Pf speaks to Roche’s Pf Awards 2019 winners, Emma Reynolds who won the Secondary Care Specialist Pf Award 2019 and Julie Van Es who won the New Account Manager Pf Award 2019.
Congratulations on your Pf Awards wins. How did you feel when your names were called out?
Emma: I felt completely overwhelmed and surprised, winning the Pf Awards is such a big deal! I’m not sure it really sunk in on the night, as you get taken off for an interview straight away; I still have no idea what I actually said. The next day, I just felt complete pride.
“We help millions of people all over the world live longer and better lives every hour of every day.”
Julie: Yes, surprised and shocked and genuinely proud. Proud that I had managed to convince external experts that I might be doing a decent job. It was just lovely seeing the reaction on our colleagues’ faces as our names were announced.
What made you enter the Pf Awards 2019? How did Roche support you?
Julie: I’d had the privilege of being involved in launching Ocrevus® (ocrelizumab) for Multiple Sclerosis (MS), so there were plenty of personal and team achievements over the last six to seven months to celebrate in the submission. My manager, Jayne, was incredibly supportive, making sure I stayed focused on telling a compelling story.
Emma: I also worked on Ocrevus and had been involved in some really exciting patient work. My manager, Tim, was equally supportive, as was our colleague in HR, Alison, who made sure we were following Pf’s timelines and staying on top of all the paperwork. It was a real team effort.
What does it mean to you to win a Pf Award?
Emma: Now that it has sunk in, I feel proud of the achievements which were recognised among my peers, especially those outside Roche. It feels like an important endorsement of the work we are doing day-to-day, which is not always that easy. It’s a confirmation that you are good at your job!
Julie: I completely agree with Emma. This is my 13th year at Roche, a long time to be in one company. Being able to stop and step outside, momentarily, and get external recognition for things which are recognised as examples of best practice, it’s very reassuring.
Emma, you won the Secondary Care Specialist Pf Award, tell me about your work and what you think made you stand out.
Emma: I work in the Neuroscience area, specialising in MS, and we are achieving some wonderful things in this therapeutic area. I’ve worked as a Secondary Care Specialist (in Roche, Hospital Sales Specialist (HSS)) for 22 years and always in Roche, so I’m really not sure why I stood out. I know I tried to just be myself at the Assessment Day, spoke very passionately about my work and answered the assessors’ questions honestly. The whole team conveyed a high level of professionalism and confidence.
Julie, you won the New Account Manager Pf Award, why do think you won and what do you hope this will do for your career?
Julie: This is a question I would like to ask the assessors, because you always wonder what they take away from these events. Like Emma, I tried to give a genuine representation of myself and was really open and honest about all the achievements and challenges I faced (warts and all).
I really embraced the assessors’ questions which drove some really interesting conversations. I felt this gave me the opportunity to show them what I can really do.
What made you choose and stay in the pharmaceutical industry?
Emma: I remember being very excited at a talent fair at university about the prospect of helping patients access medicines. I came to Roche initially as a GP-representative and then became an HSS. I’ve stayed so long because of Roche’s great portfolio. We don’t do ‘me-too’s, and our medicines help you feel you are doing something very special for patients every day.
Julie: I came out of art college and I wasn’t a good enough illustrator! I quickly realised the pharmaceutical industry was the place to be and reflecting on thirteen years with Roche, I’ve had the chance to work on some of Roche’s biggest medicines. Now I’m working in Neuroscience which is exciting all over again; the opportunities just keep coming at Roche.
Where would you like your career to go and will winning a Pf Award help?
Julie: Winning has given me a bit more confidence; it definitely gives you a boost to get external recognition. My immediate priority is to develop in-role. I still have a huge amount to learn and my team challenges me every day. Change is happening all the time; I’m staying open-minded about future roles which might emerge and on where I can further develop my skills.
Emma: I think I am where I want to be right now. As Julie said, I think the Pf Awards has given me more confidence that what we are doing is really working. The Pf Awards has given me extra drive to continue to do as much as we can in Neuroscience to help patients.
Would you encourage others to enter the Pf Awards?
Emma: I would encourage other people to go for it! Even if you don’t win, at the end of the day it was good fun along the way; just have a go! It was so nice to go there as a team, showcase our achievements and then celebrate at the Pf Awards Dinner; that was very much what that night was about.
Julie: I totally agree! Both of us would just like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved through the whole process. All of us who entered were like a real little team and there have been so many colleagues who have played a part in this all the way along; the camaraderie at the Assessment Day among everyone from Roche was just brilliant.
At Roche it’s more than just a job
At Roche we believe life is incredibly precious and every day we strive to solve some of the greatest and most complex health challenges facing humanity. We discover, develop and manufacture innovative solutions which detect and treat disease where there is the greatest medical need. Our core diagnostics and biotechnology businesses work collaboratively to deliver personalised healthcare to meet the specific needs of individual patients. We help millions of people all over the world to live longer and better lives every hour of every day.
None of this would be possible without our extraordinary employees! Just as we believe that personalised approaches achieve the best outcomes for patients, we offer inspirational opportunities that are as unique as our employees. We have created an inclusive, respectful work environment where people can be authentic and truly invested in their work. Our business environment is constantly changing so we give our people the support and flexibility they need to think big and push boundaries.
At Roche, it is more than just a job. It’s a responsibility. A big one. If you really know yourself and are dedicated to making a real impact on the world, come join us on our journey to become the most admired employer in the UK.
For more information on careers in Roche, go to www.roche.co.uk/en/careers
Emma and Julie were Pf Award Winners 2019. To watch their winners’ interviews and find out about Pf Awards 2020 go to www.pfawards.co.uk