During my bachelor’s degree in chemistry I developed a strong inclination for applied research and development. So there were two possible master’s degree programs for me: business chemistry or classical chemistry. At an information event for the business chemistry course, I was attracted by the interdisciplinary curriculum: This would give me the opportunity to expand my chemistry skills in any desired direction and, on the other hand, to acquire a practical knowledge of business management.
The former Degussa established our course in the year 2000. A year ago I was looking out for places available at Evonik; two weeks later I started as an intern in the Corporate Foresight department of Creavis, focusing on the topic of Gamechangers. During the 6-month internship I helped produce the Action Field Assessment booklet. One aspect of this work that excited me is that very distant future technologies are brought into the present, and you learn how a specialty chemicals company adapts successfully to global changes.
My master’s thesis then grew out of the Batteries for Electronics section of the booklet. About 5 tables down in the same open-plan office in the Functional Materials department, there was keen interest in the topic. Now, in the same department, I’ve nearly completed work on my master’s thesis. During my time at Evonik I’ve learned what goes to make up a specialty chemicals company: In the same office, at the same site (or at most just a phone call away), experts are available to you for discussion on any subject. With keen curiosity, they readily give of their time to work on new technologies, discuss the topic, and collaborate with one another—so that, even as a graduate student, you feel like a full-fledged Evonik employee.
The working environment was for me a strong stimulus to creativity, thinking out of the box, and developing new ideas. Evonik has already supported me at the stage of my university education and helped me get closer to my professional goal of becoming an expert in electrochemical energy storage.