Meet Jessica, HR Perspectives

During my assignments I learned about:

To kick off my HR Perspectives journey, I joined the Global HR for Finance team based in Basel, Switzerland. I have worked on developing an initiative that aims to enable and foster an accelerated development for diverse talents across the Finance organization. The second project took me all the way to Kuala Lumpur to work with local HR colleagues of the newly set up Shared Service Center on employee engagement and onboarding topics. It was fascinating to experience a “start-up setting” within an established organization such as Roche and how much it differs in terms of pace, priorities, and challenges.

My second assignment took me all the way to San Francisco where I worked as an HR Business Partner at Genentech, a member of the Roche Group. I was partnering with groups of our Pharma Technical Development function which has been a fantastic opportunity to learn more about our Pharma operations and strengthen my business acumen. In my role, I supported business leaders and the wider organization by providing guidance on any people-related topics, thus contributing to making Roche a great place for employees to do their best work.

Most recently, I have completed my final assignment as a Talent Management Specialist working with the Diagnostics LATAM (Latin America) team and colleagues in the affiliates across the sub-region. My focus was on initiatives to strengthen our talent pipeline and enable impact-driven talent development. I was able to gain a deeper understanding of an emerging region and the opportunities and challenges present there, while also learning how to navigate and operate effectively in a cultural context very distinct from the one I grew up in.


From a personal perspective my biggest learning so far is:

It’s hard to believe I have only been with Roche for 2+ years when I reflect on what I have learnt so far. This program offered me a tremendous exposure to various HR roles, regions, parts of our business, and teams which has been fantastic and truly accelerated my development. I have been surrounded by colleagues having diverse backgrounds and experiences, but what unites them is their willingness to collaborate.

This mindset across all organizational levels has contributed significantly to my growth in the program, and now beyond: I have felt supported when facing challenges, but also encouraged to ask questions, share my “fresh” perspective, and challenge current assumptions. I felt truly inspired by the time and energy Senior Leaders commit to supporting my development: Their guidance is invaluable and they keep challenging my own thinking which I appreciate.
At Roche, you encounter a new situation every single day, so you will never stop learning – which is the beauty of it after all. However, the right attitude is needed to thrive in such an environment, thus you need to be curious and eager to learn and take responsibility for your own development. If you take on this approach, development opportunities at Roche are sheer endless.

My challenges are:

I have been challenged on different levels throughout the program, but finding ways to overcome these challenges is the best way to grow. I found it at times difficult to balance my day job accountabilities with investing time to build my network, all while settling in a new country. Within my projects, I am continuously being challenged to navigate through the complexity of a matrixed organization. Managing the dynamics of global vs. local expectations and requirements might be demanding, yet an essential learning experience for succeeding in a global corporate set-up.​​​​​​​

It has also not been an easy task to start over three times within two years. It takes time to settle in one place, learn the dynamics of your new environment, and build personal relationships in- and outside of work. Once you feel comfortable in one place, it is already time to move on and say goodbye to colleagues and friends you have become close to.

HR Perspectives is indeed an accelerated development program and being aware of the challenges helped me to focus my energies on how to effectively deal with them. Taking time to pause and reflect on my experiences also shows me how far I have come and how much I have learned since I joined Roche in 2016 - a tremendous motivation to keep going!

Post Program Role:

I was keen on finding a post program opportunity in which I can build on and leverage the experiences I gained across three regions and multiple business areas, while also being challenged day in and out to accelerate my continuous development. Luckily, I was able to find such an environment by taking on the role as a Global HR Business Partner for our Pharma Global Product Strategy organization, based in Basel.

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