Can you tell us briefly what your responsibilities are?
With my team, we operate research facilities on a laboratory scale of approximately 5L. to manufacture liquid polybutadienes using different reaction mechanisms. These include anionic, radical and coordinative polymerization. In addition, I am responsible for the processing of the subsequent analytics and protocols.
What do you like most about what you do?
I really like having a different set of tasks every day. In research and development, we constantly deal with new projects and new issues which we test in our testing facilities. The close contact with the production areas is a highlight. You can make many contacts and get an insight into how production operates in a large plant. This means my work is never boring. Put simply, I manufacture a product, process it, analyse it and I can then intervene in the process to change the product in such a way that the required target product emerges.
Why should someone do this job with Evonik?
Even though I hardly studied chemistry at high school, I find it very interesting and want people to know how exciting and diverse the job of a chemical lab technician really is. Chemistry plays a key role in our daily lives and this is a very important profession with lots of different areas you can specialize in.
What does “Human Chemistry” mean to you?
It is removing the fear that some people have of chemistry. Many people are sceptical and have a negative opinion about the chemical industry. We should show these people how wonderful chemistry really is and all the different ways that it can be used, and the things you can do with it. Young people, in particular, should be encouraged to take an interest in natural sciences. Part of us is inherently connected to chemistry.
What kind of person does well at Evonik?
If you have a curious and an inquisitive mind with an interest in the chemicals field, you will fit right in at Evonik. Being able to think outside the box is a bonus. The world of work is becoming ever more complex and fast changing with new challenges arising every day. As Evonik continues to grow, the employees must continue to grow too. The type of person that works at Evonik should be a team player, highly motivated and enjoy their work.
What does “Opportunity” at Evonik mean to you?
Evonik gave me my greatest opportunity by changing my apprenticeship to a permanent contract. It meant that Evonik removed the fear of unemployment, which was pretty common among young people who were just finishing their apprenticeships, so that I could fully concentrate on my future and plan my life such as buying a house or going on holiday. Other opportunities here is that I get to work on amazing products that solve real-world problems, and the company promotes and supports further training if it is appropriate and part of a well thought out concept. For me, Evonik is a secure employer who enables me to reach my full potential.
How would you describe Evonik’s “Team Spirit”?
The people at Evonik listen to you and take you seriously, making you feel part of the team and that you’re making a real contribution. My team is made up of four chemical lab assistants, a technician, and my manager. The best thing about this team is that, although we are all quite different characters, we work very well together. For example, if we need to do overtime, we share the workload among the team. This way, no single person is overloaded. Our manager is also able to determine and bring out the strengths of each team member to benefit the group.
Can you tell us more about your experiences with flexibility at Evonik?
I am currently a registered student at the ILS distance learning school studying to become a state-certified chemical technician. With my studies in the evenings and during working hours, I can only study at home in the evenings after work and at the weekends. But being at Evonik means I can arrange my own flexible work schedule to plan my core time as I wish. At the moment, I work from 6am to 2pm and can then do my leisure activities and still have time to study. Vacation planning is also quite flexible in our department. We must agree the dates among ourselves but, otherwise, we are free to plan as we wish.