My name’s Melissa Saw and I’m currently a Global Digital Manager for Bayer Corporation based in Whippany, New Jersey, USA. My role consists of three major tasks. Firstly, leading and supporting the global partnership enterprise with external partners such as Google. Secondly, supporting the digital marketing leadership platform and thirdly, global project management within the Digital Development and Digital Excellence function. I’ve been at Bayer for 10 years and worked in 4 countries. Here’s my story:
My first stop at Bayer was in Malaysia – ‘carrying the bag’ as they call it, basically working in sales. I was responsible for government and private accounts in the field of hematology, neurology and cardiology throughout the country. The range of tasks was indeed challenging but at the same time very rewarding as I got to be on the forefront of the ‘battle field’ with both customers and competitors.
I later progressed into marketing and although it was daunting at the initial stages, my passion deepened over time when I gained responsibility for brand management, market/financial analysis, internal/external stakeholders management and training.
The highlight of my 3½ years in Malaysia was successfully launching a hemophilia product, winning the product tender and launching a patient assistance program for multiple sclerosis patients in the country. This was made possible by strong support and cross-functional collaboration across all functions within the pharmaceuticals division.
My career received further boost with a year-long posting to Australia under the SPEED (Significant Progress in Early Executive Development) program. Here I was exposed to the Australian reimbursement-based healthcare environment/industry and worked on all products along the various stages of product life-cycle management in the Specialty Medicine business unit.
I resided back in Australia for up to 5 years by taking on a marketing position of a new ophthalmology product which then went on to become the most successful blockbuster launch for Bayer in Australia. The chance to work in the local and global teams was truly phenomenal and unforgettable.
My career path at Bayer then took a different turn with the opportunity to be part of the digital transformation in the company. I joined the Digital Development team at the headquarters in Leverkusen and am now responsible for managing and implementing the Group-wide digital agenda that enhances efficiency and effectiveness by empowering transparency and understanding, enabling synergies across the life-science.
Both my career and personal experience have been largely enriched not just by the international exposure but also the comradeship formed with colleagues along the way.
My advice is to be flexible – don’t overthink the issue, but rather approach every opportunity with an open mind. After all, you never know what adventure lies ahead…So, to all of you out there: What are you waiting for?
This post is also available in: German