When Roche Young Professionals (“RYP”) visited United Way for their ELEVATE Business Resource Group of the Year interview, they brought the energy! We sat down for a chat with dynamic young leaders, Josh Hatheway, Lisa Glaven, Molly McDonnell and Kelsey Hobbs to chat about their success with RYP, which has exponentially grown its membership base in the past three years. Starting with a mere twenty employees, this local business resource group – focused on early-in-career professionals – has grown to a whopping 441 members today! Their steady rise speaks volumes to the level of programming and networking opportunities provided to members.
Q: What’s do you think has been the reason for RYP’s meteoric success – both in membership numbers and programming – the past few years?
A: [Josh] We have amazing talent. It’s that simple. RYP is made up of driven, high-achieving individuals – both on the leadership team and among the membership. We’ve set a very clear strategy and our group has executed on it, creating high quality events. And, honestly, the passion is contagious. Talk to anyone involved with RYP and you’ll see they’ve caught our vision.
One thing we hear repeatedly from our membership, is it’s difficult to crack into your first leadership role. RYP has provided me the opportunity to gain leadership experience without the formality of a people leadership role. I’ve also had the opportunity to expand my network outside of Roche because of RYP. Through the Indy Chamber, Indy Hub and United Way, I’ve been able to engage with other young professionals in the area in efforts to promote Indianapolis’ growth to become a best-in-class destination for young talent.” – Nick Decker, Quality Assurance Lead, RYP Co-Lead
Q: What attracted you to Roche?
A: [Lisa] I’m originally from Chicago. I came to Indianapolis to attend Butler University. In my Freshman year I attended a career fair. Amazingly, an individual I met there from Roche kept in touch with me all four years of college. Roche attracted me to Indy, and all that Indy has to offer kept me here.
Q: Molly, give me three words to describe RYP?
A: [Molly] Collaborative. Supportive. Engaging.
Q: Why has RYP resonated so deeply with you?
A: [Lisa] I’ve always had a passion for working with others. And, I hope to be a people-leader myself some day. Seeing other early-in-career peers flourish as a result of RYP has been so rewarding. RYP has helped me develop more skills to be a people-leader myself one day soon.
Q: Tell us a little more about some of your signature programs.
A: [Molly] For the past two years RYP has coordinated Roche Children’s Walk for the Indianapolis site. Last year we organized a campus-wide scavenger hunt. Nearly 300 employees formed teams, scoured the Roche Indy campus and raised more than $14,000 for the cause. Attendees learned more about Roche and the impact Children’s Walk proceeds make on the local community and abroad. Funds raised support Camp Tataya Mato, an affiliate of community partner, Jameson Camp, a safe place for children impacted by HIV/AIDS. The company match goes to Roche’s global efforts in Ethiopia, the Philippines, Nepal, Malawi and other developing countries.
[Josh] In July we held an event to help more employees bridge the generational gap at Roche. We are an organization with a very tenured workforce, and the company has focused on hiring and retaining early-in-career talent in recent years. RYP invited Lindsay Boccardo, a Millennial expert, to present at the event and discuss the similarities and differences between generations, including the new-to-the-workforce, Gen Zs. Boccardo helped us understand why colleagues from varying generations might have different viewpoints and work preferences. More than 100 employees attended the event and provided overwhelmingly positive feedback.
[Kelsey] And, we’re really proud of our long partnership with United Way of Central Indiana. One example is how committed dozens of employees regularly volunteer with ReadUP at a nearby Lawrence Township elementary school. With ReadUP, we read to students for 30 minutes every week, helping them get on track – and stay on track – with 3rd grade-level literacy. I’ve learned how important it is for children to read at this level, because when they can, they are more likely to succeed in school and in life.
Q: Your job description project is considered to be a great example of how a BRG can positively impact a corporation’s bottom line. Tell us a little bit about it.
A: [Josh] Yes! It has definitely had a concrete, tangible impact on the bottom line. Our RYP Leadership Team worked closely with HR stakeholders and various business units to review and identify positions that would be a good fit for recent college graduates. With approval from senior leaders and the governing body of Roche Indy, RYP changed over 60 external job descriptions to update the normal five to seven years of experience to be inclusive of internships, teaching assistantship positions and other professional experience. This effort helped increase the number of early-in-career applicants at Roche. This initiative also aided past Roche interns and Accelerated Development Program associates to find full-time positions within the company.
Q: What would it mean to RYP to with an ELEVATE award?
A: [Molly] It would be phenomenal. Truthfully, it’s amazing to be a finalist, but to win would affirm all the hard work that we’ve put in to get RYP where it is today. Winning would demonstrate to the organization – leadership and our peers – that what we’re doing is working, and making a difference.
[Josh] And, I think it’ll signify to the community that Roche is great for Indy. Roche is serious about top notch, early-in-career talent. So, come join us.