Meet Jens, Head of Case Investigation and Resolution at Roche
Hi, my name is…
… Jens. I was born and raised in northern Germany. From my earliest memories on, I was drawn to chemistry and I followed this path after high school to study in Regensburg, Bavaria. However, the wanderlust took me again after my master’s degree and so I went on to do my PhD in Karlsruhe and Boston.
After finishing my thesis and following a position as a scientist in the development department of a luxury item manufacturer in Austria, I joined Roche as a management startup trainee. I subsequently took over a position as a team leader in the Roche Diagnostics Research and Development Chemistry Department.
This position and the insights I gained into the operational procedures of an international pharmaceutical company awakened my interest. I wanted to understand more deeply, participate in and contribute to the bigger picture of our business, our values and our customers. This development led me to my current position.
My typical day at work is…
… all about quality performance of our diagnostic products in the market. My day-to-day efforts go into ensuring the investigation, documentation and addressing of feedback received from our customers.
I would describe my typical day at work as a mixture of the deductive powers of Sherlock Holmes, the research spirit of Marie Curie, and the diplomatic networking of Henry Kissinger, while documenting everything like John Watson.
As well as contributing our technical expertise and lab experience, we also represent the performance of our products in the market – distilling the information we receive for upper management as well as escalating potential concerns within the management chain.
The location I am working at is…
…Rotkreuz, Switzerland. It is the headquarters for centralised and point-of-care solutions. More than 2500 people from around 60 different countries are working together in an unusually open site. From the formerly highest building in the canton of Zug, one can see miles away, from the plains of Aargau to the glaciers of the Alps.
The city is situated well in the centre of Switzerland and has been steadily growing due to Roche and also other multinational companies. Thanks to the train station and the motorway access, one can reach the bigger cities, eg. Lucerne, Zug or Zurich, in a very short space of time. Similarly, Germany, France, Austria, Lichtenstein and Italy are reachable in less than 3 hours.
My work helps Roche to …
… support customer satisfaction by addressing customer concerns in a professional manner, keeping track of the performance of our instruments in the field while ensuring compliance with the regulatory specifications from authorities around the world.
Roche as an employer is…
… inspiring. It offers possibilities not only to get to know the “why” and “how” of blue chip company business but also to be an active part of this. I encountered Roche as a place where people are treated with respect and identify themselves with the values we deliver to customers and patients around the world.
What's the best advice you ever received in your career, and whom did you get it from?
“Never underestimate the power of resilience!” This advice was given to me from a most valued mentor and friend. This reminds me that it is always OK to fail - provided you use the experience you have gained to improve.
What do you do to help balance life and work?
For me, there is no sharp dividing line between work and life. I do not seek to fade out all work-related thoughts when I am at home, as more than once the best solutions and ideas were generated at some distance from the office. On the other hand, I have paintings from my daughter on my desk, which helps me to keep focused and motivated during stressful times.
Nevertheless, I have a golden rule: Working on weekends has to remain a rare exception and should never be the rule. This not only preserves the bonds between me and my family but also ensures that I regain much-needed energy for the coming week.