Infusing Different Disciplines, Hands-On Experiences into Development of Baxter’s Emerging Scientists
Every decision in the workplace is a business decision, and an employee with wide-ranging experience will be able to more quickly determine that true north in an organization and make the best decision possible to enhance our company, according to Doug Wilkerson, director of program management, renal, at Baxter. Doug works both with graduates and current participants in Baxter’s Technical Development Program – a two-year training initiative focused on developing entry-level professionals through hands-on experience, mentoring and technical training – and notes a broader-based background, like that of the rotational program, gives employees more confidence to go farther without input or oversight.
“It’s challenging to make impactful decisions when you only have a silo knowledge of the business,” Doug said. “The Technical Development Program allows employees to experience several aspects of Baxter, which not only makes them more adaptable in the workplace, but allows them to go farther without course correction by a manager and, in turn, make our business more efficient.”
Baxter’s Technical Development Program is focused on developing the next generation of passionate professionals, giving them the opportunity to experience different facets of Baxter’s research and development, manufacturing, and quality operations that each contribute to enhancing their scientific leadership proficiencies. In addition to their rotations, participants operate the Baxter Learning Lab in the Round Lake, Ill., facility to showcase and educate others on new Baxter products and therapies, as well as engage in a design challenge to solve clinical and technical problems.
One of the most important benefits to me from the Technical Development Program was the ability to come out of it with a diverse network in the company and have relationships to build upon when the program was completed. The group-based initiatives within the program allowed me to work with a variety of different perspectives that makes my work better for it today.
Nicole Mascheri, Project Manager
Project Manager Nicole Mascheri, who joined Baxter’s TDP in its inaugural class of 2009, now helps lead development of Baxter’s ShareSource platform – a two-way, cloud-based telehealth system that helps guide end-stage renal disease patients through their home peritoneal dialysis therapy.
“One of the most important benefits to me from the Technical Development Program was the ability to come out of it with a diverse network in the company and have relationships to build upon when the program was completed,” said Nicole. “The group-based initiatives within the program allowed me to work with a variety of different perspectives that makes my work better for it today.”
Sarah Mathiot, principal systems engineer at Baxter, was a part of the 2011 TDP class and now supports innovation in peritoneal dialysis (PD) devices. She notes the exposure to different areas not only helped define her career path, but also helped her maintain a level of flexibility to experience different areas of the business while still pursuing new advances in the industry.
“In order to serve our patients most effectively and fulfill our mission to enhance their lives through innovative treatment solutions, we have to prepare high potential talent from the start,” said Craig Spencer, manager of the Technical Development Program at Baxter. “Program graduates like Nicole and Sarah continue to provide immense value as our next generation of innovators and scientific leaders.”
Nicole and Sarah continue to give back to TDP by mentoring those currently going through the program, providing an enhanced level of understanding as they draw on their own experiences. The TDP maintains an alumni association, putting on boot camps and panel opportunities to help program graduates make the transition from their rotations into the greater Baxter community.
As the training and development of employees is a critical step in helping them realize their full potential and enhance their skills, Baxter also offers a Financial Development Program and Information Technology Development Program, among others, for aspiring professionals in their respective fields.