​​​​​Meet Denise, Controlling Specialist for Indirect Procurement at Roche

Hi, my name is…

…Denise and I’m a proud graduate of the Roche apprenticeship training scheme as a commercial employee. During this 3-year apprenticeship in Basel, I worked in four different departments, business areas and positions. I profited from this wide scope by gaining experience as well as new skills in various fields.

As seven years of my childhood were spent in a small village in the Ecuadorian Andes, my heart never stopped missing this beautiful country and the incredibly gentle and cordial people. Thanks to Roche, I have been able to satisfy my wanderlust and spend my first year after the apprenticeship abroad. This opportunity has enabled me to extend my travel passion from just holidays to a long-term assignment working for Roche Ecuador.

My typical day at work is…

…not only about numbers and figures. I process purchase orders (POs) for diagnostic products according to the affiliates' forecast sales requirement. Prior to the arrival of POs, I generate the import data to Ecuador in SAP. I'm also always in contact with colleagues from different teams, and supporting them with the onboarding of new suppliers to the Roche Ecuador portfolio. The external vendors stay in touch with me, providing the needed legal documents and managing their pending invoices. As a team, we constantly work on updating our Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and improving internal collaboration with the sales, marketing and warehouse colleagues.

The location I’m working at is… office building shared with different companies in the central northern part of the metropolitan capital Quito with its population of 2.5 million. I usually walk through the city’s central park to the office. Roche Ecuador currently has around 200 mainly local employees, half working for Roche Pharma, the other half for Diagnostics. Ecuadorians usually take long lunch breaks in one of the many restaurants close by and place great value on socialising. I experienced a heartfelt welcome even from strangers, which made me feel comfortable and at home very soon. I live in a modern apartment in a beautiful district of the city with supermarket and restaurant options close by.

What have you experienced at Roche in Quito so far?

My first working day was also the day that Roland Diggelmann, CEO Roche Diagnostics, visited the affiliate, so there was a special programme after the Townhall. I had the chance to taste a variety of local dishes and enjoy folk dance performances. It couldn´t have been a better start.

All new employees who joined in the previous months participated in a new Onboarding Programme to get to know Roche and the local market. It was interesting to compare the Ecuadorian market to the familiar Swiss circumstances.

The way of working differs too. People spend less time in meetings but join their colleagues at their desks and work together. Many employees of Roche Quito have not only become efficient working teams but good friends - maybe because of the longer lunch breaks, the common after-work activities or the shared passion for the male and female Roche Quito Soccer Teams (whether you are a player or just a supportive fan).

Roche as an employer is…

…for sure a good choice! During my apprenticeship, I constantly felt supported to develop further, take advantage of all chances, bring in my own ideas even as a new young professional, push innovation, and focus on my career.

I profited from empowering leadership in all the different teams I worked with. For example, being in charge of my own projects and presentations, as well as being responsible for results obtained and decisions taken.

​​​​​​​Why did you apply for an apprenticeship at Roche?

I was looking for a large company in an international setting not only to use and improve my language skills, but also to work in a multicultural environment. Indeed, I enjoyed spending time with colleagues from all over the world.

Another benefit that pulled me towards Roche was the possibility to get a 12-month contract after the apprenticeship graduation. This opportunity is awarded to apprentices with very good performance in school and at work. Knowing I would be staying at Roche allowed me to focus completely on the final exams and not worry too much about applications and interviews.

I very much appreciated the opportunity offered by Roche to combine the commercial apprenticeship with completing the university entrance qualification at the same time.

What advice would you give to a school-leaver who’d like to apply at Roche?

Make sure you take advantage of all the orientation and information offerings you get to explore the different professions you could apply for. Visit the Information Event and talk to apprentices and graduates willing to share their experiences and impressions of Roche and their work. Don´t be intimidated by Roche being a giant international enterprise but rather be ready to learn about all the amazing chances waiting for you.

Why did you go for this option abroad after your apprenticeship?

Gaining international experience has been one of my goals since I started working at Roche and I could not miss the chance to work in such an extraordinary country as Ecuador. I am also glad to work in a finance department as I did in the last semester of my apprenticeship, and improve my skills not only in SAP software but the whole supply chain management.
Exploring the local way of living and working and coping with cultural differences was a new challenge I was just waiting for.

Interested in an apprenticeship at Roche? Click here.

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