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Park People: A Day in the life of Suzanne Harvey, Operations Manager at Ipsen

Published on 27 December 2021

Each month, we hear from someone who works on Milton Park to learn more about the company they work for, their role and the ins and outs of their daily life. This month, we spoke to Suzanne Harvey, Site Operations Manager at Ipsen – learning more about how she uses her role to create engaging employee experiences and why she doesn’t hate Mondays…

Hi Suzanne! What can you tell us about Ipsen?

Well, where do I begin? Put simply, Ipsen is a global biopharmaceutical company with a focus on transformative medicines dedicated to improving patients’ lives and health outcomes. We specialise in the three key areas of oncology, rare disease, and neuroscience and have roughly 100 people based at Milton Park.

What does your role as Operations Manager involve?

My role really does vary from day to day. It could involve anything – from launching a new employee engagement campaign, to ensuring our social media communications are compliant, to working on contracts for our Grants and Donations committee. If I had to pick out some key parts of my job – they’d include leading the CSR ambassador team who meet regularly and work together to ensure our site is a happy place to be, listening to our employees and making sure their feedback is sufficiently acted upon.
I also deal with a lot of Ipsen’s internal communications, take part in Milton Park’s Greener Workplace Forum and work on cross-site initiatives across our numerous UK-based Ipsen sites, but ultimately, a huge part of what I do is making sure our employees have positive work experiences. 

Our R&D Hub is designed to encourage innovation, foster collaboration, and has openness, sharing and curiosity at its heart. To achieve this, I work with the Senior Leadership Team and CBRE to ensure our site, buildings, and the people in them are happy, feel safe and supported, and can function well in their roles.

What do you enjoy most about working at Ipsen?

My favourite aspects of the role are definitely the parts that are people-focused. I’m very much a people person and love collaborating with our varied team who all have the goal of creating a happy, engaging and prosperous work environment that will have a positive impact on the patients we help and the wider community. 

I’m also passionate about giving back to local communities and work on numerous initiatives with a focus on corporate social responsibility.

So far, these have included providing families with DIY bird box resources and encouraging people to make sustainable pledges, where for each environmentally friendly pledge made, we donated £10 towards the Wildlife Trust to protect the Fritillary Butterfly.

Some of the pledges included reducing beef consumption and doing fewer loads of laundry per week – through this initiative, we raised over £500! We’ve also worked with the Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust to establish a new outdoor classroom at Sutton Courtenay Environmental Education Centre to use for a forest school for children, which was a great educational initiative to be a part of.

Tell us about your work with the Didcot Powerhouse Fund…

In November, I spoke at the Didcot Powerhouse Fund event hosted at Milton Park, a cause aiming to deliver more and better community services to address inequalities in Didcot. My speech was called ‘Why I don’t hate Mondays’, all about making a real difference to our local community and environment. The purpose of the title was to reflect that if we have a true sense of purpose in what we do at work, we won’t hate Mondays.

Being part of a wider community – such as Milton Park – helps to reinforce this sense of purpose, knowing that one small change can make a huge difference, and that no one is too small or insignificant to have a real positive impact.

At Ipsen, my objective is clear: to find opportunities that will allow our employees to give back to our community, and as a result I can hand-on-heart say I have never had that Monday morning dread.
We’re certainly very fortunate to have a committed volunteer team and decent budget to allow this work to be carried out and that at Ipsen CSR is not just a tick box but work that we see as incredibly valuable. After all, good deeds, happy employees and a reputation for being environmentally conscious rapidly raise a company’s popularity, not only with customers and investors but also as Great place to work®, I was so proud when Ipsen, Milton Park was awarded with Best Place to Work® in the medium category for 2021.

And finally… what do you enjoy most about working on Milton Park?

It’s great to be part of an important scientific hub where we have the opportunity to make connections with others doing great work. Being surrounded by likeminded people in a friendly and collaborative space is key to external innovation that drives delivering solutions for patient care.

Also, Milton Park regularly organises great events for its occupiers and the local community to get involved in. One of my favourite activities that I attended recently was Wildflower Wednesday where people across the Park teamed up along with some shovels and gardening gloves to plant a variety of wildflowers along the grassy banks on site. It was great to get some fresh air, meet and catch up with other businesses as well as doing something positive for the natural environment.

Above all, the Milton Park team have done so well in creating a happy, thriving environment for people to work in. Now that people are returning to their offices, this is all the more crucial and Milton Park are doing a great job.

Thanks Suzanne, our pleasure!

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