Challenges that lead to development and growth
When Caroline Heuman, Area Manager in Stockholm, is asked what inspires and engages her, she doesn’t need much time to think. “When the consultants develop and grow by being challenged in an assignment – that is what I am passionate about.” Read Caroline’s story on how professional development is an important component in the structuring of a new department at Semcon in Stockholm.
We are currently structuring a new department at Semcon Stockholm within our project and quality offering. We are already very strong in those areas, particularly in the life science sector, where our pharmaceutical and medtech customers have great confidence in us. Now I want to bring many of our insights and experiences from this field into sectors where our presence is currently not as strong. In the public sector, for example, we have consultants on assignment at hospitals and in public organisations. But I know we can contribute much more there! We also want to increase our presence in traditional industry, both because these are exciting assignments for our consultants and because our services are in demand there.
And what do industrial companies say about getting pharmaceutical consultants? I think that experience in the life science sector is considered valuable even for other customers. The tightly regulated environments, extensive quality requirements, and solid documentation processes foster extremely meticulous and quality-conscious project and quality consultants.
And what do the life science consultants say about working in other industries? Well, it’s funny, because everyone I can think of who has switched sectors thinks it’s been really exciting. The initial reactions to the proposal haven’t always been overwhelmingly positive, but they still end in an “OK, I’ll try it out”. And then just six months later, the validation engineer, or whatever, has grown enormously in her role. So the opportunity to switch sectors is a super-important part of professional development and something that I hope we will be able to offer our consultants even more now with the launch of this new department.
A development journey can be very different for different people. Some are generalists and want the chance to test their wings in many different roles, while others are specialists and want to develop within the same area. But we all want – or at least need – to be challenged. It’s nice to be on safe ground, but we grow so much in a new environment. Of course our consultants should be comfortable, but that’s possible a bit outside your comfort zone as well. Knowing that you have all of Semcon’s collective expertise at your back gives a great sense of security to both the customer and the consultant. Relevant training and certification are also important complements to developing in assignments – they show in black and white that I know this.
The senior consultants have a slightly different view on professional development. They are instead challenged by mentoring their more junior colleagues. That is why we often structure our deliveries around one expert and one junior consultant backing them up – a real win-win arrangement in which both the customer and the consultants are very satisfied. We also have a skills network at Semcon Stockholm in which the network leader, a consultant, works with the members to develop a programme for the year and what they want to develop in. The consultants thus independently steer their own development, and we leaders are there in the background to offer support and to make sure the network has the right conditions to succeed.
Title: Area Manager at Semcon Stockholm
Education: MSc in Chemical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology
Worked at Semcon since: September 2009
I have most fun at work when I…: see a consultant grow in a challenging role!