Anja Fliessgarten joined the Corporate Public Affairs team in May this year. She is based at the Boehringer Ingelheim Global HQ in Ingelheim.
After studying political science in Bonn and Paris, and being awarded her master’s degree, Anja began a 2-year traineeship with German Statutory Health Insurance based in Hamburg. That two-year traineeship turned into a ten-year career, during which time she worked in several different departments on a wide range of health policy topics and gained a wealth of experience.
Going back to her roots
Originally from the Ingelheim area, in 2012 both Anja and her partner decided they wanted to move back.
“Growing up around here meant I’d heard of Boehringer Ingelheim, and of course I knew of the reputation of the company. While I was researching my options, I was on the website and saw the company accepted unsolicited job enquiries in the field of health policy and market access, so I sent my CV in.” Anja explains.
That was six years ago. Anja believes taking the initiative, by submitting her CV, made all the difference.
When Anja first joined Boehringer Ingelheim she worked in German Market Affairs as Manager Strategic Health Care Affairs for the German company. During which time, she already had close dealings with Corporate Public Affairs.
Taking a global view
In her new role, as Manager Global Public Policy, she takes a broad view; looking at various political issues that affect the company, as well as informing strategic advice and giving a perspective on political developments.
The Corporate Public Affairs team was established four years ago and is currently made up of a group of ten, based in Ingelheim, Berlin and Brussels.
The team provide the Boehringer Ingelheim perspective for meetings with politicians or trade associations and provide the company response to political statements or new laws. They also deal with a great many topics relating to the EU. To do this, they call upon the expertise of colleagues from different departments when additional information on issues such as market access, health technology assessment, tax or patents is needed.
In her new role, Anja wants to support teams across the world, helping to build public affairs expertise in different regions. Involvement differs from country to country. While it is considered a regular occurrence for a company such as Boehringer Ingelheim to interact with the Government in Europe or the US, it is not always the case elsewhere.
Walking the talk
When asked why she likes working at Boehringer Ingelheim, Anja admits the culture was a surprise to her. That a company located in such a regional location should be so diverse and have such an international reach was another surprise.
“Before I even sent my CV in I spent time reflecting on what I wanted to do and where I wanted to work. Every company says it is open-minded and engaged. With Boehringer Ingelheim it’s true, the company really lives its values.”