Meet Claudia, Intern in Formulation Research & Development at Roche

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Hi, my name is…

…Claudia. I’m studying pharmacy at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany. Currently, I’m doing an internship in the field of galenics in pharmaceutical research and development in Basel, Switzerland, as part of my degree and taking part in the RiSM Programme (Roche Internships in Small Molecules). It’s about gaining an insight into research in the pharmaceutical industry. Previously I spent six months in the pharmaceutical aid organisation “Pharmacists without Borders” (AoG) in Munich. I had the opportunity to be part of a project in Uganda and see how the local medical and healthcare system works. I’m still involved in the AoG as a volunteer project coordinator. Now Roche is offering me a completely different perspective on pharmacy. Before my pharmaceutical degree, I completed a two-and-a-half-year apprenticeship as a pharmaceutical technical assistant.

My typical day at work is…

…very varied. I’m currently working on a project about the miniaturisation of wet granulation. No two days are the same. I can organise my time on my own and actively contribute ideas by making suggestions for improvements. I have the opportunity to experience the entire process from the characterisation of excipients and wet granulation to tableting. I benefit from the knowledge and experience of my department and at the same time I enhance my working group’s projects with the results of my experiments. And with alternating between experiments in the lab, analysing and reporting results, attending team meetings and participating in scientific lectures, it’s never boring.

The location I’m working at is…

…terrific. For Housing, Roche gives me the option of sharing a flat in Basel with other interns from various countries and different fields – a great chance to exchange ideas and to discover Switzerland together. It’s interesting to meet up with other Roche colleagues for lunch or an after-work drink. There are regular events, especially for Roche interns, and there’s a lot going on in Basel throughout the year, such as swimming in the Rhine in the summer or nice Christmas markets in the winter.

My work helps Roche to…

…save time and resources. Improving future drugs means adapting the development strategy to shorten times and reduce batch sizes. This is where formulation comes in: procedures and strategies have to be developed with a minimal use of highly potent, active pharmaceutical ingredients to carry out representative and reliable scalable formulation studies. I support my team by devising dependable methods for the smallest scale.

Roche as an employer is…

…motivating. It’s impressive how friendly and helpful all the employees are. This creates an inspiring and collaborative environment, which I really appreciate. People treat each other with respect. Although you’re an intern, you are taken seriously and treated like a full-fledged employee, which enables you to contribute a small part to the big picture. Roche is a multicultural company: open-minded employees from all over the world creating a cheerful working environment. There are many career opportunities for dedicated employees to follow their passion. Roche offers a wide range of courses in vastly different areas where all employees can participate.

Compared to my experience at university, science at Roche is…

…huge. The laboratories I’m working in are large, modern and state of the art. Science at Roche is innovative and aims to develop new medical solutions to improve the lives and health of patients. It’s really fulfilling to work with different experts who share their practical knowledge with me.

The RiSM Programme helps me to develop because…

…on the one hand, I can apply the theoretical knowledge I gained at university in practice and conduct research and development on a larger scale. On the other hand, I am expanding my knowledge of pharmaceutical technology. Working in the lab in the field of formulation development is a very different activity compared to my previous internships. The great variety that pharmacy offers is incredibly exciting. The large network at Roche in Basel has offered me a glimpse into various fields of activity for pharmacists in a pharmaceutical company.

To people who are interested in the RiSM programme, I would recommend they…

…sign up! It’s a great opportunity to get a realistic insight into a career in industry. And it’s a good way to gain experience, both scientifically and personally. Every day you interact with so many different people – that really broadens my horizons. The internship at Roche is a great chance for me to see which field of business activity I could imagine myself working in for my future career.

Interested in gaining a similar experience as Claudia? Click here for more information about the RiSM programme. 

Tags: Career Blog, Switzerland, Basel, Interns