Why you fit perfectly in the pharmaceuticals industry as business economist

Lisa Hartenstein (26) studied General Management with specialization in Marketing and Sales at the Private University of Applied Sciences in Göttingen (PFH). Through an online Newsletter her attention was drawn to the Campus-Event of Roche in Grenzach-Wyhlen for economic scientists interested in the pharmaceuticals industry. This day together with company representatives and the many good impressions convinced her to submit an application. She is Marketing-Trainee since April 2017 and tells us about her start, her work and what she especially likes about life in the three border triangle.

Far from steep hierarchies

A day right in the centre of the activities. Through the Campus-Event for economic scientists interested in the pharmaceuticals industry I had the opportunity to not only familiarize myself with the work but also to meet the employees on-site, and was thereby able to gain a good overall impression of the company. My reservations that the pharmaceuticals industry and the company Roche as traditional Swiss company may be less modern and rather hierarchically structured were proven to be totally unjustified on this day. I am still very enthusiastic about how open and at eye level the encounters are at Roche - at the Campus-Event, at the Assessment Center, as well as now in everyday working life. We address each other informally and my colleagues and leaders are really willing to give their complete support at all times.

A relaxed start at the Assessment Center, not possible? But it is!

This event convinced me – Roche fits for me! That is why I directly applied for the position as Trainee in Marketing. In the first step I was invited by Roche to a telephone interview, then an Assessment Center (AC) took place, where we were also able to meet management staff. What I especially liked was that on the day before the AC a guided tour through the campus was conducted by current trainees and where they can openly be asked questions. The day comes to a close with a relaxed evening meal together. I found this very agreeable as the open togetherness relieved much of the tension for us applicants and the motivation for the next day was strengthened. Directly subsequent to the AC one additionally receives constructive feedback. Normally Roche seeks two new trainees for every half year, who either start in April or October. After my AC four applicants were even able to be convincing and received an offer. Giving your best on this day is definitely worth-while.

First the job – looking for a place to live can wait.

In the first five and a half months new employees can live in a so-called boarding house with modern single room apartments. Through this I was quickly able to get myself established, make contacts and above all unhurriedly start looking for my own accommodation. Apart from this there is a start week that made the professional start easier for me, as we received an introduction into all systems and business areas. Therefore I was able to acquire a good overview over the diverse areas that I can expect. Because over the course of the three and a half year trainee program I will pass through a total of five business areas, of these two years in office service and one and a half in field staff. Through this I can collect valuable professional experience in two different marketing departments, in the area Medical Affairs and Market Access, before continuing with the field service rotation.

A view beyond the tip of ones economic science nose

In addition the Start Up - Trainee Program at Roche includes a one year in-service training course as pharmaceuticals representative in the field. One acquires the understanding in self-study using material that is made available online. The training program helped me to gain a better understanding of the medical content, with which we engage on a daily basis and thereby made my work easier. Especially this pharmaceutical understanding helps me as economic scientist to follow conversations and meetings better, to correctly use the specialist terms and to prepare myself faster in the topics. Inversely it is also helpful for the scientists to work with economists. I believe it is sometimes easier for economists to maintain an overall perspective and see the big picture. In the final instance I would say our cooperation is a win-win situation.

Simply switch off from time to time

I not only really enjoy the work - the leisure time is also given due attention here: The thing I like most about living in the three border triangle is that the environment is so diverse. Basel is directly around the corner, you have Switzerland with the beautiful nature to go skiing and hiking, or you can relax in Elsass while canoeing. Through the good infrastructure from here you can also quickly travel from A to B by train or plane. Through this I can create my perfect balance to the everyday work and can choose between big city feeling and outdoor program.

Interested in scientific topics?
I like to encourage economists that have interest in scientific topics to switch to the pharmaceuticals industry. Even though the orientation towards the medical content sometimes proved to be a challenge I was able to master all the tasks with the support of my great colleagues. During my Trainee Program at Roche I have strongly developed from the professional as well as the methodology perspective.
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