During my assignment I learned about:
I started in October 2014 with HR Perspectives as a project manager for the global team of Learning & Organizational Effectiveness, in Basel. My focus area has been on High Potentials and Succession Planning which helped me to understand how relevant Succession Planning and Talent Management are for the overall organization. Working in a highly matrixed environment, I learned how important constant networking for HR is to build and sustain a high performing and forward looking organization like Roche.
I started my second assignment in April 2015 as a Program Manager for Compensation & Benefits in Mexico City and learned in depth policies and processes. This was the first time for me to work in an Emerging Market and I absolutely enjoyed the experience. It was a big stretch in the beginning and it took me a bit to adjust to my environment but I am surprised about the fast pace of launching new projects. Especially the attitude “learning by doing” inspired me.
In January 2016 I started my final assignment as an HR Business Partner in South Africa. This has been the most amazing experience in my life. I felt home right after my first week. The assignment has been a big stretch and I was taken out of my comfort zone on a daily basis which I enjoyed a lot. Trust and responsibilities have been given to me and helped me grow as an HR professional.
From a personal perspective my biggest learning so far is:
Well, ask questions and do not make assumptions. Colleagues at Roche are very nice and supportive and you learn so much faster if you get connected with experts who can act as sparring partners, give you insights or challenge your own ideas. It has also been very helpful to be in a supportive team where I felt very comfortable and they have included me as part of the family from day 1 on.
When it comes to the decision for your next assignment, you should be relaxed, open and flexible. There are so many opportunities and you will for sure end up having something that will be extremely positive for your own professional development – I came to realize that it is way more helpful (and exciting) to have broader goals rather than having fixed plans from the get go. You come across a variety of very interesting professionals with diverse backgrounds which showed me that I really want to learn more about the business and that there are different adventures for me to discover which seems to never end - I also can say, the biggest learning is to not be afraid of failure, just go for it and you will experience the nicest learning and develop with high speed.
My challenges are:
There are plenty of challenges as discovering new cultures, teams and departments 3 to 4 times in two years are not easy. Personally, my biggest challenge was to decide about my next rotation while being on my first assignment. I repeatedly tried to find a solution that I considered “perfect” for myself as there are many different opportunities. I finally figured that there is no right or wrong as every experience brings along lots of benefits that will be of tremendous value for my own development. In addition, it has been hard for me that once I got used to a team and environment and once I just started feeling comfortable in my role, I had to leave projects and people behind.
My post program role will be an HRBP role in Penzberg, Germany. There is no doubt that I will have to overcome lots of personal and professional challenges in Germany, repatriating to my own culture, but it is all about the right attitude. I personally feel thrived about being challenged – Few things are more rewarding than overcoming your own limits.