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David had the opportunity to work for Evonik in Mexico. In our students@Evonik blog, he talks about his experiences.

#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.


... at #HumanChemistry

#NewYearNewMe! ✨ A few weeks ago, my colleague Derya and I had the great opportunity to record our fourth TikTok video together with some of our Evonik apprentices. Watch the full video on TikTok to find out what their dream jobs are 🎬: https://www.tiktok.com/@evonikofficial #HumanChemistry #Ausbildung #EmployerBranding #NewYearNewMe
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Yesterday we launched our D&I campaign 'Everyone Evonik - Everyone unique' in which colleagues of Evonik Antwerpen introduce themselves to each other. They show that it is possible to do both: to feel 100% at home at Evonik and to be completely yourself at the same time. Colleague Mohamed Amhaoul is the first to tell his story. Read it in Dutch (https://corporate.evonik.be/nl/DI) or in English right here: YOU CAN TURN PREJUDICES AROUND "I am Mohamed Amhaoul, but everyone calls me Moh. I grew up in a Muslim family and am now a husband and father of grown-up children myself. I have been working for Evonik Antwerp since 2005. I started my career at the silanes production unit and after wanderings via the then Cyol unit and the hydrogen peroxid unit, I have been working at the methionine unit for several years now. I am a team leader in the B-team and I am also involved in the employee representation. By ending up in so many different teams, I have already experienced a lot, both positive and negative. Experiences are real learning opportunities for me. For example, I learned over the years not to react immediately when people say something. I take the time to think. A statement always has a context and you can't just assume it's meant badly. I'm a big fan of the consultation culture and conversations. If we don't talk to each other, we won't get anywhere. I really believe that. My origins and religion sometimes cause unease in other people. I have learned to be careful with my own reactions, not to make things worse. You always have a choice: stir things up or be smart. I find it smarter to have a calm conversation and not to impose yourself or your own opinion. Believe me, I have experienced it many times: prejudices can be turned around, without fierce discussions or heated situations. Give people time and trust comes almost naturally. I myself do not accept any form of discrimination. Not in relation to women, colour, religion, race, gender,... and this at no time: not at work, not in the sports club, not in the family. For example, my sisters all started higher education, because I was able to convince my parents of the importance of it. The sports federation, where I am a member of the board, has appointed me as a confidential advisor and I am grateful for that. Here at work, I feel respected. I can be who I am and I wish that for everyone. I dream of a world where boys and girls get to choose what they study, where firms reflect the diversity of the world. Where no one is afraid to be themselves and everyone respects each other without reservation. We are on the right track, there are many bright spots for those who want to see them. #HUMANCHEMISTRY #DIVERISTY #EVERYONEEVONIKEVERYONEUNIQUE #SENSEOFBELONGING #DIVERSITEIT #INCLUSIE #EVONIKANTWERPEN #IEDEREENEVONIKIEDEREENUNIEK #D&i #INCLUSION
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Responsible for Communication - Central & South America Region #Evonik #teamwork #determination