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Interview: Marjorie Sombray

How and when did you join Zurich Instruments?

I joined Zurich Instruments in June 2017. I am French, and came to Switzerland 15 years ago to do an internship in a wood trade company as part of my bachelor’s program in International Business. Once I graduated this company offered me a job in the logistics department, where I worked for 5 years. I then moved to Zürich and spent 6 years as supply chain coordinator for a well-known manufacturer of chocolate. After all these years in very large companies, I realized that I wanted to change environment. In large-scale organizations the decision-making process can be slow and the company turnover quite sizable. I also secretly liked to organize fairs in my previous position, and wished I could find an occupation related to that. When I saw the job ad for Event and Logistics Administrator at Zurich Instruments, I thought that this was my chance!

Zurich Instruments gave me the opportunity to work on what I am passionate about. When I looked at the website and read the company’s values, I knew that I wanted to work for this company, even if I had no scientific background. It was the best choice ever.

What does your job look like, and what is the most important aspect of it?

I work in the Marketing and Communications (MarCom) team as Event Organizer: my main responsibility is to plan, organize and help promote about 80 external and internal events per year. My job is about making sure that we are well-represented at these events, and that their organization runs smoothly. I remember how our CMO once introduced me to a new colleague: he described the purpose of my job as determining the level of happiness of the people travelling to events. This is what motivates me every day : make sure that an event is well-prepared, such that my colleagues can present the company in its best light without being distracted by logistical issues.

I value the variety of tasks and the constant contact with all of my colleagues. The main challenge in my job is to respect all deadlines and to be able to handle unexpected situations. In the MarCom team, we have daily standup meetings to align, stay on top of deadlines and help each other out when needed: this team work spirit is really precious.

What is the most memorable Zurich Instruments moment that stayed with you?

There are so many memorable moments. If I had to name one, I would choose the responsiveness and adaptability of all teams in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. From one day to the next we started to work from home, organized successful webinars, participated in virtual conferences, put an audio-visual team in place. Even though we all miss our release parties and talking to each other in the kitchen, our internal communications were never disrupted.

This radical change in the type of events impacted the nature of my work significantly, as the organization of a physical conference is quite different from that of a virtual one. However, I embraced the steep learning curve and am very proud to look back at what we have achieved in the past months.

How do you spend your free time?

I enjoy spending my free time with my family, especially outdoors activities. We have a van and whenever possible we go hiking in the mountains, trying to combine this with a sleepover during the weekend. I always get good tips from my colleagues when it comes to Swiss mountains! Now that I work from home, I go running twice a week to keep a healthy and balanced lifestyle. As a family, we also love to spend time with wooden manual work given that my husband is a carpenter. We always have some little projects to work on with our two children.

Marjorie Sombray

Marjorie is Zurich Instruments' Event Organizer, acting as the main point of contact for sales team representatives who attend shows and conferences.

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