Taking the Plunge

Mak Song Wen

Name of employee: Mak Song Wen     

Department: Quality & Regulatory

Role: Quality & Regulatory Specialist


“Success cannot be whittled down into a standard formula; at Philips, a culture of independence, open communication, trust and respect for its people is the recipe for success.”


While I was a Bio-engineering undergraduate at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), I saw an opening for a Quality & Regulatory Specialist (Q&R) at Philips in an email from the school’s Career Affairs Office.

I knew of Philips as it was an established brand for appliances and had a presence in many households, but did not realise it was also involved in the medical device business.


My interest in the role was piqued as I had completed a global regulatory module at NTU, and I was also excited to find out that the position was open to fresh graduates. More importantly, my personal goals of improving quality of life were aligned with those of Philips Healthcare.


I decided to take the plunge, as working for such a reputable and well established company globally would open up myriad learning experiences. I also believed that hard work at a multinational corporation would open doors to various opportunities in the future.


Improving the lives of customers


My job as a Q&R Specialist consists of regulatory and quality aspects, as well as administrative duties and ad-hoc projects. The regulatory side involves product registration and change notification, and preparation of documents for submission to local competent authorities.


I am gradually being exposed to the quality aspect to gain more knowledge of the Quality Management System (QMS), with the aim of supporting and maintaining the local and regional QMS, as well as assisting and participating in local and regional internal audits in future.


I ensure products that will be supplied in Singapore are up to date, so that customers benefit from Philips’ innovative products. I seek approval and liaise with the local competent authority in order to supply medical devices to Singapore. Therefore, we have the capability to influence the number of potential customers. With our vision to improve the lives of 3 billion people by 2025, my role aligns well with my personal values.


What do I enjoy most about my job? I feel a sense of accomplishment whenever I submit a premarket / new product application after liaising with BU for documents. I also take pride in the fact that my work in Q&R is not just a simple backend role in the company but is in fact a business-enabling role, ensuring Philips is compliant and that our products fulfil regulations.


Recipe for success


When I joined Philips fresh out of school, I had fixed ideas of how an organisation functioned, and what my role entailed.


Fast forward 5 months into the job and these preconceived notions have been turned on their head.


Success cannot be whittled down into a standard formula; each company has its best practices and at Philips, a culture of independence, open communication, trust and respect for its people is the recipe for success.


Team-up to excel


Within my team, we are constantly communicating with one another, discussing and help each other and updating and aligning our priorities regularly, all with the common goal of contributing to the objectives of the Q&R function. Everyone is free to provide feedback so that we can improve and grow as a team. If we wish to improve ourselves, we simply have to communicate this to our boss.


In terms of physical environment, we are encouraged to hot-desk at our lovely new offices. This gives employees the chance to move around and work wherever they feel comfortable, thus increasing productivity.


What the future holds


In the next few years, I wish to be more experienced and knowledgeable of the business and excel in Q&R. I would also like to be more involved in the Quality aspect and help others grow together through involvement in audits. If you believe, you can achieve!

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