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As a cooperative student at Evonik, Miriam had the opportunity to do an international internship in the U.S. In our students@Evonik blog she talks about her experiences.


When people ask me about my projects at work and I tell them that sustainability plays an important role within these, they are usually irritated. Overall, chemicals are perceived to be something unnatural, whereas sustainability is often linked to environmental safety and nature-friendly processes. These two images are moreover believed to contradict each other - so how can a supplier of specialty chemicals be sustainable anyways?

Environmental as well as human protection and safety are undeniably essential when dealing with chemical raw materials. However, natural resources are definite and thus, we need to think about alternative solutions allowing us to still be able to provide necessities like alimentation to our future generations. So how do we create solutions to current problems in our society? How do we take the resources we naturally have and develop something new and more efficient out of it? How do we establish alternative ways of current industry practices? The answer is simple: Chemistry.

So aside from aspects related to safety and the prevention of negative environmental impacts through waste, for example, sustainability is a much more future-oriented topic requiring innovation, further research, and the continuous development of knowledge. To pursue this, Evonik has several innovation departments focusing on different fields of businesses that could be improved. Also, Evonik’s Animal Nutrition department even partners with universities to jointly develop new concepts.

In my last article, I shared what I learned about the challenge of feeding the world and which role companies like Evonik play in it, as they enable the production of safe and high-quality nutrition in a way that still allows us to feed the world in the future. Innovation is clearly a key aspect in this and today, I would like to tell you about one of Evonik Animal Nutrition’s innovative topics that was subject to one of my main tasks during my internship in Kennesaw.

I supported my supervisor Monique with setting up a customer seminar aiming to increase the dialogue and collaboration within the chicken industry and this way enable to develop innovative solutions to upcoming issues together. Customers invited to the seminar were not only Evonik’s direct customers, feed mill operators or farmers, but also retailers and even NGO’s. This way, discussions on how to manage challenges facing the North American chicken industry were initiated.

Planning such a customer event is a long and at the same time exciting process involving aspects like making sure enough participants sign up, organizing transfers to the right location, providing suitable food and beverages, and even coming up with catchy ideas for giveaways for the attendees. This way, we ended up sending over a hundred paper invitations to potential attendees and ordering numerous little stuffed chickens along Evonik flags and roll-ups for decoration purposes. Also, presentations for the speakers were conceptualized and prepared, which was the aspect I worked on most intensively.

The major topic discussed throughout the seminar was the consumers’ increasing demand for a more responsible use of antibiotics in animal feed. This issue can be addressed by offering alternative solutions which, simply explained, provide the possibility of a soft intervention improving the animals’ overall health condition. The extensive use of antibiotics in animal feed could this way be decreased. To put this story into a presentation that is easily understandable for attendees from all possible points of perspectives on the chicken value chain was quite challenging, but at the same time provided the opportunity to get to know our chicken industry from multiple points of view.

The seminar took place in Orlando, Florida on my very last working day in the U.S. This is how I got to go on my first business trip with Evonik - and it was a huge success! Participants as well as our Evonik speakers were pleased with the event and all the previous work and preparation turned out to be absolutely worth it!

This is how my internship abroad in Kennesaw, Georgia ended. I hope you enjoyed reading my little row of blog articles and this way getting insights into one of Evonik’s fields of application from a student’s perspective. Maybe you also have a story on working abroad with Evonik or insights into one of Evonik’s departments to share?


On the students@Evonik blog students working 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