Evonik has been cooperating with several universities for a long time and considers Penn one of its regional university partners. Every year, the Penn Career Services department encourages students to go off campus and puts out a request to its corporate partners to host students for the Engineering Externship Day. In 2019, the Havre de Grace site was proud to host five Penn students for the Engineering Externship Day. This year, Evonik employee Tom English, principal research associate Global Process Research and a Penn alumnus, proposed a schedule for interested students to join Evonik for a day. The agenda included a full day of demonstrations and engaging discussions among the Penn engineering students and a group of Evonik engineers, researchers and business leaders.
Each talk was unique. Highlighting that safety is paramount in industry, the students received a safety orientation to the site first. Then, topics ranged from how Evonik’s coatings materials are used in applications like aircraft carrier decks, mascara and NBA courts, to water treatment polymers, graduate school, neutron scattering experiments, corporate purchasing, Evonik’s corporate structure and organization, IPREP, fixed bed reactors, heterogenous catalysis, living in different parts of the world, dealing with people, communicating, negotiating, travel and more.
One student commented that the recurring theme was the many ways to apply an engineering degree in the workplace. For four of the five students, this was the first time visiting an industrial chemical facility.
“After meeting with the students, I would not be surprised if some of them come back into the company’s internship program,” said Mike Popule, vice president Global Process Research. “According to the feedback I received, they were genuinely interested in Evonik and also got a whole new perspective on a career in engineering.”
Jordan Wong, University of Pennsylvania Class of 2022, Systems Science and Engineering major wrote, “It dispelled some preconceived notions I had about engineering jobs such as that the work is one-dimensional. Now I know that it is anything but that.”
Nate Hess, University of Pennsylvania Class of 2022, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering major wrote, “I met so many interesting people, and the knowledge I gained will help me in my future career as a chemical engineer. [Employees] answered many of the questions I had and provided clarity on what a chemical engineer actually does and brings to a chemical company like Evonik.”
Evonik has a network of eight partner universities, including the University of Pennsylvania, and offers a regional internship program each summer. Join our team