“It’s important to collaborate with all colleagues of your organization and at all levels. This leads to strong relationships which is fundamental to career growth and development.”
Teva Canada is proud to showcase the amazing talent of our employees through our new ‘Meet the expert’ series. Through their ongoing commitment, Teva employees are touching the lives of almost 200 million patients daily. We are pleased to share stories from the many subject-matter experts from across our organization.
Meet the [Expert]: Suzanne Brand, Senior Finance Director at Teva Canada
In her role as Canada’s Senior Finance Director for Teva, Suzanne Brand is responsible for developing, implementing and managing key strategies to help the company achieve its business and financial objectives. It’s a broad role that calls for a skilled leader with a strong vision and the ability to guide others through fast-paced changes. Here, Suzanne shares her thoughts on building relationships, the importance of feedback and the things that inspire her most.
My career journey with Teva Canada started 10 years ago, and to tell you the truth it feels like yesterday. I’ve had the benefit of growing within Teva Canada and getting this role leading the finance team here.
For my undergrad, I did a double major in biology and business. I knew I wasn’t going to work in a lab, so I landed on the business side of things. I started my journey to what would have been at the time a Chartered Accountant, at a small firm, and went on to what was one of the Big 6 at the time where I stayed for a few years and became an Audit Assistant Manager. I had pharmaceutical company clients in my previous role, which were super interesting to me, and that led back to my biology background and the connection to the science world.
I went from being a CA in a practice to another pharmaceutical company, where I spent about 10 years. When that company was bought, I didn’t want to relocate to Montreal. I’d driven by the large white Teva Canada building 10 minutes from my home and thought, “I really should be working there.” A series of connections and opportunities opened up and I was very fortunate to land here. From my point of view, I’ve gone full circle. Now I know about generics and brand pharmaceuticals, and I know the industry from a very broad perspective. I’m very proud to work for a company that supports helping people and makes medicines for Canadians.
My family, my friends and my work family are things that really inspire me. I am driven by my team, people and the relationships I have built. I am very fortunate to be a mother to three boys and wife to a husband. Some of my proudest moments are when the people around me succeed – that is something that really drives me. Whether it’s my team, or my sons, I get great pleasure from watching them grow, going through ups and downs, being successful.
One of the biggest challenges is we need to coordinate globally, regionally and locally. I think we all know what we need to do, but we can only get there if we have strong relationships with each other and pull together in a way that we all benefit. It’s not always easy and, a lot of times, you really have to work at it. However, I think one of my successes has been using a collaborative approach to work together to achieve success.
With Covid stepping back now, we’re finally able to see people, boots on the ground. This year, I attended a global conference of the RFDs in Israel with Teva’s Executive VP and CFO and his team – the energy was crazy. It was very motivating for us all to see each other, re-establish, and create new relationships. I’ve also been able to meet with some North American leaders, and now that we are finally back in the office working face to face, there’s a different energy in the building.
The two things I can’t live without: my cell phone, which keeps me on track. The other thing I can’t live without is my travel mug. My travel mug keeps my coffee hot and it’s good for the environment too – it’s with me wherever I go.
When someone asks for career advice, I have a few things to suggest. First of all, set some goals and get a mentor. It’s been important for me to have people to talk to through the course of my career. Also, appreciate feedback. I was given advice early in my career that was a little hard to hear but had a big impact. Taking that feedback and working on it was very important to me. Therefore, you might not be ready to hear it, but you definitely need to appreciate feedback and use it to your benefit.
Continue to be curious, ask questions, and don’t be afraid. People want to hear what you have to say and being curious is an important aspect to your growth.
Finally, make sure you have fun along the way. It’s important to enjoy where you are and to ensure that it brings you joy.
The key to a successful career: You need to continue to grow, but you need to have balance. You need to understand that sometimes you have to work a little harder, and sometimes you can take a little more time to enjoy your life. I have a very supportive spouse and family, which has helped me to be able to do just that. Knowing that I can enjoy my life as much as I enjoy my career has been a very valuable thing for me. And I’ve been able to enjoy a beautiful life. I’m very fortunate.