On February 24, 2011, 170 future college graduates accepted the invitation of several companies Celanese, Clariant, Infraserv Höchst, Kuraray, LyondellBasell and Sanofi-Aventis to spend a day learning about professions and career opportunities at Industriepark Höchst and touring production and research facilities that are normally closed to the public. This marked the third year in a row for "Job-Multiversum", a different sort of job fair for scientists and engineers.
Its main goal is to promote and introduce to students all the career opportunities available at this exciting high-tech site with many well-known multinational tenants. "We are proud of our site's dynamic development over the past ten years and the potential it holds for the future," said Roland Mohr, Managing Director of Infraserv Höchst, in his welcome address to the students. "Today, you will see how companies apply and enhance state-of-the-art technologies. You may even see your future workplace here."
In demand: Black Belts, jacks-of-all-trades and pharmaceutical researchers
The companies had planned an exciting day for the upcoming engineers and scientists. In one morning and one afternoon program, specialty-chemical companies Celanese, Clariant and Kuraray, park operator Infraserv Höchst, petrochemical producer LyondellBasell and pharmaceutical firm Sanofi-Aventis took them on a tour of the research, production and engineering activities at their plants. The students were also able to talk in-depth with experts and HR managers at the central fair site in the Peter Behrens Building.
At Celanese's vinyl-acetate plant, the students learned what skills you need to start working at a production facility as a Six Sigma Black Belt. Clariant showcased everyday chemical applications such as the production of laundry detergent or cosmetics. Kuraray explained that it needed "jacks-of-all-trades" to develop new polymer applications based on innovative chemical engineering processes. At Sanofi-Aventis, the students watched every step in the production of a medical product: from the prototype design to the finished insulin pen.
At LyondellBasell, the visitors learned about the development of customized plastics for the automotive industry. Park operator Infraserv Höchst described how to use waste to produce electricity and steam, what advanced environmental protection covers at a chemical site, and how to efficiently and effectively supply a large production site with energy and all the process media such as steam, cooling water and industrial gases.
The students appreciated the opportunity to see first-hand "what really happens in industry" outside the university, according to one biotech student. Nadine Jansky, a chemical-engineering student who explored the environmental-analytics labs at Infraserv Höchst, was delighted by the hands on approach: "This was a wonderful opportunity to take a good look at the environment where I want to work one day. I really enjoyed being able to talk to working engineers and professionals about career paths and other issues in a relaxed atmosphere, without the pressure of a job interview."
Not your average job fair: Students visit Clariant's pilot plant for process development. Thorsten Schneider, the plant manager, explains the process of synthesizing and developing a typical product, from research to commercial production.
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