We had all been looking forward to the tour of the Snow Beer factory during our Insight China on-site seminar in 2009. While in the northern Gansu province we were shown around the Lanzhou Snow Brewery. We were lead over a sort of bridge, a high pathway under the building’s roof, it was 35 degrees and we were all soaking wet in our business suits. There was no air-conditioning and so we were really beginning to look forward to having a taste of the cold “snow” beer, such a promising name! They then took us to a sort of bistro where at last we got a glass of beer. Imagine the disappointment when it turned out to be a glass of quite warm, well, lukewarm beer! It seems that around that area in China warm beer is much preferred. We could have cried outright, but had to laugh afterwards – it was a memorable moment.
Graduated Bsc IM in 2009
Now For many years I worked mostly as project and marketing manager for Cendres+Métaux, a medical device company. I was engaged for a development project of a medical device, a vascular access for patients with chronic kidney disease. The product idea was born between two clinic directors at the University Hospital in Berne. The kidney specialist had a problem and the Ear-Nose-Throat surgeon presented him with a solution – this is how they came up with a very innovative product idea: the first bone anchored vascular access for haemodialysis. To me it was a unique opportunity to enter a project like this at the earliest stage possible. It took five years of development before entering clinical trials. Now, two years into it we’re finally able to prepare the market launch.
This is now what I am doing and loving – the mother company is currently in the process of setting up a new enterprise, called Diavantis, and I am the product manager. This is challenging, diverse and exciting at the same time. It’s genuine start-up work. We’re building up our own brand, creating the company name, image and identity and also of course building the product brand, not only of this one device but also thinking ahead by innovating the next product generation. What I really like is that we’re in a small team of 7 people and together we’re creating something so meaningful and important, because if successfully launched the product could help to increase the quality of life for a great amount of people suffering from end-stage renal disease. I also get to do a great variety of tasks, such as product documentation, instructions for use, surgical guidelines etc… I compare it to childbirth – I’ve carried this baby, so to speak, for over 8 years. It’s a hell of a ride.
How did studying IM help? Certainly when I first started working, having all the business knowledge, knowing how to write a business plan, do marketing research, create a supply network – all of this was relevant for me. But what I valued most was that we’d already gained experience during our studies in dealing with international partners and different cultures.
After graduation Raïna went straight to Cendres+Metaux, in Biel. She started a MSc in Life Sciences over a year ago and is currently working on her thesis in the field of Urban Ecology. Raïna also still practises Tae Kwon Do – she was on the Swiss National Team until 2015 and was a frequent national champion. Now she’s back to practicing the sport in her club and enjoys teaching the younger generation. Get back in touch with Raïna on LinkedIn