Traineeship Medical Functions at the company Roche Pharma AG

roche, careers, medical affairs, traineeship
I was surprised how quickly one can also gain a foothold in such a large company.
Mathias Bernhardt, Trainee Start Up Medical Functions Roche Pharma AG Grenzach

You studied molecular medicine and after your doctorate you initially started at a different company. What induced you to change your job again so soon after your career start?

I had already previously found the Trainee-Program fascinating. I found it a great perspective to work in different stations and to thereby see and learn a lot again. At the same time however as a trainee at Roche one already has a fixed contract and you don't need to worry that you end up without a job at the end of the trainee program. And in addition to this, as globally involved company Roche of course also offers good long-term perspectives.

What are these perspectives specifically?

The trainee program trains us for a position in the area Medical Affairs at the company Roche Pharma AG in Grenzach. The first job subsequent to the program will therefore most probably be in a department in this area, for example in Medical Management. On the basis of this a lateral development would then be conceivable, meaning a change from one department to a different one on the same level, or a vertical development, for example to team management. And in addition to this there is of course also the possibility of changing to the headquarters in Basel.

As trainee you change to a different department every three months. How do you nevertheless become involved?

That is different from station to station. In the department for clinical research it is more beneficial to take over partial tasks in various projects. Because in this way one gains a better insight into the individual phases of clinical studies. Usually we trainees are as strongly involved in the everyday business as is necessary for a good general overview, and additionally receive a project that goes beyond the everyday business.

A few months ago those responsible for the trainee program held a workshop to acquire our feedback and to ask us what could still be improved in the program. Thereby the idea cropped up of preparing a handbook for the job orientation of the trainees, in which the learning content from the individual departments is represented in a clearly laid out way - and I then implemented this. Although in itself this was only a small project, it brought me into contact with all departments across the company in which we trainees potentially rotate, and I will soon be able to introduce the finished product to the medical affairs management team.

What did you find the most surprising at Roche until now:

I was surprised how quickly one can also gain a foothold in such a large company. The fact that all Roche employees who are new in Grenzach and who do not live close by can stay at the so-called Boarding House during the first six months, certainly contributes towards this. We cook together in the kitchen in the evening, drink a glass of wine, watch football together and thereby very quickly come into contact with people who are all currently in the same situation. And these are not only young professionals – once we were also sitting together with someone from Senior Management.

In closing do you have a tip that you would like to share with other graduates on their journey?

Make use of the opportunity for making contacts in the company as early as possible – above all if you are studying a natural science. Only through this will you get an idea how a career in industry is different from an academic career, and find out what you enjoy doing.

Read more about opportunities in Medical Affairs in Germany

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Tags: Germany, Career Blog