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#1 - Between arriving, getting started and the quest for the nearest supermarket

During her internship in Mobile, Alabama, Jara learns to re-evaluate distances. She talks about these and other cultural differences during her first week on our students@Evonik blog.

Half a year abroad, lots of new experiences and fi-na-lly applying what I´ve learned at university - that sounds like an adventure to me! I couldn't wait to start my trip to Mobile, Alabama. Mobile is Evonik's largest manufacturing site in the U.S. and offers an insight into many different systems and processes. I learned one thing while I anticipated the start: the adventure begins even before departing! Months before, you're busy with the organization: Visa, taxes and, not to forget, the international driver's license. Here's a tip for all those who are planning for a stay abroad: get all the necessary papers as early as possible - you can never start too early!  The choice of airport can also make your entry more relaxed 😉

After the long flight and arriving at the airport, I´ve got a first impression of what to expact the next few weeks: a colleague picked me up and even took me to my apartment. I am very grateful to have been received warmly by my new colleagues. I´ve been told that everyone who comes to Mobile is welcomed friendly – a characteristic of the southern states.

I also quickly noticed the difference between the perception of distance in the U.S. and Germany. The statement, "the next supermarket is right around the corner", always meant for me that the supermarket is within a walking distance. But not in the USA. If you don't live in a big city like New York, you are always dependent on your car. My "supermarket next door" is seven minutes away by car.

But that´s a minor drawback. At Evonik, I received support from all sides as I settled in to my day-to-day work. I was introduced to all my colleagues, got all the technical equipment I might need, and my supervisor answered any questions or organized anything I was struggling with. From the very beginning, I was able to work on projects in various working groups and thus discovered a broad range of tasks within the company.

As you can see, I quickly felt very comfortable working there, my colleagues gave me great support and I am excited about what is waiting for me in the next few weeks of my internship.

In my second blog, you will find out more about the southern hospitality I mentioned above, how Americans spend their free time, and how they celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas.

 

See you soon,
Jara

On the students@Evonik blog students who work at Evonik share their experiences about life in the company.

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