Janine Videva, Exploration Lead in Innovation Management, Roche
20 March 2023
To help current students and recent graduates navigate the world of work, several USI Alumni shared their career paths and career story. Here the story of Janine Videva, Exploration Lead in Innovation Management for Roche in Rotkreuz (CH). USI Degree: Master in Corporate Communication, 2019.
How did you start your career?
I started my career working in marketing and communications for tech startups for around 3 years. In the beginning, it was part-time work during my studies, then I continued full-time acquiring experience in business development, strategy, hiring, collaboration with agencies, etc. Working in startups is an incredible learning experience because you get to do a bit of everything, you're autonomous and therefore much faster in many aspects. Right before joining Roche, I experienced the public administration sector working on the launch of Lugano Living Lab - an open innovation ecosystem between the city administration and the innovative startups in the region. Today, L*3 is an example of how public administrations should support local innovations, I'm proud to have been part of it.
Why did you choose a career at Roche?
After experiencing startups, I liked the idea of getting the perspective of a structured corporation. My professional interests were also shifting beyond pure marketing and communication into design and innovation. I had the privilege to write my Master's thesis on the intersection of usability, UX, and communications with prof. Lorenzo Cantoni and this opened the door to my first job at Roche. In January 2020 I was hired to support communications and design operations in the global User Experience department in Roche in Rotkreuz.
What is your current role/duties?
Roche is great because it gives you the possibility to shift and experience different jobs, especially when you are fresh out of university and joining as an intern/ junior. I took advantage of this and changed three times in three years. I was searching for a job where I can contribute with my entrepreneurial mindset, my business and communication skills, and my design and innovation capabilities.
Today, I'm leading the initial stage of the innovation process for new digital healthcare solutions, called "exploration". I work with product teams to discover if it makes sense for us to go in a certain business direction. My practice is based on applying human-centric design tools and methods like user research, design thinking, lean startup, and service design.
In your opinion, what are the qualities necessary for a successful career in Roche?
Roche is a decentralized and agile organization. This means that each team and each organization on a global and affiliate level is encouraged to proactively drive and take ownership of their work. People who are entrepreneurial, know how to prioritize and keep the focus, are resilient and embrace change, and most importantly stay curious, are set for a good start at Roche.
What positive aspects and qualities meant most to you during the study programme you attended?
Three main things I experienced at USI contributed to my success today. The first is the width of the master program covering key business administration and management subjects like corporate strategy, accounting, and organizational behavior. At the time I was wondering what this has to do with my major in communications but today I'm grateful that I have the bases to understand and navigate the corporate world. The second one was the exchange semester abroad. I went to the Erasmus University in Rotterdam where I discovered user and customer experience and design thinking for business and eventually made a career out of it. The third is the flexibility of the professors to support the different interests of students and encourage cross-disciplinarity. Writing my thesis on UX and communication with the support of prof. Cantoni opened the doors to Roche for me.
What competences and/or skills acquired in your USI Study Program have been useful/are useful to your professional career?
The importance of close human relationships, closely collaborating with your peers, reaching out to your professors, seeing and exchanging with them on a daily basis. These same dynamics are at the heart of my corporate work where, in the end, it's all about people. Getting along and feeling comfortable in an international environment, getting to know different mental models and ways of working - all this is the trademark of USI.
What is your advice to USI students entering the job market?
To keep calm and be confident that she/ he is on the right way. To humbly work on finishing their studies, getting as much pre-work experience as possible, don't be afraid to reach out to people and companies to search for opportunities. To prepare a simple, nice, and trustworthy CV. To be mindful of their social media presence.