Michelle was born and raised in Linz, a town in the upper part of Austria where her father also grew up. Michelle’s mother is from South Africa, which is where her parents originally met during their tertiary studies. Michelle and her two brothers were able to enjoy a culturally rich childhood due to their heritage, as the family liked to divide their time in both Linz and Durban for many years. It was until school became important for the stability of the children’s education where her family decided to remain in Linz.
"South Africa’s rainbow coloured national flag represents a rainbow culture," Michelle explains. "In Durban there is a very big Indian community and people of different nationalities share special parts of their heritage in one place, which I think makes the city very special." Michelle then shares her thoughts about Linz. "My favourite thing about Linz is the size. It’s not too big, so you end up knowing most of the people in your age group. On the other hand, it’s not too small so you still feel that you have privacy." When Michelle was asked about special local products or foods in her hometowns she responded, "The curries in South Africa are amazing. There are flavours that are distinctive to the Durban region and I really love them. In Linz we have the Linzer Torte; this cake is a specialty and I'm told that it's the oldest traditional cake in history!"
Michelle's academic experience began with studying Biotechnology in Vienna. "I chose this degree because the curriculum consisted of three core fields: chemistry, molecular biology and engineering. I liked the idea of covering several different topics in one course. My bachelor thesis was about antibody engineering (molecular genetics), where we studied how to genetically engineer cells to target different areas of the body, for example tumour cells. Afterwards I completed a Master degree in Biotechnology with a focus on protein biochemistry and then finally moved to Toulouse in France for my Master thesis where I conducted research on Alzheimer's disease."
Prior to choosing natural sciences Michelle was also interested in going to Law school, so when a portion of her degree included quality management in the pharmaceutical field, she found it very interesting. "Regulatory and quality management combines both law and science. Even though some people may find the topic a little dry, it's somehow perfect for me since it fulfils both of my interests."
Michelle and her partner Richard moved to Zürich, Switzerland three years ago. "Zürich is a great city to live in. I can practice all of my hobbies locally which is wonderful!". Outside of work Michelle enjoys seasonal sports. In winter, it's skiing especially cross country skiing. "The night slopes nearby the city are great," she says enthusiastically. In summer it's hiking and bouldering. "I have only just started bouldering so to practice I try to go at least two times per week. What I like most about this sport is the technique because I like having to think about how to solve the problem. Each problem is solved in a different way and I think it's a good way of practicing patience and critical thinking, which are skills that I can also translate to my work life at Bonebridge."
When asked about what she likes about working at Bonebridge, Michelle responded, "I don't feel like a number or just an employee, I feel like I belong to a very special team and that the work I do really contributes to growing the company. It's also very important for me to work in a sector that I have true interest in, with the goal to help people. I'm glad to say that at Bonebridge I really feel that we live and breathe this." If you have an issue concerning Quality Management or Regulatory Affairs or just want to share your favourite curry recipe feel free to contact Michelle.