Meet the Team
November 29, 2023

Danna – Marketing & Business Development Manager in China

Danna takes advantage of development opportunities and shares her motivation to keep on learning. Read about what she has learned on her path from assistant to marketing and business development manager. 

There is always more than one way to get from A to Z in your own career.  
I changed jobs several times within the same company. My skills and my personality developed during the journey. It opened up new horizons for me, which is intellectually stimulating. However, I also see the pros and cons of my much more generalist approach compared to being an expert in one field. With every new job you have to accept that you will start from almost zero, which takes a lot of self-motivation. Fortunately, Evonik offers numerous training opportunities to grow into your new role, and I always felt very supported by my colleagues who onboarded me into new topics! 
Curious, bold and fun-loving! 
I was always driven by the motivation to understand how things are interrelated and how they can work better. In my first job as an assistant to the head of site development, I got to know the company on a high level. In my second job in supply chain, I learned how a chemical plant works in general. I also had multiple interfaces with Logistics, which had so far been a black box to me, and I was eager to demystify it. So I moved to Trade & Distribution and became the Export Logistics Supervisor and later the Export and Import Logistics Manager. During that time, my team optimized the processes for quite a few orders, but could not do much to increase the number of orders, which fell mainly under the responsibility of business functions like Marketing & Sales. That’s why I changed positions again, moving into Marketing & Business Development. Everything I did before was more operational; now my work is more creative and flexible, as I see the market trends firsthand and experience the fast environment that we are in and have to cope with. Does it help that I’m originally a chemist? I don’t use my chemistry know-how a lot, but I enjoy looking into things in detail with lots of curiosity. 

Leading a team: Equality is not the only answer
Leading a team was a new experience for me. Looking back, I might have overthought my role and tried to establish equally high standards for the entire team. But then I learned that my task as leader is to consider each person separately, and to understand their personality as part of a diverse team. When I got the chance to lead a bigger team, I used that learning right from the beginning and communicated with each member of the team to find out about their strengths and motivation, which created a very good foundation for the team’s strong performance. 
When changing perspectives is not just a buzzword 
Often I felt unhappy about the speed or over-complexity of processes, and firmly believed that we could do better. Changing positions also means changing perspectives. This leads to a much better understanding of the different challenges that departments face every day, and it provides me with a more comprehensive view of the current processes, the reasoning behind them, and improvement areas. By rotating, I have gotten to know the mindset and voices of my colleagues in different functions, which helps me improve my performance and the company’s performance as well. My motto? It’s short & simple: Try to learn something new every day!