Meet Maud, International Product Manager at Roche

woman, statues, pond

Hi, my name is…

…Maud, I’m French and I was brought up in the city of Versailles on the outskirts of Paris. I have been living in Switzerland for a few years now. Love brought me here, after 14 years of staying in the UK. My background is signal processing; after a Master in petroleum engineering in Nancy and Edinburgh, I decided to apply my signal processing skills to finding diseases in medical images instead of finding petroleum in geological models of reservoirs. I studied computer-aided diagnostics of breast cancer in x-rays mammograms at Oxford University. I then worked as a software engineer in a London start-up developing markerless radiotherapy positioning systems.  When I met my husband eight years ago, he was living in Zurich and I in London. As I was the first to find a new position, we ended up in beautiful Switzerland. I moved from London to Zurich, and also from the world of in vivo to in vitro diagnostics, as the job was at … Roche Diagnostics.

My typical day at work is…

…divided into face-to-face meetings, virtual meetings and work at my desk, when I’m not travelling. I’m one of six International Product Managers for Core Lab IT solutions and we work as a close team to shape them. These IT solutions enable the medical laboratories to have the most optimised workflow of samples across the different analysers, and to validate the test results in an efficient, reproducible and traceable way. We are the link between R&D that develops the IT solutions and the market voice coming from the Regions and the Country Affiliates, by bringing requirements from the market into the development of each new version of these IT solutions. This entails a fair bit of travelling, as we work with many stakeholders from the three world regions and our R&D is based in Barcelona and Germany. I personally travel 20% of my time, because of my family situation, but this is at the low end of the range in my team.

The location I’m working at is…

…Rotkreuz, Central Switzerland, which has 2’200 employees. I used to live there too, but I recently moved to the capital of the canton, Zug, so now the commute is better shared with my husband who works in Zurich. There is a direct train every hour that takes seven minutes and goes along the lake of Zug, with beautiful views - except when it is foggy! The Rotkreuz site has grown continually since I arrived in 2009, and I now work in the newest building, with an open space concept with full desk sharing and funky meeting rooms.

My work helps Roche to …

… optimise the testing efficiency of medical laboratories by computing the shortest route of the sample in the lab and by automating the checks in place to decide whether a test result is technically valid. In that way, doctors receive timely and high-quality test results that help them understand the patient’s health and/or monitor the patient’s treatment. 

Roche as an employer is…

…one that provides development opportunities, as it is a big company that encompasses many different areas. It also supports my work/life balance by providing access to a private daycare and Kindergarten on the premises, which I very happily benefited from for my two children. The workload is constantly high, but my colleagues are always here to help if needed!

What do you do to help balance life and work?

My family is central in that respect. My son is six years old and my daughter four. Every year we need to be creative in devising a new way to organise the timetable of the four of us. This year, I leave home at 6:45 a.m., and I’m back around 5:15 p.m. My husband does the “late shift”, and we rely on a combination of private and public daycare systems. At work, I engage with some clubs of the Employees' Association, in particular I practise yoga and share the opinion that the headstand is the king of the asanas or yoga poses, if you have no contraindication, of course. As I registered my son for a percussion course at the Zug music school last August, I spontaneously signed up for some singing lessons. To keep up with the practice at home, I’m very glad my daughter takes pleasure in making me rehearse the songs! Therefore for me, it is my family, sport and music that allow me to keep a good work/life balance.

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Tags: Switzerland, Rotkreuz, Diagnostics, Career Blog, Product Management