Meet the Team
June 1, 2022

Franziska and Yannick

Franziska completed the HR trainee program at Evonik some time ago, while Yannick has only just begun his time as a trainee. In their People Story, both talk about their experiences. In addition, Franziska reports on what has happened since the successful completion of the program and Yannick gives an insight into what awaits him in the future.

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Why did each of you choose the HR Trainee program at Evonik?

Y:  There are a lot of reasons! During my BWL (Business Administration) studies in Kiel, I specialized in Human Resources, and I was able to gain practical experience with internships and a work-study job. After I finished my Master’s, that encouraged me to start my career in this area. Why start as a trainee? As a trainee I have the opportunity to learn all about Evonik, which is a big corporation, without being tied to a specific role right away. In early 2023, I will also be sent to Singapore on assignment for three months – I’m very happy that I can gain professional experience abroad. Looking back, the challenging but always open and pleasant atmosphere during the application phase, and in the Assessment Center, convinced me that I wanted to be a part of Evonik.

F: I finished my trainee program back in October 2014, and I am still benefitting from the large internal cross-location and interdepartmental network that I was able to build during that time. Over time, I developed a good understanding of our HR landscape – not least because I was able to learn about so many different units. The trainee program includes a very structured development plan with a wide range of seminars, but also job shadowing, for example in a production facility. As a trainee, I was able to go to many interesting meetings and watch more experienced colleagues at work. That helped me develop a close relationship with the company and our products, and I feel “at home” at Evonik. I understand your excitement about going to Singapore, Yannick! The international assignment was a big plus for me, too. My time in New Jersey will not soon be forgotten!

What was your experience of the trainee program?

Y: Even though I started the program in the middle of the pandemic, I was able to spend the first month at the campus in Essen with my fellow trainees from other departments. It was a successful introduction to the company. During my first two trainee assignments in Performance & Assessment and Total Rewards, I was quickly integrated into the team and got to know our corporate headquarter in Essen. All of the trainees completed a detailed onboarding program. That helped us maintain our good connections with the other trainees after we all transitioned to remote work. We have regular virtual lunches, a WhatsApp group, and sometimes we even meet in person for pub evenings.

F: For me, the trainee program was special in many ways. I was one of the first trainees! Nine years ago, I encountered mainly curiosity and openness in the individual assignment areas. Trainees have always had a good image in the Evonik Group.

What comes next?

Y: The responsibility I have been given will increase through the different stations, and I will handle increasingly complex tasks and projects by myself. That is important so I can take the next career step after the end of the trainee program, hopefully with management responsibility.

F: Since the trainee program I have worked in different HR functions – sometimes operational, sometimes strategic; sometimes with a focus on the location, sometimes through a global lens. My last role as HR Business Partner was already familiar to me from the trainee perspective. So I knew more or less what to expect. As a trainee, you learn to be open to further education and to take advantage of advancement opportunities. That’s why I completed my training as a systemic business coach in 2017/2018. I can put it to good use in my current function in organizational development, and I’m grateful I had that opportunity.

The program prepared me very well for my career path. In particular, you develop personally during this time. So my only advice to Yannick is to enjoy everything, be proactive, and help shape the future.