Working at Evonik – American, German, International.
As part of the Ruhr Fellowship program, Lisa-Marie had the opportunity to participate in a 6-week internship in New Jersey. In our students@Evonik blog, she writes about working in the US and the importance of teamwork in a global company.
In my first blog entry, I told you a lot about Evonik and my project during my internship. This time, I want to tell you more about the work and the team atmosphere in the United States.
Since Evonik is an internationally active company, many departments are spread across multiple sites and, at the same time, are dependent on each other. This naturally has a major impact on the way each employee works and on the composition and cooperation of the entire team. This was especially evident through the regular and important cooperation with the many other Evonik sites worldwide. For example, the “Building Protection” Group, to which I was assigned to, works closely with the Rheinfelden site in Germany. Some of the experiments I did during my project, had already been carried out at that site in a similar way. This had the advantage that, on the one hand, I was able to evaluate the German laboratory reports and, on the other hand, I was able to implement the tests with American regulations. This made me realize how important it is to be able to speak more than one language because an international company lives through the communication of their employees with each other.
From day one, I was welcomed by all team members, a combination of full-time employees and interns. I also noticed the great diversity of the employees. The different cultures and languages always made interesting conversations and discussions possible. There were many talks, e.g., about the German and American education system, tuition fees, the driving skills of some drivers in New Jersey, German highways or, “Autobahn”, and typical German or American cuisine.
We either spent our lunches together outside Evonik or we met in the lunch room with our own lunch. Therefore, my colleagues quickly made it their job to present me with the best restaurants in the area and all "typically American" dishes, during my 6-week internship. This also included Thai, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Mexican and Italian food, often in the Americanized version or simply American barbecue. The portions were sometimes much larger than in Germany but it is not unusual to take part of the lunch home with you. Fortunately, there is a gym for all employees on the Evonik site in Piscataway, so after work I was able to balance out all the food with sport
The time I spent in New Jersey and with my colleagues went by way too quickly and I am glad, I had the opportunity to get to know Evonik as an employer. I learned a lot in the U.S. and, just as I missed German whole grain bread and the public transportation system when I was in the U.S., I will surely miss a lot from there, here in Germany. Right now, I am looking forward to completing my Master's degree.
See you soon,
On the students@Evonik blog students who work at Evonik share their experiences about life in the company.