Meet the Team
November 9, 2021


Afrida in a few sentences: Afrida is a Process Engineer working in Waterford, New York. She started at Evonik as a recent college graduate and a member of the International Professional Rotational Enrichment Program (IPREP). In her People Story, we learn everything from why she loves to live and work around Waterford, NY to how she is helping women to connect and gain leadership skills at Evonik.

You received your bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering, and during your IPREP rotations you worked in procurement, marketing and project engineering roles. How has experiencing different areas of business at Evonik helped your career? What area do you like the most?

I first started working in procurement for my co-op that I had with a global pharmaceutical and consumer goods manufacturer during college. When I got to Evonik, I knew that I wanted to build upon my procurement skills, as well as gain an even bigger picture of the company through a marketing role. Working in procurement and marketing helped me feel more confident and boosted my performance as a project engineer in my last rotation of IPREP. However, I also learned that my passion was strong in an engineering role, and I enjoyed this rotation the most.

What does the typical day in the life hold for you as a Process Engineer?

The beauty of my role is the dynamism. As a process engineer, I make sure that my plant achieves the highest performance and quality while maintaining the safety protocols. Everyday there is a different challenge, and this has helped me to learn about different parts of the plant. I really see my role as finding the root cause to daily production problems and supporting my team to overcome them. The answer can be anything from a temperature or pressure problem to a quality testing issue.

What is something that you enjoy about living and working around Waterford, New York?

Waterford, New York is a fantastic spot for young people who love to travel but also enjoy hiking and outdoor activities. For example, I am three hours away from Boston, Montreal, and New York City, but living right alongside the Hudson River and the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York I get to be surrounded by nature. The town I live is 30 minutes away from Waterford, NY and holds lots of parks, bike lanes, and a great deal of American history.

Are there any new hobbies that you discovered during quarantine?

Yes, in fact I just learned how to ride a bike! I grew up in Bangladesh where the city was so crowded bike riding wasn’t very popular. I actually started learning how to ride a bike before I went to Germany for my IPREP rotation. It was a goal of mine to bike around Amsterdam. During quarantine, I taught myself how to ride even better, and I even learned how to bike with traffic.

You are on the corporate management for groW North America. Could you share more about this program!

groW is an initiative that first started in Germany to connect women at Evonik, and we became a new regional president, she brought this initiative to North America! Because the program is so new to our region a lot of things are still in the works, but we recently drafted our mission and vision. I am so excited to help strengthen the leadership skills among the amazing women at Evonik!