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Published: 2022.08.17. (last edited: 2022.08.17.)


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 Finance Perspectives Johanna Kuehl


My name is Johanna, I grew up in a small town located in Germany between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea and attended university in England, the Netherlands and the US. I started my career working for a Big 4 company in Accounting Advisory before joining Roche in January 2021.

The Finance Perspectives Programme has taken me on a journey across the globe, that started with a regional finance position in Switzerland and led me to the Middle East, Latin America and the UK, where I am currently completing a commercial assignment within Pharma Market Access. 

For my first rotation in the Pharmaceuticals Division I joined our affiliate in Dubai for six months. I hadn't ever thought about moving to that part of the world, but was intrigued by the ongoing projects there and decided to just go where life takes me. I was involved in setting up a model to calculate patient numbers and in reviewing our most recent transformation to assess if it actually helped us achieve one of our visions: better outcomes for more patients faster. For me this was the first time living in an environment that attaches so much importance to relationships. Because I came from a task-oriented working culture, it took me some time to find the most effective way of collaborating with my colleagues. 

From the moment I started on the programme I wanted to do an assignment in Latin America, and so I decided to join our Diagnostics affiliate in Mexico City for six months. What I truly enjoyed was being part of a squad along with colleagues from Sales, Marketing, Supply Chain and Professional Services. We shared responsibility for managing the operational work for a specific group of customers, but also for setting quarterly financial and non-financial goals and determining the strategies on how to achieve the goals in line with affiliate-wide objectives.

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Working in squads gives us a lot of freedom to self-manage our work but also to incorporate different perspectives into the decision-making process.

Johanna
Despite the challenges that working in an emerging market and the language barrier bring, the experience in Mexico has been very enriching, not least because of the great colleagues I have met along the way. 

I believe that the Finance Perspectives Programme has given me a very unique opportunity to grow not only on a professional level but also on a personal level. By navigating life in unfamiliar territory I have learnt a lot about myself and what kind of leader I want to be. And I have learnt a lot about Roche, and the environment that we operate in and I have built a network that spans across continents, divisions and functions.