Meet Jacob

First Assignment Experience and Learnings: 

I joined Roche through the HR Perspectives program in October 2016.  My first assignment was with the Global Analytics and Reporting team where I had several projects.  My first project was to provide data to support a program review for the Commercial Perspectives program for the Pharmaceutical and Diagnostics Division.  For my second project, I analyzed Roche’s current talent pipeline which provided insights into the company’s talent supply and the impact it has on talent management and recruitment practices. I was also privileged to be part of a team tasked with the responsibility of developing initiatives to increase the analytical capabilities of employees.  Looking back at all these projects I was involved in, I realized the relevance of healthy collaboration among team members and how it helps in attaining ultimate goals. Assuming the role of a Data Analyst and having the necessary team support was very instrumental in developing my capabilities in influencing data driven decisions.   

As I prepare to take up my next assignment in South Korea as a Learning and Development specialist , I look forward to navigating through the challenges the assignment brings by transferring the skills and knowledge gained from my first assignment and my interactions with the HR leadership team.

Biggest Learnings:

Coming from a culture of high power distance and indirect communication styles and taking up my first assignment in Basel which has a fairly different cultural context, I initially felt the need to act different than I naturally am.  An interesting fact is that, as an international company, Roche acknowledges and appreciates diversity among teams and within the entire organization as it understands diversity to be the key to innovation.  As I complete my first assignment, I have come to realize the relevance of diversity within teams as it leads to creative thinking.   

Another great learning for me was the relevance of networking and openness.  Being in the program offered me the opportunity in meeting leaders and experts in the field of HR which was very helpful in shaping my perspectives from both global and local stand points. Getting the opportunity to tap into the experiences of colleagues through networking was very instrumental in shaping my career path and as well deciding on my assignments.


My greatest challenge has been how to manage myself through my own change journey as I change organization, assignment, teams, environment and sometimes line of thinking. The beauty of this however is that as an HR Professional, change is inevitable in my line of work. As organizational processes, systems and practices change, HR professionals  need to lead change initiatives which guide employees through the change cycle and I believe we are better suited to manage these events when we have experienced and lived it at the same  time. 

Tags: HR, Career Blog