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From Team Member to Leader: How I Helped Shape The Penzberg Client Services Team

Maja Careers Blog, Penzberg, CS/Accessioning Manager

A Perfect Combination of Passions

With an academic background of biotechnology and bioengineering and a fire inside of me to help the world in my own way, it only seemed natural to find myself with Foundation Medicine. Starting out in Client Services and eventually branching out to Accessioning is somehow the perfect combination of my interests and my personal passions.

I started in March 2018 as the third team member in Client Services at our location in Penzberg, Germany, and from there, the enthusiasm in our day-to-day tasks has only risen . As our team expanded, I contributed to building the Client Services team and the processes that we use in that department today. In May 2019, I became the team lead with Client Services and Accessioning, before being promoted to the Manager position in July 2020. Through all these positions and gaining more responsibilities along the way, the key thing that keeps me excited about work each day is the passion to help patients that I see from all of my colleagues. That’s one of the best things about working at Foundation Medicine. We all have the same mission of transforming cancer care.

 

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Learning to Lead

Because I started out when the Penzberg site was extremely small, I got to be a large part of the construction of the culture and growth of the team. It’s been one of my favorite things. I take pride in being a person who really drives things forward and takes initiative on some major projects. One of those projects was the launch of a new customer relationship management (CRM) system early last year. I coordinated and documented many trainings with new technologies and new employees.

Leadership has been something I’ve had to embrace. I constantly aim to be the leader that you expect in a manager. I’ve had to learn how to communicate to mentors, mentees, and colleagues alike and what nuances are involved depending on who you’re communicating with. The team you lead should feel 100% supported and I always encourage my team members to feel comfortable being curious and asking questions. Everyone has to trust each other, because we’re doing very important and impactful things that can only be achieved when working together cohesively and efficiently.

It was extremely helpful to look at Vera Grossmann, VP of International Operations and Managing Director of Foundation Medicine GmbH, and observe how she leads. I can ask her anything and the guidance and trust she instills in her employees is what drives us every day as we continue helping patients through our work. She is the definition of a fantastic leader, someone who treats you as an equal and wholeheartedly respects you. I can only hope to live up to the example that Vera has set when leading my own teams.

 

Continued Growth

One of the highlights of working at Foundation Medicine is how quickly things are changing. Everything is extremely fast-paced in this field and knowing that you won’t ever go into work and experience the same day twice is exciting. When you combine that dynamic of curiosity with a passion for our work of advancing precision medicine, you get a great general picture of Foundation Medicine. That is large part of the reason I love working here.  

Currently, I´m responsible for a project where we’re working together with Roche to transfer samples from the EMEA region which are currently handled by Cambridge over to Penzberg. Over the last few years, we’ve built a very strong collaboration and relationship with our Roche colleagues. On this project, I’m working primarily on the operational aspect. Almost every country in which Roche has a presence has their own business model, so there are lot of things that we need to consider, from legal topics to ordering, customer service, and reporting.

I’m so excited for everything that’s to come for Foundation Medicine GmbH. We hope to gain a bigger footprint on the international market to reach even more patients with the important work we do. It will undoubtedly come with challenges, but I’m eager about the future.

 

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