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Fit for working abroad

Evonik has promoted junior talents for over 40 years to prepare them for working in an international company.

Junior talent promotion has a long tradition at Evonik: the “Junior Business Talent for Sales Activities Abroad” sponsorship program was initiated in 1978 by the predecessor company, Degussa. As part of this three-year, on-the-job training program, employees initially familiarized themselves with one business unit, followed by a 9 to 12-month work assignment at Hachemie, a Hamburg-based Degussa subsidiary. Thanks to its manageable size, this trading company was ideally suited to learn about international business processes from start to finish. The employees were then assigned to a sales office for the same period.

In addition to any foreign language skills they had acquired during their training, program participants were expected to learn another foreign language. They also had the opportunity to attend various seminars, which were designed to prepare them for their “future role as salesmen, problem solvers and ‘market developers’,” as stated in the human resource and social activity report of 1978/79.

Today – 40 years later – the internal sponsorship program, now known as the International Sales and Marketing Program (ISAM), continues to thrive in the Group. Participating Evonik employees complete three assignments at sites all over the world. By now, over 200 people have successfully graduated from the program, mostly in the areas of marketing, sales, supply chain or (new) business development. The program extends over a period of two years and comprises three assignments of at least six months each. Since the focus is on broadening horizons, participants are assigned to at least two chemical segments of Evonik and complete at least one work assignment outside of their home country. “ISAM gives junior talents at Evonik the opportunity to gather international experiences in a variety of functions and business units,” emphasizes Julia Tugend, the program director at Global Human Resources.