STUDENTS@EVONIK BLOG: DAVID IN MEXICO
#1 – Mexiko-City - a diverse metropolis
During my apprenticeship program at Evonik in Germany, I had the opportunity to do a six-week internship abroad in Mexico City. In Mexico, Evonik maintains the regional administration and sales center for the entire Mexican region and partly handles the Central and South American sales activities (except Brazil). During my stay at Evonik Mexico, I had the opportunity to work for the High Performance Polymers business line in the Resource Efficiency segment. I participated in various business meetings and gained insights into regional distribution and logistics topics. I also spent six weeks working on a project with a major automotive manufacturer. My team and I worked on a business case, focusing on fuel line systems for vehicles. Speaking in a foreign language (English, partly Spanish) during the whole day and the constant learning of new things fascinated me the most. Through my work on this project, I have learned a lot about the Mexican and North American automotive industry, the economic and political situation and the big challenges for the country and its people.
In addition to the activities of everyday office life, it was also an incredible experience to share the cultural exchange with colleagues in Mexico. Contrary to all the prejudices regarding higher crime rates (compared to Germany), the location of the city in one of the most active earthquake regions in the world and problems with poverty, I got to know a lot of people who made me think and reflect my experiences. Mexicans are incredibly courteous, happy, hospitable and proud people that show so much kindness and respect. I have never experienced this before in this way in any other country. Whether it was about following invitations to a common meal in one's own apartment, willingly bringing us closer to the country and culture, or avoiding every little danger for us, for the Mexicans this was always a matter of course.
With a population of approx. 22 million people in the extended urban area, Mexico City is not only by far the largest city in Mexico, but also one of the largest metropolitan regions in the world. By German standards, these dimensions are almost unimaginable. The masses of cars that flood the city's streets every day and around the clock, the multitude of people, the constant and fierce rain showers in the evenings and the large selection of culinary delicacies make the city a melting pot of different circumstances, influences and cultures.
In general, life and society in Mexico are not comparable to German habits. In Mexico, everything is different: punctuality, working hours, organization. Appointments at a fixed time were often postponed by 30 to 60 minutes. Sometimes it was the traffic, sometimes just a midday nap that caused the delay. The Mexican working day didn't start before 9 a.m. Occasionally, the first colleagues were on site from 8 a.m., but the majority always started later. However, they also stayed in the office for a correspondingly longer time. This mentality became noticeable in all aspects. If my colleagues and I planned a team event, then the date was (mostly) certain, time and way of transportation were determined only minutes before. But, and this is the fascinating thing about it, it worked. Plans always worked out, the daily work went on and by the end of the day everyone was satisfied.
When I look back at this time, I can say that I am incredibly grateful for this unique experience that Evonik has made possible for me. I learned a lot about the culture, the society and the country and met some great people, gained many new and valuable impressions and started learning the Spanish language. All these moments and experiences made my six-week internship an unforgettable adventure.
On the students@Evonik blog students who work at Evonik share their experiences about life in the company.
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