I like to do yoga. It helps me stretch after a day sitting at the desk. I also do a lot of walking. I volunteer as a foster parent for a number of dog rescues. I’m fostering a dog right now. This encourages me to walk and take breaks from my home office. To relax, I like to take it easy on the couch and watch a good movie or documentary.
I was interested in science when I was young. At university, I took a degree in biopharmaceutical science. Part of the course was co-op education, where I got firsthand experience in the pharma industry, doing research in drug discovery. After that, I decided to do a PhD in Chemistry. I researched organometallics and catalysis. These are two elements used in general synthesis and drug discovery.
I continued in this area after my PhD. I completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at a catalysis research institute in Germany. I was able to live abroad while getting valuable expertise in the field.
Then I decided to move away from hands-on research. I began working for a chemistry journal. I was able to use all my chemistry knowledge to make decisions on the quality of scientific articles. This experience also helped me improve my editing skills. All of this experience combined prepared me for my current role at Roche.
If you are interested in working in pharma, there are several different ways to get into the field. Not all of these paths need a scientific education. My STEM training and advanced degree are not required, but they are useful to my role and to the organization. My experience also allows me to move to other jobs inside the company.
I was born/grew up in: Ottawa, Ontario
I now live in: Toronto, Ontario
I completed my training/education at: I have a BSc (Hons) in Biopharmaceutical Science from University of Ottawa, 2009; PhD in Chemistry from Dalhousie University, 2013; Postdoctoral Fellow at the Liebniz Institute for Catalysis, University of Rostock, Germany.
I enjoy challenging work that makes a difference both inside and outside the company. This is the case with my work at Roche. The environment can be fast-paced with high workloads and tight deadlines. This is an exciting challenge I need to balance. In the end, the patient receives the treatment they need. This gives my job meaning and it gives me motivation to continue my work.
I edit the scientific content of regulatory submissions. These are documents that my company sends to health authorities as part of the process to approve new drugs. I work on the parts of submissions about chemistry, manufacturing and controls. My background in chemistry and biochemistry helps me understand this information.
A big part of my daily work is project management. I coordinate teams and plan timelines. I solve conflicts and delays on a regular basis. I learned many of these skills through my time as a PhD student and postdoctoral fellow. I solved problems and coordinated teams all the time in those roles.
Now I work on many global teams. I’m able to work well with others in person and virtually. I do this by listening, maintaining strong communication, providing reasoning and constructive feedback.
English is the main language used at Roche, but my knowledge of German is useful with my many German-speaking colleagues. I was able to learn German through my time living and working in Germany.
- Foreign languages
- Liked helping people
- Was motivated by success
- Liked being given specific instructions
- Engaged in volunteer activities
- Felt great satisfaction in getting good grades
- Liked to design or build things