Top Places perks: Novartis’s global sabbaticals

Novartis chemist Natalie Dales in Shanghai.
Novartis chemist Natalie Dales in Shanghai.
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Employees at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research i n Cambridge can work their way around the world.

The drug research company offers working sabbaticals at its campuses in Switzerland, Austria, Italy, China, Singapore, and Britain, as well as several around the United States.

Chemist Natalie Dales went to Shanghai in 2010 . Dales took the train to work and immersed herself in the city’s culture.

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When Dales found herself going the wrong way in a taxi, she had plenty of people to call: “I had everybody on speed dial that I worked with.” When she came back to Cambridge, Dales found her experience improved her communication skills, leading her to seek out feedback instead of expecting people to speak up on their own.