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Roche International - Development opportunities across national borders

Zlatan's journey at Roche began in 2014 at the site in Bosnia and Herzegovina as HR Head of Roche Balkans. After almost four years in this position, the opportunity to move to Roche in Ireland arose unexpectedly. Zlatan decided to take on this short-term assignment as HR Business Partner for Roche Pharma in Ireland. The third cross-country experience came in October 2018 and since then he has been working as Senior HR Development Manager in the Learning and Organizational Development department at Roche Pharma AG in Grenzach (Germany). 

After working in the Balkans for ten years (four of them at Roche), Zlatan began to feel that the whole region and its culture had become a comfort zone for him. Therefore he was looking for an environment in which he could grow and which would give him space to learn. This wish was the reason for him to hold various development discussions regarding his career with different stakeholders. This laid the foundation for his individual development journey towards his role in a larger organisation and in an established market environment. 

Highlights from the individual development opportunities

At Roche in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Zlatan was able to learn a lot about Roche's culture and working methods. This is particularly evident in the fact that Roche employees in the Balkan countries are very passionate and patient-oriented. Due to the size of the affiliates, it often felt as if the most important customers were part of the team. 

He experienced the same passion and commitment in Ireland. There he also realised that Roche's culture means that everyone, regardless of their background, pursues Roche's goal every day. In addition, Zlatan learned a lot about diversity and inclusion in Ireland, as Roche in Ireland is very committed to attracting people from different countries and environments to affiliate. 

In Germany, Zlatan learned the importance of teamwork and stakeholder management. He greatly appreciates being surrounded by intelligent and passionate team colleagues from whom he can learn a lot. This has also helped him to find his way around such a large and new working environment, especially at the beginning.

Going to a new culture and working in a new environment is probably the best learning and development experience a person can have. Make sure you are ready for it, because it is a journey with many ups and downs, but once you get there, the feeling is indescribable.

Zlatan meets challenges at Roche in Germany

First and foremost the language was a great and personal challenge for Zlatan. But because of his helpful and open-minded colleagues it was very easy for him to overcome this language barrier.

Another big challenge was to apply his previous experiences in the new environment and in new situations. Finding an appropriate balance between past experiences, current situations and the ability to still learn new things is definitely a muscle that he believes needs to be "trained". 

What makes it special for Zlatan to work for Roche in Germany?

The people! At Roche in Germany Zlatan meets many inspiring, passionate and committed colleagues. At the same time he is enthusiastic about the team spirit and the mutual support in all situations.  Even after two years at Roche in Germany there is still a lot for him to learn, and he is particularly looking forward to it.  

The greatest learning from his experience so far

Leaving your comfort zone and finding yourself in an environment that motivates you to develop further definitely has something magical about it. Nevertheless, you should be sure that you are ready to take this step, because it can also be emotionally and physically tiring. 

Tags: Germany, Grenzach, Human Resources, Career Blog