Meet Jacob

My Roche Diagnostics Korea Journey

Rotational Assignments

I am currently based in Welwyn, United Kingdom   working as an HR Business Partner for the Research and Development Team within the UK Pharma Division. As a Business Partner, I am responsible for partnering with the pRED Welwyn Leadership team in driving change initiatives, leading talent discussions and supporting the entire division in developing solutions on people related issues. In addition to my role as business partner, I am also partnering with the Learning and development team in designing and deploying various leadership development programs.

Prior to Joining the Welwyn HR team, I was working as an L&D Specialist in South Korea. During my six months assignment with Roche Diagnostics Korea, I was responsible for driving several projects which included developing a toolkit for managers, planning and deploying regional initiatives to enable employee self-development and supporting Business Areas in developing action plans based on the Global Employee Opinion Survey results.

My first assignment was in a Global role as an HR Data Analyst where I had several projects.  Among them were providing data to support a review of a Global leadership program, undertaking an analysis on Roche’s current talent pipeline and developing framework on how to increase the analytical capabilities of HR Business Partners.

Looking back at my previous and current roles, I realize the relevance of effective collaboration among team members and how it helps in attaining ultimate goals especially in Roche where we have a matrix structure.

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 relatively 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 as it understands diversity to be the key to innovation.  In my time as an HR Perspective, I have come to appreciate the relevance of diversity within teams as it leads to creative thinking.  

Another great learning for me was the relevance of networking and openness.  Working in various affiliates offered me the opportunity in meeting business leaders and experts in various fields which was very helpful in shaping my perspectives from global, regional and affiliate stand points. Additionally, by experiencing different cultures I have learnt to have an open mindset; one which seeks to learn and improve and views challenges as an opportunity to develop solutions which impact greatly.

hug, sunglasses, green


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 I am better suited to manage these events when I have experienced them at some point in time in my career.

Tags: HR, Career Blog