As a global healthcare company, Roche offers its employees many opportunities, which is also reflected in the very diverse training offered by the company. 

In addition to classic apprenticeships and dual study programs, such as chemical laboratory technician, industrial mechanic, office management assistant or Bachelor of Arts, apprenticeships are also offered that one would not associate with Roche at first glance.

For example, Nicolas Veh recently completed his apprenticeship as a production technologist, while Lukas Becker is undergoing a dual study program as a Bachelor of Science in Applied Computer Science - two career paths that few people associate with a healthcare company.

In the interview, they tell us about their experiences, how it came to the career choice and what is so special about the training and dual studies at Roche.

Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship or a dual study program at Roche? 

Nicolas: I worked as an intern at Roche during the summer vacations and met a friend who had started an apprenticeship as a production technologist. His experiences aroused my interest, I informed myself, applied and was able to start afterwards. 

Lukas: A friend also supported me in my decision. (smiles) From him, I learned about the possibility of a dual study program at Roche and that his brother is currently doing the same. This aroused my interest and I applied.

What encouraged you to do this training?

Nicolas: After I had informed myself about the profession of production technologist, I realized that this is exactly what I want to do in the future. Even during my summer job, I was interested in the faults and their causes that can occur in plants and how to rectify them.

Lukas: It was important to me to gain as much work experience as possible during my studies and to be able to directly implement the theories taught so that I would have an easier entry into the professional world after completing my studies.

What does a normal working day look like for you?

Nicolas: A lot of it is project work - both in training and in my takeover department. For me, that means above all a lot of communication with different people at a wide variety of interfaces, both internal and external. And that's what makes the job so exciting, because I'm not only given a lot of decision-making power by my superiors, but I'm also allowed to implement a lot of things independently.

Lukas: Everything starts with checking my schedule in the morning and planning my day. This is usually followed by a daily exchange with my colleagues in my operations department, in which we coordinate our work and bring each other up to date. The actual work varies from project to project and takes place mostly in front of the computer - which I like. 

How is the cooperation between trainees and employees?

Nicolas: The cooperation is very good and, above all, characterized by mutual respect. I think it's great that we talk to the trainers at eye level.

Lukas: So far, I've received a friendly welcome in all departments and been accepted like a "normal" employee and quickly integrated into projects. And when I've needed help, someone has always been there to support me.

What should you bring to this job?

Nicolas: Independence and a sense of responsibility are big plus points.

Of course, you don't become a manager directly and receive personnel management, but in the project business it is very important that your colleagues can rely on you. But creativity, an open eye for potential problems and solutions are also required.

Lukas: In my opinion, these are above all logical and analytical thinking skills, in order to recognize complex interrelationships and to be able to think one's way into the diverse problems.

What is special about Roche for you?

Nicolas: Above all, the diversity of the work. During the apprenticeship, you get to know many departments and people, which ensures a good understanding of our products and the working methods.

In my experience, it is not assumed that everyone knows or can do everything. For example, I have already been able to explain to my training officers what I have learned in other departments, who are experts in completely different areas.

Lukas: Due to the size of the company, there are a large number of different applications and facets. And yet we trainees and students receive above-average support and encouragement. I don't take that for granted and it motivates me.

What have been your most exciting projects so far?

Nicolas: Definitely my final exam! In this project I had a lot of responsibility and was on my own. Of course, I had a team with whom all decisions were agreed upon, but if things didn't work out the way I had imagined, that was my responsibility and I had to find a solution. Due to the complexity of the project, I had to invest a lot of time, but I was also able to gain a lot of new insights into the structure of the company.

Lukas: My most exciting project? That was definitely my assignment in the field of virtual reality. There I was able to work on forward-looking projects using the latest technologies and learn a lot from the work of my colleagues.

Nicolas Veh, Production Technologist

After my first cup of coffee...

...I hope that after the pandemic I will again have the opportunity to talk to my colleagues in the department in the hallway, in the break room or wherever.

I like working at Roche because... is a huge company with almost endless possibilities for personal development.

The best thing about Roche is...

...related to our location, that you know and get to know so many people, which of course can bring you certain advantages. (smiles)

In the morning, the very first thing to do is ...

...drinking coffee...

Not a day goes by without...

...a meal in the casino.

Lukas Becker, Bachelor of Science, Applied Computer Science, 2nd year of training

After my first cup of coffee...

...I had a chat with my colleagues.

I like working at Roche because...

...the work is varied and I am also offered a lot beyond work.

The best thing about Roche is...

...the colleagues.

The very first thing in the morning is ... to call up the current Dilbert comic on the intranet... (laughs).

Not a day goes by without... entertaining coffee break.


Tags: Europe, Germany, Mannheim, Human Resources, Vocational Training, Career Blog