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Cinthia Silva’s BMS Journey of Ambition, Growth and Opportunity in STEM

March 21, 2024
Career GrowthGlobal Product Development and SupplyImpactInclusion & DiversitySTEM
Careers Home  /  Career Stories  /  Cinthia Silva’s BMS Journey of Ambition, Growth and Opportunity in STEM

I am Cinthia Silva, and my career journey has been a testament to the power of support, preparation, and the incredible opportunities afforded by Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS). My journey began in Mexico City as a determined student, embracing every chance to learn and excel, ultimately earning a degree in Pharmaceutical and Biological Chemistry from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

headshot of Cinthia Silva, BMS woman employee, in a workplace setting
Cinthia Silva Herrera, Senior Manager, Quality Systems and Compliance, Global Product Development & Supply

Joining BMS as an intern while still completing my studies was a pivotal moment. From the outset, I was met with a culture that values employee development and growth. Under the guidance of my manager, a supportive woman who recognized and nurtured my potential, I embarked on a journey that would shape my professional trajectory. Starting my BMS journey as an intern in the Quality training department at the Mexico manufacturing site, I immersed myself in understanding the intricacies of site requirements, forging connections across various departments, and honing my public speaking skills by delivering training sessions to employees.

After graduation, I applied for and was offered a full-time role as a Supplier Auditor, leveraging my prior experience supporting implementation projects and the foundation laid during my internship. In this role, I audited vendors that supply raw materials and packaging or services to enable the manufacturing site’s operations. I learned about multiple processes and liaised with external vendors to ensure compliance and quality. This experience provided me with an expanded vision about pharmaceutical operations.

In 2015, I was selected to lead an important project for the Quality organization to support integration efforts resulting from a merger / acquisition. I spearheaded a global project evaluating integration of Quality Management Systems to ensure continuity and accessibility of relevant quality documents while implementing a new electronic Quality management system. This opportunity allowed me to build my stakeholder management and leadership skills.

Following my role supporting integration activities, I assumed the role of Quality Operations Manager, overseeing BMS’ Mexico distribution operations responsible for assessing product availability, regulatory compliance, and working with other internal stakeholders and departments to understand the commercial requirements. At this point I recognized my need for additional learning to help balance technical knowledge and business needs. Having the support of my manager as a mentor and countless role models around me, BMS supported me in obtaining a Diploma in Administration. I then went on to pursue my Master’s degree in Industrial Administration, further enriching my skill set and knowledge base. My participation in activities like the Quality month celebration, Integrity ambassador program and leading the Corporate Social Responsibility program for Mexico honed my ability to articulate complex concepts in a clear and concise manner for a multidisciplinary audience, ensuring collaboration across teams and facilitating successful outcomes.

As the Quality organization evolved, I took on an expanded assignment as a “champion” for complaints. This opportunity gave me an understanding of global quality processes and connecting with subject matter experts and senior management, setting the stage for my next chapter: a global role at BMS Headquarters.

This experience exemplifies BMS's strong culture of collaboration, where individuals are encouraged to seek support and expertise from different teams. BMS recognizes that working in teams is key to fostering innovation, driving efficiency, and delivering high-quality results. This collaborative environment not only facilitates personal growth but also enables effective problem-solving, knowledge sharing, and cross-functional cooperation throughout the organization.

Transferring to the US as a Senior Manager for Quality Management Systems and Compliance, I became the linchpin between 43 countries within my organization, ensuring seamless execution and alignment on deviations, complaints, and change controls, a role that challenges me every day and keeps me learning and motivated. When I arrived in the US, the Organization for Latino Achievement (OLA), a BMS People and Business Resource Group (PBRG), played a key role in helping me feel comfortable being myself in a new country. Additionally, my participation in OLA has provided me with professional skills and a network that have continued to shape my career development. Moreover, I found it to be a great place for networking, opening my eyes to the multiple opportunities inside of BMS.

Throughout my 13-year career journey within the Quality organization at BMS, I have been fortunate to receive guidance and mentorship from my managers which has played a pivotal role in my success. I actively sought, and they encouraged me to take on challenging projects to develop my skills and expand my knowledge and contribute to the company's growth. Additionally, building a robust network has been crucial to my professional development. Attending industry conferences and participating in internal networking events enabled me to connect with experts in the field and gain valuable insights into emerging trends and best practices.

Overall, the combination of managerial support, seizing opportunities, and cultivating a strong network has been instrumental in shaping my successful career trajectory at BMS.

Let Cinthia's Ambition Inspire Your Next Move

If any aspect of Cinthia's global career growth experience resonates with you, explore career opportunities in Global Product Development & Supply at Bristol Myers Squibb. Interesting and meaningful work, incredible opportunities for growth and accomplished teams await you.