Meet Esteban, Senior Global Project Manager at Roche


Hi, my name is… 

… Esteban. I am from Costa Rica. I have a degree in IT Systems Engineering and I am a certified Project Management Professional. My wife and I are really passionate about health, fitness and nature. We have three dogs: a miniature Schnauzer and two Beagles. 

I began my Roche career working at the Pharma office in Costa Rica as a Software Developer. Over the years, I made the transition to project management and eventually we moved to Switzerland. 

Currently we live in canton Schwyz, which is one of the founding cantons of Switzerland. It is well connected to other big cantons such as Lucerne, Zurich and Zug. Due to its location, we have easy access to plenty of lakes during the summer time, where we do stand-up paddle boarding. During the winter, we do sledging in the nearby mountains. Whenever we go on vacation abroad, Zurich International Airport is less than 45 minutes away.

My typical day at work is…

…full of meetings and very dynamic. Nevertheless, I block timeslots to do work at my desk. Usually, I block the first hour of the day to have a coffee at the cafeteria while reviewing what needs to be achieved by the end of the day, checking the meetings I need to attend and answering urgent emails.

My activities can vary from day to day. Sometimes I might have all-day meetings to discuss and review the strategic or tactical situation of Project Management across the different teams that my peers and I support. Other days, I might be solely focused on monitoring and reporting on the team’s Research & Development budget, since we have a big portfolio. On other occasions, I might be facilitating a workshop. Every week is different, but the common denominator is that I need to interact with many colleagues and balance several tasks in parallel.

The location I am working at is…

…Rotkreuz, Switzerland; in the Project Management Office of the Centralised and Point of Care Solutions Business Area; part of the Diagnostics Division. This site hosts more than 2000 employees from around 50 countries. The campus is really beautiful, modern and constantly expanding to accommodate the growing business needs. There is a tall building where I really enjoy going to the 15th floor and having a chat with colleagues while looking at the great view of the lake of Zug and the Alps. It is such a luxury to have a business environment with such views.

My work helps Roche to …

…. ensure that our diagnostics solutions reach hospitals and laboratories in time, in scope and in budget.

The Project Managers work in matrix project teams to deliver diagnostics solutions that provide higher medical value and increased testing efficiency. Those goals can only be achieved by multidisciplinary teams that contribute with their expertise. I support different projects by providing project management services such as project planning, risk management and reporting - to name but a few.  

Roche as an employer is…

…a great company to work for. It acknowledges the importance of developing employees by providing them with different experiences, exposures and educational options. All of those options are intended to provide a challenge or to develop skills for their career aspirations.

Work/life balance is encouraged by line managers. For example, sometimes I work from home especially if I just returned from a long business trip the day before.

Employees define yearly goals together with their line managers. Those goals are assessed at the end of the year to determine employees’ performance. Besides assessing what goals were achieved, we are also measured on how we achieved them.

How would you describe working at Roche in three words?

Open Your Mind. Every day you will have the opportunity to learn something new at Roche, either by talking to colleagues, reading or preparing a project document, applying a process, facilitating a meeting, or just by having a coffee while looking at the great view that we have at Roche in Rotkreuz. You will definitively come across many people with many different ideas and points of view. Those interactions represent great opportunities to learn from others.

What do you do to help balance life and work?

Just as I set daily priorities for work, I also set daily priorities for my private life. I know at what time I need to leave the office; I also try to stay disconnected from work during the weekends and vacations, and I go to the gym on a regular basis. That allows me to change gear and focus on something else. For me, it is very important to spend and enjoy quality time with my wife and dogs. The only way to it, is to plan it and have the discipline to stick to those plans. Besides, I truly believe that family and health should always be priority number one.

Tags: Career Blog, Switzerland, Rotkreuz