Jumping into the deep end

Professional swimmer Rosalie Kleyboldt (19) has her focus set on Paris 2024. On her way there, she is currently doing an internship at Evonik through the intermediary of the NRW Sports Foundation.

Her day begins when the early shift at Evonik starts: Every day at 6:30 a.m., Rosalie Kleyboldt jumps into the 26-degree "cold" water of the Rüttenscheid swimming center in Essen, Germany. Then it's training time for the 1.88 tall athlete of the SG Essen. After the warm-up, she swims up to seven kilometers every morning. Lane after lane, day after day, always focused on a clear goal: the biggest sports event worldwide.

After one of these early shifts, the next plunge for Kleyboldt followed this February: She began an internship at the corporate communications of Evonik. While studying media and communications, she is now part of the External Communications team for a month.

The contact was established by the NRW Sports Foundation. Evonik is definitely new territory for the junior European champion. She was familiar with the fact that she gets an impression of a "world-leading specialty chemicals company." But she didn't know exactly what was behind the large building on Rellinghauser Strasse. Now she is taking the opportunity to gain an insight into the processes of a corporate group.

Rosalie Kleyboldt in her office at Evonik
Rosalie Kleyboldt in her office at Evonik

"First of all, I had to deal with the IT issues and get into all the relevant team groups," explains Kleyboldt. After all, most of the work must be done virtually due to the pandemic. "But a lot of colleagues helped me there, and now I can already take on my own tasks." It's her first experience in working life. After Kleyboldt graduated from the Helmholtz High School in Essen last year, she started studying at Ruhr Uni Bochum in August 2021.

Screening social media channels for the most important news about Evonik is now part of her daily work, along with much else. Despite many digital meetings, she has already gotten to know Evonik's headquarters so well that even going to the canteen has become a familiar route. It's a good opportunity to exchange ideas and network with other colleagues, at least with mask.

In the afternoon it's time for training again
In the afternoon it's time for training again

She never loses focus on her athletic goal. When Evonik's early shift has long been off, the freestyle swimmer continues with training sessions in the afternoon. That means out of the office clothes, into the swimsuit, and back to Rosalie’s element: water. Paris 2024 constantly in mind.

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