Media - Our stories

Explore our recent stories to see what drives us

23 March 2023

Exploring new territories through Job Shadowing – Join Maria's journey

Maria Stupar, Senior Global Safety Lead
Job shadowing is one of our opportunities for people development. It provides valuable on-the-job experiences to broaden existing competencies. Our Senior Global Safety Lead, Maria Stupar, has just completed her secondment to our Toxicology department, and is sharing her learnings.

At Grünenthal, we encourage our colleagues to take ownership of their development; professionally and personally. Our approach to learning generally builds on the 70-20-10 model, which states that the biggest part of learning - 70% - should happen on the job. One essential tool is job shadowing, a chance to explore new territory in a field somewhat related to one's current role. Maria, one of Grünenthal's Senior Global Safety Leads, swapped her role for a position in Toxicology to explore new ground.

Off to the early side of pharmaceutical development

Will a (future) medicine be safe? Normally, Toxicology and Drug Safety departments evaluate this question at different points in time. Whilst Drug Safety typically gets involved at the stage of preparations for Clinical Phase I trials – when investigational medicines are first tested in humans, our colleagues in Toxicology start evaluating safety at the first stages of project ideation. They evaluate the safety of the target itself and investigate the safety of potential candidate molecules using in-silico, in-vitro and in-vivo approaches. For 6 weeks, Maria swapped her Senior Global Safety Lead role for a position in Toxicology to explore the challenges on the early side of pharmaceutical development with Grünenthal’s Toxicology team.

"I was keen to learn about their guiding questions and how they design the experiments to answer them," says Maria Stupar. "Learning how the team comes up with a strategy to evaluate a large number of new molecules in order to narrow it down to a single candidate was incredibly interesting. Moreover, their scientific approach of dealing with inevitable uncertainties reiterated to me the importance of making pragmatic benefit-risk decisions at all stages of drug development – with the patient always being at the heart of our everything we do."

We have a challenge here - can you solve it?

And Maria wasn't only looking over her colleagues' shoulders. Job shadowing means hands-on work. Our Toxicology team onboarded Maria to projects and their specific challenges - and let her work out possible solutions on her own. "A learning-by-doing approach is most beneficial. All team members were available when I had questions – and happy to share their wealth of experience! But it was important for me to work things out myself, to ensure that my learnings are long-lasting. It also provided the opportunity to truly understand the challenges and opportunities the team faces on a day-to-day basis."

This form of job shadowing creates even more resilient networks across Grünenthal, which are incredibly valuable. "And, such secondments are mutual learning experiences that go around. I could share my expertise in Safety with the Toxicology team, and I will share my insights with the wider Drug Safety team moving forward. I’ve always believed that the safety of patients is best served by toxicologists and drug safety colleagues working as one – this was a great opportunity to strengthen this relationship."

“Diving into new areas is an exciting and enriching experience and benefits your established role.”

Maria Stupar,

Senior Global Safety Lead


What role would you like to get a taste of?

Do you also want to explore new territory? Take your development at Grünenthal into your own hands and start by applying for one of our open positions.

Learn more about Maria's responsibilities as Senior Global Safety Lead.

Share this story: