An Interview with HBA Suisse Romande Member, Mieke Spitaels

Mieke Spitaels
head of operations for medical devices, supply chain and procurement
Merck KGaA

Who are you? Let us know about you…
I am Mieke Spitaels, a 37-year-old who has lived in Switzerland since 2008 - with a stop in the USA in the middle. I have been in supply chain and procurement my whole career and joined the healthcare business in 2012 when I started to work for Merck KGaA as head of operations for medical devices. It was a big change, versus the fast-moving consumer goods world that I was used to, but I enjoy the complexity of the regulatory landscape and rigorous way of managing the business. 
 
Why have you joined the HBA?
I joined the HBA because of the numerous interesting conversations, presentations and dialogues that are offered. The content offered covers various topics and different styles of events - from book reviews to diversity and inclusion to career advice. The networking possibilities that HBA events offer is another great advantage. It is a great opportunity to spend more time with the amazing women I get to work with.
 
What is the main value for an HBA member according to you?
The networking and topics that are offered. It allows everyone to keep an open mind and stimulates us to remain curious along the way. I have also seen the positive effects of the HBA Mentoring Program on people in my environment. The membership leaves you free to choose which topics interest you and you can apply/use them as you see fit.
 
Have you seen any changes in your career or professional network since you have joined the HBA? 
The HBA Mentoring Program can truly bring out the best in people and having a mentor outside of the company you work for automatically makes it necessary to take distance from how things are within in company or team. Being able to put things in perspective and see the bigger picture is an absolute must when having professional aspirations. The HBA brings that breath of fresh air that you need for that.