Employee story

Discovering a passion for sales and healthcare - Meet Jonathan

#RocheCareers #SalesSupport #Analyst
Published: 2023.09.06.
My name is Jonathan Barrera, I am 40 years old and working as a Sales Support Analyst at Roche DIA Chile. The past 16 years of my life have been a fantastic ride through Roche’s amazing career growth opportunities and a great support for my sport-driven life.

Looking back at my past experiences with the company, I remember when I was once playing soccer with a couple of co-workers. One of them  stressed that I was actually very fast at running and could potentially start participating in races. Back then I was only 23 years old and the word “sport” meant only “soccer” to me. I never imagined I could be practicing something else or even excelling at it. This colleague of mine went even further: he enrolled me in a race without my consent and asked me to train together since he had also signed up for it. And that’s how I met this fulfilling sport of athleticism. Over the years I have improved so much that now I enjoy being among the best in each discipline that I am involved in in my country Chile.
I eventually started looking at participating in international races. The training became more intense and I needed to adjust my working hours in order to be able to train at the right pace and timing. I am forever grateful to Roche and my leadership team for always encouraging me to keep doing my passion and allowing me to move my schedules in my department, which was logistics at the time. I have always had support of all kinds to accomplish my dreams and that is also why my work-life balance has become such a key factor in growing within Roche. A few years ago, I set out to finish the six largest marathons in the world each in less than 2 hours and 45 minutes, and now that I work in another department where I can plan better in terms of schedules, I feel even more confident to accomplish this goal!
Until now, I’ve already completed two of them: Berlin and Boston, both in 2 hours and 41 minutes. This year I’m going to New York in November. For any marathon, I always prepare a strong 21K before being ready for the competition. However, this year was different. One day I was training in my town back in Santiago when a young man approached me and asked me if I would be willing to help a 42-year-old visually impaired man who needed a guide to run a marathon.


" I have always had support of all kinds to accomplish my dreams and that is also why my work-life balance has become such a key factor in growing within Roche."

​​​​​​​Jonathan Barrera

Sales Support Analyst
I felt speechless. I was suddenly meant to fulfill a purpose and decided to seize the unique opportunity to help someone by doing what I love. I canceled my original training plans and dedicated all my time to planning this training for both of us. It was not an easy choice to make, since I had to drop my usual pace and give up on meeting my usual goals in terms of performance, but I knew it was going to be worth it.
We trained repetitions on track and long stretches on the street 4–5 days per week. I learned how to be his eyes, to warn when a difference comes, when we come across a stoplight, among other things. Every minute and kilometer in his company I spent with a string in my hand to guide him. That’s how the day of the marathon arrived, more than 20,000 people waiting for them to give the 3-2-1 at the starting point and going out to run.  Sometimes we had to stop to be able to continue. We could not leave and I was not there for that to happen, so I encouraged him and we finished it!
We did it in 3 hours and 30 minutes and with the joy of duty fulfilled. This race was teamwork as we do at OneRoche. A marathon is a physical, mental, and team test that you never actually do alone. The race itself gives you a lot of time to reflect and analyze your daily actions, like improving the bad and keeping the good, and in each workout you find yourself.

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