Kerstin of the Resource Efficiency, Quality Control Lab in Hanau, Catalysts, talks about flexibility
In 1991 I began my apprenticeship as a chemistry lab assistant at the former Degussa. I’d been fascinated by chemistry ever since the 8th grade, and I knew I wanted to do my apprenticeship in that field. When I finished my degree in 1994, I was hired into the chemical catalysts research lab, where I had great colleagues—some of whom still work with me today. It was an exciting, interesting time.
In 2000 I went on parental leave for six years, but retained contact with my department the entire time so that I could keep up to date. When I returned to work part time, I definitely had my doubts and fears. Would I be up to the new challenges? Would I be able to reconcile family and career? I started out in a temporary reintegration assignment in corrosion testing. New type of work, new colleagues, new boss. It all made my stomach hurt. But my doubts were unfounded. If both sides are willing and able to be somewhat flexible, you can’t really go wrong. After 10 months I was able to return to my department, but a new unit was waiting for me there: the Quality Lab. Once again, the people I worked with gave me terrific support. They likewise made it easy for me to quickly familiarize myself with my new responsibilities. In the lab, we work closely with Production and Research simultaneously. We have a lot of responsibility in Quality Control, and positive team spirit is extremely important to me and my colleagues. Each gear has to mesh with the next one for everything to run well. And I’m still very happy to be a part of that.