Employee story

Comfort zones and personal struggles - Meet Leaw

#RocheCareers #RocheServicesandSolutions #WeAreRoche
Published: 2023.09.21.
“Hello, may I speak to Yenlin, I am a recruiter from XXX company, here I have an opportunity for you, would you like to understand more?” were the words that led me on a fulfilling journey of self-discovery and improvement.

Having just graduated with a degree in finance and economics in 2015, there was a feeling of misguided expectations and naivete in the banking sector. I felt that it was time for a change, but little did I know that one phone call would open a pathway of self-development in the dynamic and fast-paced pharmaceutical industry.

I agreed to attend the interview via Google Meet. With my limited knowledge of the industry at the time, I was ever grateful for a warm and  professional interview that gave me a solid understanding of what to expect. It was a time of excitement about the new possibilities that lay
before me as I accepted the offer which marked the start of my chapter at Roche.

My first role at Roche was that of a Project Management Analyst. Being a fresh graduate, I was like a deer in the headlights. Clueless as to what I was doing. I remember stepping into Roche’s office in awe and full of nerves, and I am thankful that I met my then colleagues who were kind to ensure I was well taken care of.

“Are you ready?”, muttered my then project manager boss, as I straightened my shoulders and prepared myself for what was essentially foreign to me as a fresh graduate. 

“I think so”, I replied meekly hoping to sound confident but I’m sure the shakiness in my voice gave it away evidently.

Fast forward 3 years, and I can confidently say my time at Roche has defined who I am today. Not including the tasks and responsibilities that I have picked up during my time as a Project Management Analyst, I was also presented with opportunities to develop other aspects of myself as a professional. It was a pleasant surprise knowing that I was part of a team that didn’t just put emphasis on the development of my time in Roche but also on my personal achievements outside of Roche, a definite step up as I was always known as the shy and timid one in the team.

I chose to face one of my bigger flaws, FEAR. This decision to face what I feared most at the time led me to be a part of the Toastmasters initiative and host the year-end party. I am eternally grateful to Roche for providing a platform that supports such initiatives. You see, being a person who is afraid of change and would otherwise prefer to stay within my comfort zone, I realised early on that the fear of uncertainty was holding me back from reaching my true potential. The grips of fear will often dissipate as we decide to brave the unknown. All it takes is that first step and the rest is history.


"It was a pleasant surprise knowing that I was part of a team that didn’t
just put emphasis on the development of my time in Roche but also on my personal
achievements outside of Roche."

​​​​​​​Leaw Yenlin

Employee Lifecycle Management Specialist
Change is uncomfortable a lot would say, and it is those who revel in the uncertainty that are able to rise to the occasion when the time calls for it. As my third year in Project Management started to come to a pass. I realised that I had grown too comfortable, and I knew that it was time for a change. I took the initiative to speak to other teams around the company to understand the full scope of Roche’s operations and, subsequently, I took a leap to join the People Support Solutions team as an Employee Lifecycle Junior Specialist.

What was the experience of changing from Finance to Human Resources? Guys, let me repeat what I’ve said at the start of this article, change is never easy but oftentimes necessary to achieve greater heights. Being new to the operations team I had to start from ground zero and had to do most of it virtually in a timely manner as the pandemic hit and there was a lockdown soon after joining the team.

My initial impressions of learning the ins and outs of operations were akin to learning a new language. I made a lot of mistakes initially, often to the detriment of the others in the team. Like with all things, after sufficient time passed, I managed to learn the tricks of the trade and eventually grew to become an asset to my team.

A quote that resonates strongly with me goes along the lines of: “If you can’t beat the fear, do it scared.”

Today, I can proudly say I am not the timid and fearful person I once was, and I can’t help but be grateful to Roche for looking after different aspects of my development and providing me the leadership and guidance to face my fear of change once again. I hope my post implores both new and old employees to face their fears and remember: when facing uncertainty, you may stand to lose something, but you also stand to gain so much more!

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