Athena: "I think it's great that Henkel offers a platform for collaborative and interdisciplinary work – regardless of age. If Felicitas and I wanted to work on a project together, the focus wouldn't be on our age or our different levels of experience, but simply on our names. It would be Athena and Felicitas working together. I find it funny when older people say that young people have little experience. Young people have also gained experience that they can put to good use in their working lives, and that experience is different.
Felicitas: "My experience with Henkel began in the summer of 2020, shortly after I graduated from high school. The first semesters of my studies were completely online due to Covid, so I hardly had any personal contact with my fellow students. Fortunately, starting at Henkel was a little different: Henkel had already organized a meeting for us during summer break, including a mentoring program. That was great! And it continued being that way: students have a lot of freedom when working on projects, they can test themselves and explore new avenues. And if I get stuck, I can ask for help. But I don't want the answers or solutions to be dictated to me."
Felicitas, are there any behaviors that surprise you as a 20-year-old and make you cringe?
Felicitas: "When I hear: 'We've always done it this way'. Thankfully, I don't hear that sentence often. These words usually come from employees who have been working in one area for a long time already, do their thing and use that as an argument. But I don’t let that unsettle me in my opinion. Nevertheless, I also find it important to emphasize: In all the departments I've been in so far, most of colleagues have been very open and flexible. Together, we agreed on the best possible solutions."
Athena, you have a total of 14 career stages behind you, and today you guide students as a trainer and mentor. What do you learn from these young adults?
Athena: "An incredible amount! These young adults give me a fresh perspective. I've been in the job for so long and have correspondingly set patterns in my head. If I want to break away from these, then I need fresh input. Critical questions such as 'why are you doing it this way' make me listen carefully and force me to think again. As a result, I always learn something new and can contribute that to the company."