Meet Giovanna

What initially drew you to the Henkel Adhesive Technologies Innovation Impact Program? 

What initially drew me to the program was the opportunity it offered at 24, fresh off completing my master's degree. I realized I wasn't ready to dive straight into the industry; I still had a lot to learn. The idea of a graduate program appealed to me because it would allow me to gain exposure to different business units before committing to a specific job position. Additionally, starting the program alongside peers meant being surrounded by individuals going through similar life stages, which provided a comforting sense of friendship, especially when navigating a new environment abroad and entering the job market.

Tell us about your first impressions of the program. What surprised, excited, or impressed you the most?

My initial impressions of the program were overwhelmingly positive. One aspect that truly impressed me was the exceptional working culture within the company. I found that individuals in higher positions within the hierarchy were always approachable and willing to engage in meaningful conversations to share their experiences. As a woman in engineering, I particularly valued the inclusive atmosphere where I felt heard and respected in meetings and throughout the company in general.

Another thing that excited me was witnessing the genuine enthusiasm from the program coordinators to ensure we have the best possible experience over the 18 months. Their dedication to making sure we can maximize our learning and growth throughout the program was truly inspiring.

What excites you most about the Inspiration Center in Düsseldorf?  

What excites me the most about the ICD is the fact that it's situated at the headquarters of the company. Being in this hub means you're surrounded by all the top managerial staff, providing endless inspiration for personal and professional growth. Additionally, all the research from various business units is concentrated here, making it effortless to exchange ideas with colleagues from different areas and delve into the multitude of technologies and products the company offers.
Moreover, innovation is at the core of everything, and it's super exciting to have the opportunity to work with cutting-edge technology and collaborate with experts in diverse fields.

What specific skills did you gain during the program that you find most valuable in your future career path, whether in Product Development or Application Engineering? 

Unlike university, where the responsibility for earning a diploma often rests primarily on individual effort, transitioning to a company, especially one with the dimensions of Henkel, revealed the importance of collaborative decision-making involving multiple stakeholders from diverse backgrounds and work styles.

By participating in various teams throughout the program, I improved soft social skills that are crucial for effective teamwork and future leadership roles. Learning to navigate different perspectives, communicate effectively with colleagues from varied backgrounds, and adapt to diverse working styles has been instrumental in preparing me to future roles.