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At Pauwels Consulting, we are continually looking for motivated consultants who are in a position to bring our clients’ projects to a successful conclusion. As a result, we interview lots of candidates and regularly take on interesting new colleagues.
In our series ‘People of Pauwels Consulting’, our colleagues introduce themselves and talk about their projects and experiences. Today, we are going to get acquainted with Jinne Adisoejoso, Project Engineer at Pauwels Consulting.
Jinne, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Jinne: My pleasure! My name is Jinne Adisoejoso and I am thirty-two years old. I am currently working as a Project Engineer at a large pharmaceutical company.
What do you do in your free time?
Jinne: In my free time, I enjoy photography, walking and cycling. Moreover, my favourite destination for travelling is Asia. I have visited almost all countries in Southeast Asia. Come to think of it, I would recommend the not too often sought after destinations, such as Myanmar or Borneo. I still try to explore new destinations, if possible, several times a year.
What studies did you complete and where did you graduate?
Jinne: I completed my masters in chemistry at the KU Leuven, followed by my PhD. Next, I completed a two-year postdoctorate in Hong Kong after which I returned to Leuven for a three-year postdoctorate.
Impressive study career! Why did you choose these studies?
Jinne: My PhD and postdoctorates are related to nanotechnology. This is why I was given the opportunity to implement innovative research whilst using state-of-the-art equipment. You just know you are working on applications for the future.
It was not pure chemistry neither, more a partnership between physics, chemistry and engineering, whereby information from a vast array of sources had to be combined to arrive at a solution. This is what made it unmistakably interesting.
At first glance, these subsequent studies have no overlap with my current position in the pharmaceutical industry, but the problem-solving competence, the project-based approach and the skills being taught are now most certainly an added value.
How did you get in touch with Pauwels Consulting and what was your first impression?
Jinne: Following my academic career, it was not easy to make a switch to the pharmaceutical industry. Most of my applications remained unanswered. I guess my long academic history was a showstopper for most companies.
Until I got in touch with Pauwels Consulting via its website. Pauwels Consulting was convinced of my potential and has done all within its power to assist me and to introduce me to companies. At the start, this was not a fast track, but this did not hinder Pauwels Consulting to coach me well. The colleagues persevered and communicated in a very open and correct manner, which was much appreciated by me.
Thanks to their persistence, I finally found a project at a large pharmaceutical player where I can offer a truly added value. I would like to use this opportunity to once again thank Pauwels Consulting for its efforts and flexibility.
“When you start a new project at Pauwels Consulting, support and feedback are never lacking.”
That is good to hear, Jinne! Is your first impression by now confirmed?
Jinne: Absolutely. When you start a new project at Pauwels Consulting, support and feedback are never lacking. The engagement and the communication skills I noted during our first contact are most certainly confirmed.
Could you tell us more about your current projects in the pharmaceutical industry?
Jinne: As I said, I am currently working as a Project Engineer at a pharmaceutical company. My task is to introduce medicines to the market which have a long history of clinical developments.
First, we develop or ‘validate’ an optimally controlled and robust production process in due consultation with the production division. This process runs from the arrival of the medicines as a bulk solution until they are packed and ready for selling.
Based on this validation, we create a considerable dossier. This includes a full description of the medicine: from the development in the laboratories at the R&D division up to the actual production process at the production site.
Next, the dossier is forwarded to the ‘Food and Drug Administration’, the agency of the federal government of the United States which checks the quality of the medicines.
What happens when the dossier is submitted to the FDA?
Jinne: After submitting the dossier, several FDA auditors will arrive on site to perform a strict audit. During this audit, the complete site is checked, we provide answers to critical questions and we present the developed production process.
If all runs well, we will eventually receive the approval to produce and sell the medicine.
What is the objective of your current projects?
Jinne: At present time, we try to bring three biological medicines on the market. These three projects are all in a different phase.
Our final objective for all three products is of course to obtain the approval of the FDA. We therefore prepare ourselves well for the visit of the FDA and meticulously elaborate the answers on potential questions.
What are your responsibilities during such projects?
Jinne: I prepare the dossiers for the FDA and coordinate and plan the validation activities.
Furthermore, I am also the contact person during audits and preparations and I regularly meet with the R&D division of the company.
Finally, I also coordinate the various divisions of the company based on our projects. It is crucial that all parties involved are in agreement with each other.
What are the timelines of the project?
Jinne: As soon as the R&D division delivers a new product, we start with the development of the production process and the dossier. In the end, it generally involves about two to three years until we are finally given an FDA approval.
This means it involves long-term projects with just one single specific deadline: submitting the dossier to the FDA. Such projects therefore require a lot of self-discipline, since we need to divide the dossier into smaller sections and propose timelines to the teams ourselves.
What happens with the medicines/projects after your dossier is approved?
Jinne: After the dossier is approved, the medicines are taken in routine production. Our coordinating task is no longer required, but we continue to monitor the optimal functioning of the production process and do all we can to optimise it in due course.
Even if problems arise or contamination occurs, it is our task to solve it. However, for the three ongoing projects, that stage is still in the future.
What is challenging about this type of projects?
Jinne: The most challenging is that I must try to guide the medicine or project through the complete site.
In fact, you play a transversal role for all divisions and, as such, you need to consult with everybody, such as with the production and QA divisions, the audit facilitators, the engineering and supply chain divisions, etc.
As such, you will quickly grasp how the various divisions within the company contribute. It is often necessary for all divisions to be aligned in order for your project to complete the cycle. This requires quite some negotiating.
Have you learned interesting things up to now?
Jinne: Most definitely. The project approach in the industry differs significantly from that in the academic world. This offers many learning opportunities, mainly with regard to a different approach to issues/problems.
Can you give one or several examples of the difference in approach or thought?
Jinne: During your PhD or postdoctorate you are mainly confronted with yourself: you make the planning/strategy yourself and you also implement it yourself. When working in a team, working together is actually a rather strained process, since each and every one is mainly working on his own project. The output is also limited to publishing academic papers.
In the industry, you really see that the complete site wishes to follow the same trajectory and that everyone is willing to realise the mutual objectives together.
“The most challenging is that I must try to guide the medicine or project through the complete site.”
Which general tips would you like to give colleagues who work on comparable projects?
Jinne: Start building a sound network as soon as possible, internally as well as externally, and make sure to maintain your network. Accuracy and good communication are key for this.
What would you like to do once this project is completed?
Jinne: Honestly? This is not on my mind yet. However, I realise that first I want to acquire more relevant professional experience within the industry before I want to work on other projects. After all, for a person with an academic background, it requires quite some adjustments.
What are your ambitions for the future?
Jinne: I want to learn new things each day. Furthermore, a project abroad appears to be interesting as well, also because it involves many learning moments.
Is there any other wisdom you wish to share or perhaps an inspiring citation?
Jinne: Most definitely:
“Life is for the daredevils.”
Twice, I took a leap into the dark myself. Prior to my postdoctorate in Hong Kong, I had only visited Asia on a rare occasion. To suddenly leave all behind to live and work in Hong Kong did take courage. Looking back, it was one of the best decisions I ever made.
The same applies to my transition from academic work to the industry. I had been in my comfort zone for nine years, had the required expertise and was the contact person for a variety of problems. The transition to the industry meant I had to start from scratch in a domain in which I had no experience whatsoever. This transition proved to be a good one as well.
Well spoken, Jinne. Thank you for the interview and here’s wishing you success with your projects!
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