Tobias and the Young Chemistry Forum - A Network Full of Life
Tobias is a PhD student in Chemistry and, in addition, is active in the young Chemistry Forum (JCF). In our networks@Evonik blog, he writes about how he and his peers re-established the JCF Düsseldorf and the many opportunities offered by the connection between Evonik and JCF.
My name is Tobias and I am currently pursuing my PhD in Chemistry at the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf. At the same time, I am also active in the Young Chemistry Forum (JCF) of the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh), which is probably why you are reading this article now. Therefore, I want to tell you a little about my network and about me. I am currently on the federal board of the JCF, where I am responsible for finance and social media. Before that, I was spokesperson of the JCF Düsseldorf for three years and took the chance to become a member of the federal board about half a year ago and I am not regretting it. My work at the Young Chemistry Forum began with the re-establishment of the JCF Düsseldorf together with a handful of fellow students. Inspired by the already existing lecture series of the GDCh at our university, we wanted to also offer field trips, lectures and workshops, intended for the students, and thus bringing our student network to life. Contact with Evonik was also established through the following transregional networking with the Young Chemist Forums. As you can see, networks can not only help you to expand your knowledge but also offer you insights or contact to companies.
During the Young Chemistry Symposium Ruhr (JCS Ruhr), I met Evonik for the first time. As one of the main sponsors, Evonik supported the event with guest speakers and a large booth, where interested students were able to find out about career prospects and opportunities within the company. The event was a complete success with over hundred participants, proving that networking with potential employers and scientists from my own and other disciplines is important and can be fun.
In addition, the GDCh and Evonik have a strong, nationwide cooperation in which many local JCFs participate. For example, the Young Chemistry Forum helps with Evonik’s Young Spirit Program, in which students teach children science through hands-on experiments. Evonik provides the experimental kits and materials and, through simple experiments, children are taught to enjoy science from an early age, raising their curiosity. Evonik also frequently invites young chemists on field trips to its production sites. Since students rarely get the opportunity to experience such huge production facilities up close, this type of tour is always a highlight for all young chemists. During the excursions, Evonik's highly skilled employees are there to answer any questions and provide further background information on the plants visited.
My favorite event, which is organized every year by the JCF and supported by Evonik, is the Spring Symposium. Every year in March, about three hundred people from all over Europe come together to present lectures and posters, take part in workshops and exchange ideas during the international Symposium. Evonik has been involved for a long time, providing booths, presentations and, of course, sponsorship. Due to the cooperation of the local Young Chemists Forums, the Spring Symposium will take place next year in Cologne, Germany and I am looking forward to the exchange between the young chemists, Evonik as a cooperation partner and of course you. Networks, such as the JCF, help tremendously to develop personally and to gain insights into the corporate world.
In the networks@Evonik blog, members from networks with which Evonik cooperates report on their experiences with the network and their work with Evonik.