My name is Christine and I am happy to participate in the International Marketing and Sales Program (ISAM) of Evonik since July 2020.
I started my commercial training as an industrial clerk at Evonik in Marl in 2011. At the same time, I studied business administration for my Bachelor's and afterwards also for my Master's degree with a focus on International Marketing Management.
After my apprenticeship, I stayed at the site in Marl and worked in the area of Technical Services (service provider for internal and external customers) in the field of Order-To-Cash management for a total of six years. There, I supported the implementation of various cross-site SAP projects as well as day-to-day business and optimization activities – mainly on a national basis, but later also in Shanghai.
But why ISAM?
In general, my interest in working internationally evolved already during my school time, in which I focused on business administration in combination with an apprenticeship as a foreign language correspondent.
While I already had a great job with great colleagues in the Technical Services area, I took the opportunity in 2019 to develop further within Evonik. I felt that the ISAM program offers the perfect fit of working internationally and at the same time applying and deepening my theoretical Marketing & Sales knowledge in practice.
So, I submitted my application, was invited to very interesting job interviews in both German and English language and was extremely grateful to receive the commitment to start into the program in 2020.
My experiences during the first months of the ISAM program:
At the time of the commitment, no one would have expected that a global pandemic would affect our everyday lives as of 2020 – delaying the start of the ISAM program from April to July.
On July 1st, I was finally able to start my first assignment at Regions Development at our headquarters in Essen Campus – a perfect start for me into the ISAM program.
There, I got insights into the Regions of Evonik, as well as into parts of Corporate Strategy. Through various tasks and projects, I had the opportunity to make many new contacts right from the beginning.
Following on from my first assignment, I should have been working for the region Central and South America in São Paulo, Brazil for six months. In the end, in consultation with all parties involved, we decided on short notice that an assignment in Brazil in the midst of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic would not really be effective and thus postponed it to the end of 2021.
The disappointment about the postponement of my assignment abroad could be compensated by an early start of the originally planned 3rd assignment in Hanau and I am grateful for the flexibility of my superiors to make this happen.
And so, I have been able to work for the Business Line Silanes at the site in Hanau since February 2021.
I will support the Business Line in the field of product management/pricing as well as distribution. After experiencing a very nice onboarding (mainly virtual) and being able to work on exciting topics right from the beginning, I am really looking forward to the upcoming months with certainly many more experiences.
During those first months of the program, I have already experienced the importance of always making the most of every situation, seeing the positive, and being proactive and flexible. Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and short-term plan changes, I can only look back on positive experiences and am still optimistic and look forward to my upcoming assignment in Brazil.
I also learned and experienced that, despite the limitations of a pandemic, networking is still possible. By setting up coffee calls or specific calls to get to know each other, one may deal with one's counterpart even more intensively.