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A perfect fit for customer and culture

With her pharmaceutical background, Employeneur Aika Foppen is a perfect fit for MSD Nederland – most innovative pharmaceutical company in the Netherlands. As a project leader, Aika is responsible for the improvement of quality systems related to product release and product quality review.

Aika earned her Bachelor Degree in Pharmacy in Indonesia, but afterwards travelled to Wageningen to study Food Quality Management. She started working at TMC Life Science in October 2017, and soon began a project at MSD Nederland in Oss. ‘Each MSD company in the Netherlands produces different kinds of medicines and has its own expertise. The MSD location where I work focuses on the biotechnological production of starting materials for medicines. Our products are sensitive, so every decision must go through multiple departments. Sometimes we have to discuss issues with global teams. A systematic schedule, good communication and clear information are essential.’

The most significant issue Aika has worked on is to improve release processes and to implement ‘lean’. Aika explains: ‘Lean is a way of working to reduce unnecessary action that doesn’t add value to process, company or product. The main question is, how can we shorten the process while complying with regulations and without reducing the quality. Working in “lean” is my main task.’

‘We have a goal, make a schedule and stick to that schedule. That is why I feel at home in the Netherlands.'

One of the other tasks Aika fulfils is training people in new processes. ‘TMC treats me as a ‘valuable product’. Thanks to TMC, I can do training courses to improve my hard skills and especially my soft skills. How to maintain my relationship with my team and get them to fulfil tasks without feeling ordered about is something I have to work on. In my daily work, I am very focused on the target and I can be very direct in my approach to team members. Because I wanted to be more personal to the team, I tried a joke. They were all so surprised and didn’t understand my joke at all,’ Aika laughs.

Aika is very proud to contribute to the success of MSD Nederland. ‘My expertise and skills can help the company. It is very satisfying when our solution is implemented and proven successful. My current contract at MSD Nederland ends in December 2018, but they have extended it and offered me two other projects – they’re complex and involve global stakeholders and other external parties. I'm very excited about this new challenge.'

The Dutch business culture is a perfect fit for Aika: ‘We have a goal, make a schedule and stick to that schedule. That is why I feel at home in the Netherlands. In meetings ‘when?’ is an important question. It makes the goal achievable and that is satisfying for me. My accomplishment is the management’s accomplishment.’

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