Hi Margot! Give us a short introduction of yourself: What are you studying, where do you come from?
Hi ! I am from Lyon in France. I am studying engineering in biosciences. I have been specializing in Biochemistry and Biotechnologies for the past 3 years and I will graduate at the end of the year!
What are you focusing on during your internship?
My focus is the support in the reorganization of succession planning at Nutrition & Care. I am also helping my team with many other topics, especially with the organization of global talent conferences and the implementation of diversity measures.
What was the decisive factor in your decision to do an internship at Evonik?
The possibility to work in an international team and to discover an area of work that was new to me.
There is one fact that called our attention: you have a biochemical / life science background – how does it come that you are now engaged in an HR internship?
I am part of the UNITECH network and I was put in contact with Evonik through this network. I have always been curious, and I wanted to see something new and do something other than spend days in the lab! In my studies I have always felt that we were missing some knowledge to really be prepared to work as engineers, I wanted to know more about businesses decision making and strategies and I also wanted to move away from the technical perspective and better understand the “people” aspect of a company. HR was the perfect way to learn more about these topics, to gain more knowledge on how a global strategy is implemented in the company and how people are considered in all decisions.
You have already gained a lot of international experience during your studies – what is your motivation to work in different countries?
I took the crazy decision of spending a year in the US when I was 15 and lived with a Russian host family there. I ended up in a melting pot of cultures that I had never experienced before, and I loved it. I have always been in international environments since then, and I can’t imagine myself not being surrounded by people from other countries, cultures and with different ways of thinking. Working in different countries is a way of challenging myself first, because adapting to a new country, language and habits is not always easy but it is also a way to grow as a person and to stay open-minded and reflect on yourself. Being confronted to people from different backgrounds is a unique experience and you learn so much about them but also about you, how you perceive things and how you can be perceived. You are constantly surrounded by learning opportunities both professional and personal.
If you had to define “working internationally” - how would it sound?
Learning, adapting, growing! While meeting amazingly interesting people of course and tasting specialties from all around the world.
What was your most valuable experience/ highlight you had so far?
My most valuable experience so far would be one of the professional skills and behaviours development module that I participated in with the UNITECH network. For one week I had the opportunity to work on different ways to communicate and work as a team. Each exercise was done with a different group of people, enabling us to discuss and exchange viewpoints and ideas. We also had the chance to meet several companies’ representatives during a fair. It was the first time that I met and exchanged with people from international companies, the open discussions that I was able to have during this week were extremely valuable. Not only did I learn a lot, I was also able to freely talk with everyone in a stress less environment.
Seems you are quite a busy person – time for any passions in your free time?
My number one passion is dancing! I have been taking classes in salsa and bachata for a couple of years now and I absolutely love it! I also love reading and listening to music, I usually go to at least 2 festivals every year to discover new artists and see my favourite bands in concerts. Another hobby of mine is volunteering, which I strongly encourage everyone to do. Back at school I was part of a charity that distributes food to the needy once a week. Every year around Christmas I also volunteer for big charities such as “les restaurants du Coeur” to either wrap gifts or help in soup kitchens. It is a really great way to spend the Christmas vacation while helping others!