Employee story

My journey at Roche - Meet Ákos

#culture #innovation #relocation #BusinessStrategyandFinance
Published: 2022.08.23.
It’s hard to believe that it has already been seven years. I joined Roche back in 2014, while still finishing up my  university studies. In fact, I met the company at our annual university career fair while looking for an internship.

When I started, my first proper, adult job, I was shocked by the people-centric mindset. My line manager genuinely cared about my well-being and my colleagues made sure I always found the time to focus on my studies, while also giving me plenty of opportunities to grow and develop my skills. For instance, I got nominated to participate in a two-week Lean Six Sigma training course, had a chance to present my process improvement ideas to the senior management, and shortly after I got a chance to visit the Italian Roche affiliate, the one I’d been supporting for six months then.

It was around my first anniversary when I received an offer to return to the Italian affiliate but for 10 months this time, joining their local finance team as part of an international assignment. I did not think twice about accepting the offer, and in a few months, I was already living in Milan where I ended up spending more than two years. It was a huge change in all aspects of my life, arriving in a city where I didn’t know anyone and barely spoke the language, but I got all the support to quickly adapt to this new situation, while I also stayed in touch with my colleagues back home.

Besides my Italian line manager, I am particularly grateful for the support and coaching I received from the director of my former Budapest department. With his help, I already knew what I wanted to do next by the time I returned to Budapest in 2018. I joined a team called Transformation Office as a Senior Business Transformation Expert, focusing on improving and automating our business processes.

"Having happened so early in my career, these experiences pushed me way outside of my comfort zone, but I quickly learned that I actually like being pushed there."


In 2020, my former team became part of Continuous Improvement, a global network focusing on automating repetitive tasks, analyzing data to gain insights and better understand root causes behind bottlenecks and other issues, and applying Lean Six Sigma methodology, to get the most out of our business processes. I started working with teammates from around the world, and even if it took some getting used to, our new, agile setup enabled us to bring our collaboration to the next level, not to mention making meaningful friendships with colleagues in other countries, or even continents. A year later I applied and got appointed as Regional Portfolio Manager, a role that came with all sorts of interesting new challenges, such as overseeing all of our projects in the region.

All of this took place in parallel with the pandemic, and while being stuck at home took a toll on all of us, I am glad to have been working for Roche in this period. Not only have I had job security and all the support I needed during these turbulent, extraordinary times, but it also felt great contributing to the success of a company fighting on the frontiers with its cutting-edge COVID-19 diagnostics. Roche was also among the first companies to adapt to the new normal after the pandemic. Since then, we have been encouraged to return to the office and meet in person, but also kept the flexibility of working from home up to four days per week. 

I feel like the whole organization kept investing in me during the course of these past seven years, and lately, I’ve been feeling like it’s time to start giving back. I spend an increasing amount of time coaching and mentoring junior colleagues. I also took initiative in organizing volunteering activities, such as painting deprived elementary schools with colleagues as a team-building activity, or collecting donations for refugees from the war in Ukraine, to help our broader community. All of these activities have been made possible by leaders and colleagues who have been giving me all the trust and support to do the right thing.

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