Meet Ricardo, Finance Perspectives at Roche

Hi, my name is…

…Ricardo. I grew up in Caracas, Venezuela, and right after finishing high school in Venezuela I moved to Marburg, Germany, to study economics. After finishing my bachelor’s degree I went to business school at ESCP Europe in Paris, Madrid and London. Before joining Roche, I gained experience in several consultancies in Germany. In January 2017, I joined Roche’s Finance Perspectives rotation programme.

Joining this programme is the single best career decision I have made in my life. I started working as a consolidation analyst for our Diagnostics Division in Switzerland. Afterwards I moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where I worked as a Finance Controller and was the finance lead for a regional business case. My third rotation was in South San Francisco, where I was a Finance Business Partner for our Pharma Technical Development department. In my fourth assignment, I was an auditor for APAC and Middle East based in Singapore; this experience brought me to countries I never thought I would go to, such as Vietnam, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia. Finally, I moved back to Switzerland, where I did my final rotation in our Pharma Center of Financial Insights. What a journey!

My typical day at work during the programme was...

…very diverse due to the structure of the programme. At the beginning of the year I was working in management reporting (consolidation) at the Diagnostics headquarters in Rotkreuz, Switzerland, analysing financial data submitted by all affiliates worldwide and making our accuracy-checking processes more robust. Additionally, I was involved in a great project to understand the impact of foreign exchange rate fluctuations on our business. When I was working in controlling at Roche Argentina in Buenos Aires, I partnered with other parts of the business to help build an accurate picture of our past, present and future financial health compared to our forecasts. Furthermore, I was involved in a supply chain project building a business case to decide where to make investments. When I was based in Singapore, I invested my energy in connecting the dots between our commercial operations, our strategy, and our compliance guidelines. Bottom line is: in Finance Perspectives, there is no such thing as a “typical day”. We need to adapt quickly to new countries, new situations, and new teams. And it’s amazing.

The location I was working at is…

…for example, Buenos Aires. I lived in the neighbourhood of Palermo. The office was located outside of the city centre but Roche provided a bus that drove me there every day. In Buenos Aires, they offered a gym and a free delicious lunch. During my first rotation, I lived in Rotkreuz near the train station. I was very grateful since I could walk to work but could also travel easily to Lucerne, Zurich, and even Italy! Our Roche sites are very diverse, but they all offer fantastic opportunities to be our best selves.

My work helps Roche to…

…make strategic decisions based on a solid understanding of our financial past and present, and with an outlook on the future. Financials are an important component to decide where and how to invest our time, energy, and money to ensure we can keep saving lives now and in the future. For me, in my first assignment, this meant supporting the consolidation of our worldwide accounts for management purposes and, in my second assignment, doing monthly reports and developing a business case to decide where to invest.

Roche as an employer is…

…wonderful! I feel Roche is a very humane organisation that genuinely cares about me as a human being. I sensed that from the very first time I got in touch with Roche at the assessment centre for the Finance Perspectives programme, and continue to feel it now. Although every team, department and country is different, I believe genuine interest in people is a common theme across Roche.

For the Finance Perspectives programme, we’re looking for someone/people who…

…are in the early stages of their career (1‑5 years of work experience) with a global mindset, team spirit and leadership potential. Personally, I believe sharing Roche’s values, remaining humble, and being able to adapt quickly to diverse environments are the most important elements (while excellent academic records and international experience should be a given for this special programme).

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

During my time at business school in Madrid, I led a team organising a conference and design thinking workshop for a couple of weeks with no budget, no connections and regular classes at the same time—and I was the only one of the team speaking Spanish. We managed to recruit volunteers, find sponsors and partners, fill the entire auditorium, and deliver a great experience for all. I’m very proud of the work we achieved as a team!

What's the best advice you ever received in your career, and whom did you get it from?

Always remain humble. This advice given by my aunt reminds me you can always learn from anyone and any situation.

Interested in the Finance Perspectives Programme? Click here for more information.

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