Studying next to the profession: Support and investment in the future

Personal and professional development are very important for me. For Roche too.
Nadja Thomas, Product Manager Roche Pharma AG Grenzach

You completed a vocational training as laboratory assistant, then you went to university, received a doctorate's degree and now you are product manager since two years. How did you get involved with marketing?

Already through my vocational training I had noticed that working in the pharmaceutical industry is the right thing for me. During the subsequent biology studies as member of the student business consultancy I had also tried to look beyond the scientific box. I really enjoyed this. After the doctorate I then wanted to return to the pharmaceutical industry. I thereby had always kept the business management aspects that had always interested me at the back of my mind. As the possibility then arose to start the Marketing-Traineeship at Roche then this was an absolute stroke of luck for me. I find it simply totally motivating to not only work scientifically but to also be actively involved in helping patients to receive the therapy that is best for them.

Since a short time ago you are back at university and in parallel to your profession you are absolving a Masters degree in "Pharma Business Administration“ (MPBA) in Frankfurt am Main. Why?

As product manager one is confronted with many different topics that are not components of studies in biology. During and after the traineeship one so to speak learns "on the job“ and from the colleagues to master these tasks. Here we also have a strong marketing community with good practical trainings and a regular exchange. I simply wanted to learn to continuously complete my tasks in a better way and to thereby also sometimes take new or different paths. As then an announcement came over the Intranet for the study course „Master of Pharma Business Administration“, I felt that to be an opportunity and in coordination with my superior I applied for a place.

In what way does Roche support the further training of their employees?

An extra-occupational Master with the combination of Pharma and Business content is of course a huge opportunity. This is not a matter of course. In addition I am supported by Roche covering the study fees  – Roche offers an environment in which further education is consistently promoted. The respective career paths are then very individual. Everyone is responsible for his or her own further development, but thereby they are always supported by Roche. Roche helps e.g. through the implementation of individual work models or with the financing.

How are you able to integrate the studies in your everyday working life?

The Masters course is laid out for two years. The lectures take place every two weeks from Friday to Saturday in Frankfurt am Main. There are of course occasionally also moments in which simply a lot comes together. The study course does however have a great side-effect of learning to set priorities better. This especially helps when apart from the usual work I still have to write a paper or need to prepare for an exam. My main focus however still remains on my tasks as product manager and the responsibility for my product.

Does the study course also sometimes make the work easier?

The MPBA is a study program specially conceived for the pharmaceutical industry that was planned and implemented together with experts from the sector. The content is very specifically directed towards the pharmaceutical area. In everyday working life I am repeatedly able to set new impulses and bring other perspectives into the team.

You are currently in the 2nd semester, what is your interim conclusion?

The comprehensive view over the sector is superb. One gains a high degree of orientation. I gain increasing insight what the industry and what Roche specific topics and procedures are. The exchange with the fellow students, the "Friday Talks“ with sector experts and topics that I didn't formerly know much about such as accounting enrich these weekends very much. I am convinced that this study course will promote my growth. Already now I feel it to be a large personal enrichment. And I find the fact that Roche invests in my development to be very positive and a sign of appreciation for me as a person.

Interested in marketing at the company Roche Pharma AG in Grenzach? Find out more.

Tags: Career Blog, Germany