Work-Life Balance – Put into Practice

Andrea Dogan is Commercial Operations Manager in the Global Sideline Business department at Covestro. Today, she gives an account of her career.

Hello everyone!

My name is Andrea Dogan, and I have been working for Covestro for 35 years. My professional career began with my vocational training as an industrial business management assistant at Bayer AG. In those days it was relatively easy to get a job with a department after finishing training. Basic Inorganic Chemicals was the only department I applied to, and I was accepted the same day. My work in this department was quite varied and began with the export of the product caustic soda in the form of beads and flakes. Today, we only sell this product in liquid form (sodium hydroxide solution). At the time, I especially liked the fact that the company was so international: I had daily contact with colleagues in different countries such as China, Thailand and Indonesia.

Working part-time – no problem at Covestro
After the birth of my daughter in 1990 I took long-term parental leave. The colleague who deputized for me during my parental leave became pregnant herself in the meantime, so after just one year I was offered my old job again. That came totally unexpectedly – but after considering it for a short time, I accepted! The best thing was that I had the opportunity of working part-time. At that time, this couldn't be taken for granted, so I was all the more grateful for the support and understanding of my supervisors and colleagues. Again, after my son's birth three years later, I stayed at home for a year and was able to go back to work in my former department. The time I spent as a part-time employee was very intensive. You have to face challenges daily: you want to be professional in your career and at the same time a good mother at home. It wasn’t always easy but looking back I wouldn’t do anything differently.

The first application after 31 years at the company
In the years that followed I continually took on different tasks, but always in the same department. After repeated reorganizations it ended up being called Basic Chemicals. Then - after 31 years in the same department - the time came at last for me to “spread my wings.” For the first time I applied in writing for an internal position. After an extensive selection process – a really new experience for me – I was offered a job in the Global Sideline Business department. I had to deal with many new tasks, processes and personalities. This was a huge challenge unlike any I had faced before but one that I was very happy to accept. One of my tasks is to sell used packaging such as pallets and barrels. By doing this we guarantee that these articles are not simply disposed of after being used once, which in turn contributes to one of today's very important issues. This job is very varied and exciting. It was like jumping into the deep end and it does you the world of good when you are able to swim and don't sink! That's why I can only encourage everyone to be courageous: leave your comfort zone and jump into the deep end!

Almost at the same time as I changed jobs, Bayer MaterialScience became Covestro. It felt strange to suddenly become a Covestro employee having worked for Bayer for over 30 years. However, this feeling disappeared very quickly, as the “new” was motivating and a very good and positive atmosphere developed. In line with the slogan “be curious” I am looking forward to the future with Covestro.

Involvement in the Procurement Culture Club
Fortunately, at Covestro I am also able to support non-profit topics that are close to my heart. I do so by getting involved in the Procurement Culture Club. The club organizes activities for employees. Last year we held the first Leverkusen charity event in the Kinder-und Jugenddorf Stephansheide children's home in Rösrath. With “colorful” as our motto – under the guidance of a master painter – we repainted the recreation rooms there. Covering up and painting was almost fun because so there were so many hands doing the work. The group even got praise from the painter at the finish.

Another activity that I support at Covestro is the Weihnachtstern (Christmas star) campaign. For this, requests are collected from people in need, written on stars, and hung on our Christmas trees in six different buildings. The employees buy and pack the presents and give them to us so that we can pass them on to the organization. The happiness that we have been able to give people through this campaign is indescribable.

The chance to combine things that are personally important to me – whether concerning family or voluntary work – with my job is for me only one of many reasons why I like working at Covestro. Even after such a long time at the company, I am still happy to be working here and am looking forward to many more exciting years to come!