Employee story

From Trainee to Operational Excellence Business Partner

A Personal Growth & Continuous Improvement Journey in Roche

#staycurious #healthcare #UnlockYourPotential #ThePlaceToWork #Lean #Digital
Published: 2023.07.26.
I am Angeline, an Operational Excellence (OE) professional with the Pharma Technical Operations Digital & OE organization. I have been with Roche for 16 years, worked in three production sites spanning three continents, and have held various roles within Quality, Manufacturing and OE. These experiences helped shape the person I am and this is my story.
After graduating in Singapore with a Bachelor of Biological Science, I decided to pursue a career with direct impact on patients - unlike most of my peers who went either into academic research or teaching. However, with no working experience, it was almost impossible to enter the pharmaceutical industry. My luck changed when Genentech built its first biotechnology production plant in Singapore in 2007 and I was hired as one of the first batches of fresh graduates.

Soon after, I started my internship training in South San Francisco - the birthplace of biotechnology and Fortune’s “100 best companies to work.” For a first job, this was an amazing, fun experience: people worked hard, but also played hard together. I was trained as a quality specialist, performing environment quality walk downs, reviewing batch records and experienced the SAP rollout. Little did I know, what I learnt in this year would help shape my career path ahead. 

​​​​​​​Following that, I applied to be a manufacturing operator, and some of my work involved the manual lifting of pre-weigh kits and climbing up ladders to populate filters. The stint helped me appreciate the manufacturing colleagues who made it possible for patients to get their treatments on time and in good quality, and sparked my passion for continuous improvement. 

"Lean is not just about streamlining processes; it’s about empowering and nurturing people to unlock their full potential, so that they can deliver value and impact to society."


Since then, I have made it my personal mission to improve processes with a strong focus on people. I got my “ah-ha” moment when I was exposed to Lean methodology in 2017. Lean is about people, not tools. Lean strives to ensure people add value to the end product, people enjoy being part of the process, and feel appreciated for the impact they are delivering. Achieving goals is just a by-product when everyone applies a continuous improvement mindset and the search for value creation. In my current job as an OE business partner, I hope to inspire more individuals to adopt Lean in their hearts. I am also highly motivated to use the business knowledge I have acquired over the years, to co-design practical solutions and embed innovative digital tools for our colleagues, so that they can be more efficient in their work, and can in turn, deliver more treatments to patients, faster.
My personal mission has guided me through impactful and innovative projects. It has also brought me across continents and cultures, and pushed me out of my comfort zone to facilitate workshops in German when I relocated to Penzberg in 2018.

At Roche, you can always find opportunities to learn and grow. There may be setbacks along the way, but I have learnt that perseverance, a curious and open mind and staying true to my personal mission helps me stay grounded, engaged and motivated.

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