My name is Patrick, and I started a doctoral program in the Chair of Technical Chemistry at Ruhr University Bochum a few months ago.
The Evonik Perspectives program lets me stay connected to Evonik – my relationship with the company started back in 2016, with a dual course of study. I chose Evonik because it seemed to be a very creative, innovative company, and the next few years only confirmed that impression.
In the dual course of study, I trained as a laboratory chemist at Marl Chemical Park while also studying Chemical Engineering at Hochschule Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences in Krefeld. After completing the program with a Bachelor’s thesis in the department of Chemical Reaction & Polymer Technologies in 2020, I switched to Ruhr University Bochum for my Master’s, still with a focus on Technical Chemistry.
During the full-time Master’s program, I received support from Evonik’s stipend program for trainees. That allowed me to concentrate fully on my studies, and at the same time it helped me connect with many talented people. I was also able to participate (very successfully) in the Evonik Student Challenge 2022 as part of a wonderful team, once again working on current issues for Evonik.
Although that was a lot of fun, after finishing my Master’s I decided to stay at the university and pursue a doctorate at the Chair of Technical Chemistry instead of going straight back to Evonik. One reason for my decision was that, during my Bachelor’s program, I met a lot of young chemists who had been able to start at Evonik as project managers as soon as they earned their doctorates. The project management insights I gained during this time were very exciting, so I’m hoping for a similar start at Evonik as soon as I have the corresponding academic degree in hand.
The Perspectives program is helping me with this undertaking, not just because of the opportunity to constantly expand my network – recently, I was also able to complete further training as a “Certified Project Manager Applied Chemistry GDCh.” The training included the modules “Innovation and Strategy Management in the Chemical Industry,” “Competitive Analysis in the Chemical Industry,” and “Strategic Marketing and Project Management in the Chemical Industry.” The individual areas were covered not just theoretically, but also using various case studies from the chemical industry to convey in-depth knowledge. Although it will be a while before I re-join the company, this has given me the chance to prepare for my potential tasks in a targeted way, which will make it easier to begin my career.
If you want some ideas about how to be better qualified for interesting jobs, ask your contact person for advice. I guarantee they’ll do their very best to help you!
Until it’s time for me to come back to Evonik, though, I will be spending some time investigating higher-alcohol synthesis as part of my doctoral project – coincidentally, I ended up working on a project that Evonik is participating in. So there is still a deep-purple common thread running through my career path, which I hope will continue for a while.
See you around!
On the students@Evonik blog, students, who work at Evonik, share their experiences about life and work in the company.