Günther, Analyst

“Not only about tablets: development and implementation of an internal control system (ICS) in the pharmaceutical industry”

For me, Günther, who studied in Kiel, it was such a great possibility to get the chance of accomplishing my IMP projects in an international pharmaceutical company. Here I had the opportunity to be at headquarters with top management, I learned a great deal and therefore attained, for myself and thus my experience, a higher learning curve.

One of my projects was the development and implementation of a company’s specified internal control system (ICS). An ICS is generally defined as an internal risk-management instrument for ensuring business objectives and it describes all continuous organizational methods and controls. The goal of the ICS is to steer, at an early stage, the attention of all those involved to risks. Furthermore, its goal is to develop preventive measures to avoid risks in daily business life. Therefore, the ICS is not only relevant for corporate governance but it is also a strategic instrument for the management.

First, with the support of the management, I developed a project plan: what will be done when and by whom. Then the master document was written. It describes the scope of the ICS and key procedures of risk identification and controls. Because one main target is to evaluate top risks at group level, brain-storming sessions are conducted with the top management. These top risks are then broken down to individual levels for local entities in workshops. Of course there are further risks in the local entities – they are also identified and control measures are being defined with responsible persons (so called risk and control owners). The risks, control measures and responsible persons are documented in an Excel template along with the on-going monitoring and reporting processes. These procedures are based on annual internal controls before the auditors verify the efficiency and function of the ICS. Of course, the system-gaps which are identified from the audits are implemented with control measures in the ICS.

I am very new to the pharmaceutical business, but I can already say that it is a very fascinating industry and every day I learn more. Of course at the beginning not everything works smoothly, but for me that is one main process in life: to learn, work and grow with challenges.

I have also immense luck with my coaches: both are experienced top managers and they support me where they can. My ZEBS coach helps me in everyday business and personal challenges. He sensitizes me for future situations that could suddenly occur and gives me some instruments to classify these situations and to interact correctly. He always motivates me in mental and emotional situations and gives me suggestions for everyday life, e.g. how to manage to do things in a different way or to exceed the expectations of the company’s top management. Of course constructive criticism is also a part of the coaching and it helps one’s personality to be further improved and developed.

And it is this unique proposition of ZEBS which made me decide to study at their institution: an individualization of management learning takes place, totally oriented to my personal needs and thus helps me to develop myself in an exciting way. I feel very happy to have this chance and I am proud to share my experience with other people, now and also in the future.