Meet the Team
June 6, 2024

Anne - STEM Career Growth at Evonik

Anne, an Evonik transfer from China to the US, shares insights on Evonik’s unique approach to knowledge management, cross-functional collaboration, and opportunities for career growth and development in STEM.

What were the big learnings from your transfer within Evonik from China to the US? 

The experience gained from one region may not be directly applicable to another region, as different regional markets have varying dynamics. Evonik's establishment in each market can also differ. Taking both of these aspects into account, the biggest learning for me is how to "localize" Evonik's global strategies in the most suitable way for each region. It takes courage to "re-establish" oneself in a new regional market, with new customers and teams, but the rewards of the learning experience are significant. It broadens my horizons, expands my perspective, and equips me with new methodologies, greater flexibility, and adaptation skills, which are crucial in today's world, regardless of what I do.

Prior to working for Evonik, you worked at another Specialty Chemical Company. Given that you have had experiences at other Specialty Chemical Companies, what makes Evonik a unique and or special place to work?

In some other companies, people are given limited access to project-related information. I can understand this cautiousness as it protects know-how, but it doesn't help people's growth and learning on the job. Evonik, on the other hand, does a good job in knowledge management. Previously gained experience and knowledge are sorted and stored in a neat way for easy access to newcomers to use and learn from. In addition, global and regional experts for different applications or product categories are always open to sharing and coaching. I remember when I first joined Evonik, I always found resources for self-learning or direct consultation with experts as long as I had the willingness and time. This prepared me well for customer meetings and technical seminars on trade shows. This setting enabled my fast yet steady growth as needed for my job.

How do you think about the career development opportunity and growth environment Evonik provides, for people with STEM backgrounds?

Some of us come from technical backgrounds, such as science or engineering, and may limit ourselves to technical dimensions for career development. However, at Evonik, technical experts are assigned to account teams as technical support, working seamlessly with commercial expertise, such as account managers, to jointly make strategic plans for important accounts and collaboratively develop Evonik's business. This provides valuable exposure for those with technical backgrounds to gain business sense and receive on-the-job training for potential future roles in the commercial aspects of the organization. Even if one's preference is to stay on the technical side, this kind of exposure helps technical teams work more effectively, driving more value for the business from a technical perspective. Additionally, technical minds with leadership skills are recognized at Evonik and given opportunities for innovation management. Cross-functional leaders are always needed in the level of complexity we handle today, and especially for Evonik's growth ambitions.

Job title Global Head of Applied Innovation

Based Richmond, Virginia, USA

Division/Function Nutrition & Care

Joined Evonik 2012

Education MSc. in Biochemical Engineering