S2BN-Waterloo hosted an industry-oriented networking night focused on one of the largest innovation-focused pharma companies, Hoffman-La Roche.
Hoffman la Roche is a Swiss multinational healthcare company that specializes in Pharmaceuticals and Diagnostics. It is a company that understands the importance of innovation, and focuses many resources into Research and Development. The 3 speakers discussed their roles in this large firm and spoke about their career paths to get to this point.
"Always look ahead, and towards the potential."
Elaine Tai is a Pharmacy Resident working in Medical Affairs. She is a recent graduate from the University of Waterloo Pharmacy School who was initially interested in Community and Hospital Pharmacy careers. She has since realized her passion in Industry and working in an environment that stimulated innovation and new ideas. Elaine recommends future Pharmacy students explore different options outside of Community and Hospital, with the goal of enhancing patient care by improving the system.
Kristen Stypa is a Pharmacy Resident working in Product Development and Strategy. She is a recent graduate from the University of Waterloo Pharmacy School. Kristen has had an interest in Pharmaceutical Industry which stemmed from her previous experiences in industry. She believes her role allows her to focus on a different version of patient care that is unattainable in community where, for example, not having enough time to complete a full medication reconciliation can act as a barrier to optimal patient care. Her advice to students would be to understand the importance of networking and the relevance of going to conferences. Her role goes beyond Canadian borders as she works with colleagues all over the world.
Roger Tam, RPh, JD, is the Vice President of Legal. He graduated from the Leslie Dan Pharmacy School at the University of Toronto, then immediately enrolled in law at the University of Western. Ultimately, his position allows him to focus his work on improving the system, all for the benefit of the patient. He finds that the complexity of the system can limit patient care, and as a Pharmacist and Lawyer, he tries to break down those barriers. His advice to students is to always look ahead and towards the potential. Instead of focusing on the now, he wanted attendees to reflect on what Pharmacy was 10 years ago, and how much it has advanced during that time.
Pharmacy is an evolving career, especially with new technology and artificial intelligence entering the marketplace. Attendees left with the following thought: What Pharmacy looks like today, is not what it will be at the start of their careers. Thank you to Hoffman-La Roche for coming to talk with us and providing their invaluable insights into pharmaceutical industry.