leadership Team. Second I am heading Application Development, Maintenance Delivery (ADMD) in Kuala Lumpur and work in close collaboration with the ADMD heads in Poland and the Asia Pacific IT LT to build up ADMD in KL. Third I am acting as “the IT guy” in the new IT & Finance Shared Service Center engaging with local leadership as well as all IT functions that are currently investing in KL. “As being one of the few “old timers” around here in the SSC I also help out our new colleagues to get acquainted with the Roche culture and way of getting things done (incl. random tool usage coachings here and there - remember I am “the IT guy”).
Why did you decide to take up this role and why this location?
The main reason for me to take up the challenge in KL was to have the opportunity to be part of building a totally new team, in a new location, with a new scope. It gives you the feeling of being an entrepreneur ramping up a start-up while still being part of the big Roche family. Further I was always passionate about living in Asia one day and experience life in the region. Kuala Lumpur is a great place to life and when my wife and I went here for our orientation trip we immediately fell in love with the city (especially the food & weather!!)
How would you describe career development at Roche?
I see Roche as a great place to develop your career. This goes above and beyond a lot of “formal” programs and the great HR support we have (I am a big fan of “OpportunITies” and “Mentoring for all” by the way.).
I also found that the drive to support people's development is deeply ingrained in the culture. You are expected to drive your own development and be proactive. When it comes to receiving help though, I cannot remember any of my 8 different managers I had so far ever saying “no” to any reasonable personal development support I asked for.
Roche also puts a lot of emphasis on supporting diversity & inclusion which creates a great environment of different perspectives. If you expose yourself to this environment with an open mind you are about to learn a lot from it.
How would you describe the opportunities we are creating in SSC KL?
We offer a broad set of different opportunities requiring a very diverse set of skills and levels of seniority. What they all share though is the possibility to be part of a new team in a new environment and culture
Talking about personal development, just by the very fact that we are growing for the foreseeable future and have a broad set of IT functions and teams here, there will be great opportunities to shape your career here independent of where you chose to make a start.
What advice would you give to the job seekers who want to join us?
Be honest - not only about what you want now but also how you like to develop your career short, mid & long term. In Roche IT there is not just one career path, you might be surprised what is possible and how willing hiring managers are to advise you as well.
Further take the sentence “...where the job description is just the beginning…” seriously and think about how you can contribute beyond the minimum requirement of the job you are interested in. Ask yourself the questions: What besides “being great at my job” will I add to the team? What am I passionate about and interested in learning?