What new dads at MSD in Singapore say they love about the new parental benefits
December 14, 2022
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MSD in Singapore extends the company’s paid paternal leave to 12 weeks for the birth of each new-born child, allowing more male employees (including adoptive fathers) to spend more time with their new-born child and families.
Karl John Oberas, Senior Software Engineer, and a new joiner to MSD, is a first-time parent who shared the pressure that parents feel in returning to work quickly. It was a challenging time for Karl as he started a new career with MSD at the same time when their first baby was due but was thankful for the support from MSD colleagues and leaders. Karl was also able to utilize the optional insurance coverage add-on for dependents, including his child, which helped alleviate some of the financial burdens on parents.
“When I started working with MSD, I really appreciated the option for flexible work arrangements. When there was no necessity for me to physically be in office, I would work remotely and watch over our baby. We would take turns changing diapers, preparing meals, and doing household chores around our work schedule,” said Karl John Oberas.
To continue our efforts to be a family friendly employer, another initiative launched by MSD in Singapore this year, was sending a baby gift hamper to new-born parents to celebrate the joyous occasion with employees!
Zhe Xi Ooi, who is part of our MSD Manufacturing Division in Singapore since 2014 and a first-time dad, was delighted when he found out about the Company’s 12-week paternity leave policy and decided to utilize it to spend more time with his new-born and support his wife.
Zhe Xi shared that “being a new parent hasn’t been easy, but the enhanced paternity leave has really helped me spend more time with family. I was able to be my wife’s confinement “man-ny” and be present completely while she recovered. To all new and prospective parents, cherish and find joy in every moment!”
MSD is ‘Made for Families’
Rodrigo Belmonte, our Singapore Animal Health Leader recently became a father and was also thrilled to learn of the parental benefits and shared that as a father and a business leader, companies that offer parental benefits for both mothers and father, can differentiate themselves in this competitive global talent market.
Numerous studies have revealed the benefits of paid parental leave. Some research says it may improve maternal mental health and make child medical check-ups more likely – which could lead to healthier kids. Paternity leave in particular, helps fathers to be more involved in child-care and other related tasks which in-turn supports new mothers in mental and physical well-being.
“As part of creating an inclusive culture, it is critical that all companies relook the support they provide to new parents, both mums and dads. This will go a long way to create a culture where each one of us can bring our authentic self to work,” he said.
ASEAN youth leaders learn to solve real-world healthcare challenges with MSD
December 8, 2022
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ASEAN Youth Leaders from Singapore Polytechnic, National University Management of Cambodia, Muhammadiyah University of Makassar, Politeknik Negeri Ujung Pandang, King Mongkut’s University of Technology North Bangkok experienced a two-week special learning journey curated by the Experience Design team, Human Health’s External Affairs, Policy & Communication team, and the Asia Pacific Regional Office’s Policy Team, as part of the One MSD efforts to nurture the next generation of youth leaders to solve real-world healthcare challenges.
Molding the leaders of tomorrow
MSD was the anchor industry partner to an ASEAN youth leadership exchange called the Temasek Foundation Specialist Community Action Leadership Exchange (TF-SCALE), organized by Singapore Polytechnic and funded by Temasek Foundation. The TF SCALE is a four-week leadership exchange program for students from polytechnics, technical and vocational education as well as training colleges within the ASEAN region.
The first two weeks were hosted by Singapore while the respective ASEAN countries (Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand) will play host for the other two weeks. This program aims to provide a unique cross-cultural learning opportunity to some 120 student-leaders aged between 17 and 25 years old. Also, through this program participants are given exposure to regional economic and community issues, and they are invited to be part of various projects to apply their practical, technological, and research skills in the community’s social innovation projects.
This industry partnership is made possible through ONE MSD Team effort that is made up of members from the MSD Human Health, IT hub, and the Asia Pacific Regional Office. The MSD Human Health initiated this partnership and was the owner of the industry problem statement. IT Hub’s Experience Design Team was instrumental in integrating Singapore Polytechnic TF SCALE program team and MSD’s Eagle Framework into Singapore Polytechnic’s existing design thinking to help with the industry problem statement. IT hub’s partnership team supported the facilitation of the special learning journey in the MYP Centre. Together as ONE MSD, more than 20 colleagues across the three divisions, including leaders such as Julie Olszewski, Singapore IT hub Executive Director, and Pang Lai-Li, Managing Director, were involved in hosting the students at MYP Centre, giving them a better understanding of MSD as a company dedicated to patients and sharing career advice in the biopharmaceutical industry.
Solving real-world problems using design thinking
Through this meaningful collaboration and partnership, the youth were put to test as they were asked to tackle real-world healthcare issues in a group assignment. The session started with an introduction to MSD, its vision and purpose, and its ongoing mission, as this was the first time these participants heard about the company. A key highlight in this segment was the full-day workshop that was led by Pranav Joshi, Experience Design Strategy Lead. This session aimed to guide the participants to use a design thinking journey that enables influential approaches to increase awareness of preventable diseases and vaccines. This approach had to be targeted to the vulnerable groups in Singapore and participants also had to address potential barriers that may deter vaccination access to these vulnerable groups. The session inspired the teams to create an impact on their communities and societies using design thinking journeys and real-life stories. The youth also got to experience play in this program. They underwent a hands-on exercise to test out a preventive health card game, which was an outcome of the design thinking journey they went through.
The final day was memorable for all participants including the ONE MSD team as everyone got to see the fruits of their labor. All participants had the opportunity to share their outcomes. It was an amazing showcase of concepts and solutions to create awareness of preventable diseases and vaccines among vulnerable groups in Singapore. The session was also graced by Joyce Tan, Community Health Team from the Singapore Cancer Society who was very impressed by the passion demonstrated by these changemakers through their presentations. The groups also pushed their boundaries despite cultural differences to tap into each other’s strengths and creativity with the aim to showcase their respective prototypes that best work within the community and society. They used cardboard to mock up their phone applications, YouTube campaigns, carnival games, in-bus advertisements, and more.
Learning journey to MYP Centre
The learning journey at MYP Centre was another enriching experience gained by the students. IT Hub’s Partnership Team designed a special amazing race for them to explore MSD offices across the different floors of MYP Centre, as they tried to solve puzzles and clues that lead to a better understanding of the company. Special thanks to Pranav – UX / IT Hub, Khoo Yivonn – Medical Affairs / GMSA, Tabitha Ang – Communications / HH, Eileen Goh – Vaccines Customer Value Manager / HH, Winnie Ng – Vaccines Product Manager / HH, Shanisca Yee – Tender Manager cum Pricing Lead / HH, Owen Tan – Market Access & Policy Manager / HH, Ling Jia Ying – Oncology Product Manager to make this amazing race a success. The students also got the opportunity to meet in person and chat with the company’s senior leaders and community partners such as RSVP Singapore and Singapore Cancer Society and gain deeper insights into the needs of the identified vulnerable group to solve the problem statement.
What the participants had to say
“I originally thought that as a pharmaceutical company, I expected everyone to be in lab coats, but it turns out that there are so many different functions that go behind the scenes of a pharmaceutical product. One of which was interesting to me was the User Experience where the team showed us how to empathize with the users and how to observe them while they are using an interface.” Shaik Umar Farook, Singapore Polytechnic
“MSD offered so much more than we could ever imagine from an industry partner. We are truly grateful for MSD’s passion to provide such a wonderful learning opportunity to our youths. The desire to engage and create meaningful exposure to the next generation in the industry is truly felt by our team and the students. We can really see the extra effort that MSD’s team across divisions has put in to ensure a meaningful experience and the support shown by the senior leaders whom we met. We value this great partnership to bring such real and relevant learning to our students. We look forward to working with the regional team to continue the 2nd leg of this partnership as the students travel out to the ASEAN countries in 2023.” Wee Eng Soon, Chief Program Coordinator from Singapore Polytechnic International
“I was really encouraged by our colleagues for dedicating their time to share their valuable experiences with the youths, spending close to 4 hours across many sessions to meet all 120 students in small groups. It was my first time listening to many of them sharing about what drives them in what they do in MSD. I am equally inspired by the students who became fanboys and girls with many of our colleagues. It strengthens my belief in our company’s mission and so proud to be part of the one MSD team that consists of many amazing individuals that share the same passion to save and improve lives for our patients.” Cindy Chng, Associate Director, Market Access
Weaving our purpose into the next generation
MSD places great importance on engaging and inspiring youths as our investment into the future. It is critical to help the leaders of tomorrow understand what the biopharmaceutical industry is about, giving them information on the expertise within the industry through interactive activities and sharing our approach to solving complex real-life pharmaceutical challenges. Therefore, imparting our knowledge and experience to youths is one of our key priorities – demonstrating value to our stakeholders and extending access to solutions that address unmet medical needs. As one MSD, we continue to explore more similar partnerships and opportunities in the future. MSD believes in giving today’s youths the impetus to make a difference in the community.
Breaking new ground in Singapore
New facilities and job opportunities represent our dedication to the region and its people
5 October 2022
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With nearly 30 years in Singapore, we continue to build on our promise to expand operations throughout the nation.
As part of a commitment we made in 2020 to invest up to $500 million in Singapore over five years, we recently opened a new secondary packaging facility for vaccines and biologics and broke ground on an inhaler production facility – set to begin operations in 2026. These facilities represent a critical part of our global supply network, helping reach patients and customers across the Asia Pacific region.
Singapore Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong joined our chief executive officer and president, Rob Davis, executive vice president and chief financial officer, Caroline Litchfield, executive vice president and general counsel, Jennifer Zachary, and other company leaders at the opening.
“At our company, we’re proud to use the power of leading-edge science to help save and improve lives around the world,” Davis said. “Singapore’s growing position as a regional hub for the biopharmaceutical industry and high-skilled manufacturing provides an ideal environment to further our purpose. We’re helping to play a critical role in building Singapore’s resilience to future health challenges and serving the health care needs of Southeast Asia and the broader Asia region.”
Our current workforce on the island consists of over 1,700 people. We aim to hire an additional 100 colleagues, many in positions requiring advanced manufacturing and digital skills, to support the new facilities and multi-year investment plan.
“Along with developing a highly skilled workforce, we continue to advance Singapore’s growing position as a regional biopharmaceutical hub and supporting its progressive agenda in building technologically advanced facilities,” said Fernando Otero, associate vice president for our company’s manufacturing division in Singapore.
Our company’s hub in Singapore brings together many of our business divisions, including manufacturing, research & development (R&D), Human Health, Animal Health, IT and our Asia Pacific regional headquarters.
“The launch of our new facilities highlights the value that biopharmaceutical innovation brings to Singapore, contributing to the health and well-being of both the nation and the region,” said David Peacock, president of our company in Asia Pacific. “Locating key facilities for innovative medicines and vaccines in Singapore means that our company can bring these medical innovations to patients and consumers in Asia Pacific as quickly as possible.”