Hello Natasha! Could you introduce yourself?
Hello, sure! I am Natasha and I work as a Technical Service Manager based at our offices in Midrand, South Africa. Additionally, travelling to other parts of the country providing technical support to customers is part of my job.
When did you start working for Evonik and in which area?
I have been with Evonik for six years now, having started working in the newly built NIR (Near-infrared spectroscopy, NIR is a spectroscopic method that uses the near-infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum from 780 nm to 2500 nm) lab in Midrand after completing my BSc (Hons) in Animal Science. I was responsible for the sample analysis for two and a half years, after which I started to move more into the realm of technical service and working one-on-one with customers, where my true passion lies.
You said that you travel a lot for your work. Which countries have you been able to visit already?
As well as my in-country trips, I have been lucky enough to travel extensively with my position and see many exciting new places, such as Tanzania, Kenya, Germany and Portugal to name a few. Germany is a special place for me because I spent two weeks in the small town of Lämmerspiel when I joined Evonik.
What’s the most enjoyable part of your work?
I have found great enjoyment and fulfillment working with customers, expanding my technical knowledge and becoming more proficient in my work. During this time, I have made many friends at Evonik in South Africa, Germany, the United Kingdom, Egypt and elsewhere. I particularly love travelling back to Germany because I get to see the friends I have made there.
Could you tell us more about the responsibilities you have?
My responsibility is to support the commercial goals of our business line by offering the best possible technical support to our customers. Our customers are primarily feed mill operators who supply high quality feed to the animal production industry – in particular – to poultry and pig farms. We sell amino acids such as DL-Methionine and lysine, as well as probiotics to these customers to ensure the highest quality feed reaches our end consumer, the pig or chicken. My technical support role includes product presentations, the introduction and explanation of our latest research in the field of animal nutrition, as well as the running of product trials in conjunction with the customer. I also support the customer in determining the composition and quality of their incoming raw materials through the use of our NIR service. We use this service to determine how to make the best use of these raw materials and to ensure the feed that is produced best meets the requirements of the animals.
What do you think of Evonik as an employer?
Evonik is a fantastic employer in my opinion. It truly cares about its employees and encourages a good work-life balance. I have been very blessed in Animal Nutrition to have great mentors and upper management to report to who have guided my development over the years and who have a deep care for their employees. This is evident with how we are treated on a daily basis and our commitment and loyalty to Evonik.
Where do you spend most of your time at the site?
I enjoy spending time in the canteen during lunch breaks catching up with colleagues who have become friends, or we are blessed enough to have our offices situated inside a business park that has lovely trees and walkways so you can go for a walk to be in nature.
Is there something else that you would like to share with the community?
I have always believed it is important to stand up for what is right in both my personal and professional life and to believe in myself and not to be afraid to chase my dreams. My hobbies include reading, mountain biking and running to keep fit and spending time in nature and the outdoors.