How did you come to Evonik in Antwerp?
Until I was nine years old, I lived with my family in Chechnya. In 2000, my family fled for the violence and injustice against minorities to Ypres, Belgium. It was a leap into the unknown. Learning a new language and a new school is not easy for a young child. The place of birth partly determines what opportunities you get. In Chechnya these are much lower than in Belgium. Nevertheless, it is not easy for non-native newcomers.
My parents taught me that you should never throw in the towel. I dreamed of doing something with sciences later. I worked hard for my dream and completed the pharmaceutical and biological laboratory techniques course at Hogeschool Gent. Through a job fair, I got to know Evonik and after a successful application, I could start working there. Since 2016, I have been working at Evonik Antwerp as a lab technician in the silanes production plant.
The welcome at Evonik Antwerp was warm and I feel well received by my colleagues. There is a lot of respect for each other. That makes it very pleasant to work. If you need help, colleagues are always ready to advise you. I have the impression that at Evonik, employees are well listened to and our opinions are taken into account.
What are your tasks and qualities as a lab technician?
I mainly perform analyses of raw materials and intermediates. The results of these analyses give us the necessary information about the course of the production process. This information allows us to make changes to our chemical process if necessary and guarantees that we get a high-quality end product. I am responsible for the maintenance and quality measurements of our equipment so that we can perform reliable analyses.
As lab technician, you need to be able to work independently, accurately and in a structured way and organise your day so that you complete all lab tasks on time. You also need to be able to think critically about the obtained results and be technically minded to make sure all equipment works properly.
How would you like to develop professionally and personally in the future?
I would like to expand my knowledge around the production facilities to gain an even deeper understanding of the entire production process. Understanding chemical processes can always help to better understand variations in analytical results. I would also like to improve my German language skills, especially professionally, to make contact with our German colleagues even smoother.
You can constantly develop yourself. It's never too late for that diploma, that education, ... don't let that stop you, even from yourself! Go for it and overcome obstacles. Stay positive, combative and don't let setbacks stop you.