When and how did you come to Evonik? Why are you at Evonik?
I started my apprenticeship at Evonik (back then it was Degussa-Hüls AG) in 1999. A year earlier, I became aware of a apprenticeship platform where people exchanged their experiences. The head of the apprenticeship program motivated me to became a chemikst and finally convinced me to submit my application documents. I found it interesting how multifascetted the apprenticeship was. To this day, I have not regretted the decision to apply to Evonik!
Tell us more about your deployment abroad in Shanghai!
In 2007, I was involved in the commissioning and the expansion of a production plant, which was put into operation at the site in Herne. Only a few years later, I had the opportunity to be part of the project team, to be part of the new production facilities in Shanghai and later to support the team in the first steps of production and to build a network with colleagues in Mobile and Herne, where Evonik manufactures the same products. I've been on holiday in Asia a lot before, but working and living every day in the city of Shanghai, about 9000 km from home, aroused anticipation, but also presented me with challenges. I already knew a large part of the international project team and the national production team and we were in contact. Everyone helped me to get used to it in the first few months.
How have you been supported by your employer for your time in Shanghai?
Evonik supported me and my wife very well in the preparation, on site and later on the return to Germany. The package for an international job is structured and includes, among other things, an occupational medical examination, obtaining a visa, work permit, apartment search, language lessons and much more. Working in a different culture and above all the understanding in our international project team was marked by many new experiences and new ideas. It took me some time to get used to it to change my "German way of working", but eventually I found a good mix for myself. Once a week, football was on the agenda after the end of the day (Evonik internally or against other companies from the chemical park). Our Evonik team was a mix of all departments on the MUSC (multi-user site China). When I think back to Shanghai, I think of a lot of experiences; In retrospect, the four and a half years in Shanghai were in many ways a step forward and a great time for me!
What keeps you working at Evonik?
When I get up in the morning I look forward to going to work. Evonik offers me a good opportunity to combine work, family and private life. At the same time, Evonik offers a lot for its employees (e.g. occupational pensions) and is a reliable employer.
What do you think about flexibility in your workplace?
Flexibility is important in my profession and will continue to be increasingly important for applicants in the future. In the last 20 years of my working life, a great deal has happened in this area and the mindset of flexible working hours and home office opportunities have changed for the better.
How does Evonik support you in reconciling work and family?
Today, the issue is very important, it is a "competitive factor" that makes a company like Evonik stand out. However, in order to be successful in my career and at the same time to manage my family life, you need the backing of your manager and, above all, of the family. Evonik has set in motion a good framework for reconciling work, family and private life with a family-conscious corporate culture. I benefit from flexible working hours and location (home office). Due to the time difference in telephone or video conferencing with colleagues from Mobile and Shanghai, these possibilities are very helpful. I have only heard positive things about the children's holiday programme. If my offspring is old enough, I will register them there.