After earning your university degree, you spent four years working for a large auditing firm. What was the deciding factor for you to switch to industry?
During audits, I quickly had the opportunity to gain a good overview of various areas in different companies. But as an outsider, I didn’t have the latitude to make many changes, so in the long term I felt dissatisfied. That’s why I wanted to move to the industrial sector. Focusing on issues for longer periods of time and making improvements – working at Evonik gave me that opportunity.
What do you think about the diverse range of tasks in finance?
Well, finance certainly never gets boring.
I have been part of Accounting, Finance, and now Controlling. All of those areas offer exciting tasks, with intensive interfaces and involvement in many different projects. Supporting M&A projects, improving and harmonizing processes, introducing new accounting standards and managing our key figures are just a few of the interesting things I have been able to work on. I also had the opportunity to help develop the trainee program for the Finance area, participating also as a mentor. For more than two years now, I have also been extensively deep diving and introducing new ways of working, especially at BARC. It’s a good way to help shape the future of our work – and Evonik’s future as an employer.
What was your parental leave like at Evonik?
Our children were born in 2015 and 2017. Especially during my first parental leave, I felt some uncertainty about what would happen next, professionally speaking. After 7 months I came back on a part-time basis and was quickly reintegrated. It wasn’t always easy, but I had great bosses who helped me with my further development. Even with the occasional daycare closure or sickness, my colleagues were always supportive. After a second year of parental leave, I was able to jump right in and manage another project. And I had the opportunity to develop further beyond Accounting. In my current role, my first as a manager, I am still working at 80% FTE.
Change leads to further development – what was your experience with that, both personally and as part of BARC?
The first big change happened because of a nudge from my boss at the time. We were doing a job swap for the first time in Finance. I had the chance to change jobs with someone for two years – with the “safe haven” of my home department behind me. That change brought many possibilities: new responsibilities in the area of finance, and new colleagues. Realizing that my experience from the last few years can also be helpful in a new area broadened my horizons for further personal development. After a year, with plenty of helpful knowledge and new contacts in hand, I continued on my career path. I became part of our newly established Controlling unit, BARC, and right from the start I was very involved in the topic of change. Together we grew into a great team, and we are proud of our work.
Different perspectives are essential for personal and professional development. Maybe others will find it as hard as I did to take the first step toward change – I can only encourage them to take that step and open up new doors for themselves.