Greetings from Switzerland

by Noë van Bergen, winner of the Egemin ie-net Award 2013

Grüezi mitenand !

The tour around Egemin’s international offices has begun. This week I’ve been working at Egemin AG. I was welcomed by Country Manager Hermann Stricker and have been very well hosted by a Dutch colleague Erik Hamann, who chose for a career in the magnificent Switzerland. Imagining that the sun would be shining in the morning and evening, I could see through the window of my guestroom the village along a big blue lake and, through the opposite window, the Pilatus mountain with its peak covered in snow already. However, the absence of any sunlight because of shortening days made this beautiful bedroom-panorama impossible to perceive. I’m glad that Erik took me around in Luzern one afternoon so that I could watch the surroundings and Swiss landscapes by daylight too, which I really enjoyed. Anyway, I didn’t come here for sightseeing purposes but to get acquainted with our Swiss Life Sciences division.

Together with seven other Egemin consultants, I have been working at an international biopharmaceutical company this week. Since my start at Egemin I attended several Life Sciences trainings about qualification, validation and compliance to the pharmaceutical industry regulations. There I learned that strict regulations and lots of paperwork are a necessity in order to guarantee patients safety. For an outsider like me however, it was quite difficult to grasp how this is translated into the day-to-day job of Egemin’s qualification and validation engineers. Although qualification and validation are not the most dynamical engineering disciplines, here I’ve seen them come alive. I experienced in the field how our consultants make sure that all equipment and processes are extensively tested and fully under control, so that our client is well prepared for the dreaded and much discussed inspections of the Food and Drug Administration.

Since my year of study in Munich, this trip was a nice opportunity to exercise my German again. Now I’m going to leave the Life Sciences domain behind me for a while. Next stop is the Egemin office in Maxéville, near Nancy. Read about my French experiences in two weeks in the next post.