The aim of job shadowing is to close a gap that I also had to struggle with at the beginning of my professional career – The transition between academic education and professional life.
Fact is, most job titles do not really convey a good understanding of what a job is going to be like, and even detailed job descriptions can only contribute to a limited extent to that understanding. Worse still, in a world in which agile working is becoming more and more widespread, it is often not possible to define a position precisely, because the tasks change so quickly. How do you describe a job where no two days are the same?
When I finished my studies, I did an internship at Evonik to gain professional experience. In addition, I had a great mentor who helped me successfully navigate my first steps into professional life. I believe that – especially at the beginning – you should use all the help you can get. So, when an intern approached me who did her internship in the very department where I started at Evonik, I knew that I would like to be part of this unique experience.
My name is Liv and I work as a Transformation Specialist at Marketing & Sales Excellence. What I do every day is not easy to explain, because my working days are very different.
I mainly work in the change team for the Digital Customer Experience Program (DCX for short), which is one of the most important digitalization programs in marketing and sales at Evonik. We help our marketing and sales colleagues understand the changes that could come with the digitization of their work and empower them to use the new tools and processes at their disposal.
I am also part of the communication team Marketing & Sales Excellence, and take care of the creation and publication of blogs, articles and video material.
In addition, together with my team, I am trying to determine which marketing & sales competencies will play a role in a digital future and we are developing a tool to help an employee assess their competence level. We want to enable The Marketing & Sales employees at Evonik to find the appropriate trainings, learning videos or other measures based on their level of competence in order to further their education in a targeted manner.
This range of tasks can certainly not be completely mapped in one day, but I believe that Jaimie had the opportunity to get to know the different facets of my professional life in one day and I was happy that she visited me!
I'm Jaimie, 25 years old and currently working as an intern at Brainpool. Actually, I am studying for a master's degree in business chemistry in Düsseldorf. Previously, I completed an apprenticeship as a chemical laboratory assistant. But what will happen to me after my master's degree? Through the combination of chemistry and business administration, I have countless opportunities for starting a career. That's why I decided to do an internship at Evonik to gain some insights into everyday working life.
That's how I ended up in the Brainpool in Technical Service. A department in which you get to know many other areas and functions as an interface. But what does a normal daily routine look like elsewhere? I asked myself this question again and again and therefore asked if I could get to know another department as part of a job shadowing and experience a working day. Asked, done, I was allowed to accompany Liv as her "shadow" and was able to gain an insight into her range of tasks.
So, I started early in the morning with the train to Marl. At that time, I only knew that Liv works in the field of Marketing & Sales Excellence, so I could not imagine much of it yet.
When I arrived in Marl, she picked me up at the gate, I had a visitor pass issued and then I went to her office. For them it was routine, for me it was impressive since I had never been to the Marl Chemical Park before. When I arrived at the office, we started directly with the first appointment. A meeting with her colleague. This was a lot about internal communication, as this is part of her work.
After the appointment, Liv took some time to give me an overview of her tasks. These include marketing, internal communication, sales excellence, and commercial excellence. A major project she is currently working on is the DCX (Digital Customer Experience Program). After Liv had told me a lot about her tasks and projects, she showed me various programs that she works with every day. At first, she took care of the completion of a learning video. I just watched, because only small things had to be changed and I had not yet gained any experience with video editing at that time.
Then we went to the next appointment. This time it was a bar camp, which is an open format. Today's topic was inclusion. First there was a general moderation and then a selection of different topics, where you can choose which of them you want to listen to. No lectures are held there, instead questions can be asked at any time, which leads to interesting discussions. We decided on the topic "Social Dimensions of Inclusion". A very great format, which I can recommend to everyone to deal with important topics that go beyond those of a normal working day and to learn a lot of new things.
Immediately afterwards Liv had a next meeting with a colleague, this time it was about the ToDo's from the DCX project, change management and a poster for it. After the meeting we took a lunch break together, for which we went to the canteen. When we were back in the office, Liv prepared a few things for the next meeting.
Next, I slipped out of my observational role and was allowed to try my hand at video editing myself. This time the editing was still at the very beginning, and I took care of the soundtrack under the guidance of Liv. Breaks or parts that did not fit into the context had to be cut out. This was difficult for me to recognize at the beginning, but over time I became better and better at recognizing the corresponding places. This work was a lot of fun for me because it was completely new to me.
Unfortunately, I had to interrupt the work on the video at some point, because the next appointment was already pending. This was the meeting for which Liv had prepared a lot beforehand. Again, it was about the DCX project. This time the whole team was there, and the planning of the current sprint was discussed with the help of a planner, as the team is currently working together in an agile method. This meeting was once again different from all the previous ones, as it was not a coordination with another person, but a team could work interactively together on a planning board.
After all the tasks for that day were done, Liv answered all the questions I had, and we reflected on the day together. For me it was very exciting to observe and even to be able to take on small tasks myself. So now on the way home I have a slightly better idea of what Liv does all day which tasks belong in Marketing & Sales Excellence. However, Liv also told me that every day is different, so her range of tasks is much larger than what I could see in one day. Due to this varied work, her job is never boring and includes new challenges every day.
Thank you very much for this experience and the insights into your everyday work!
Also have a look at our Instagram-Takeover on the 2nd of August!