Behind the Scenes of the Celanese BBSC Image Video
At the beginning of 2017, the Budapest team received an exciting email from Corporate Communications. They were looking for a handful of actors to star in an engaging short film about our office, our people and life at Celanese Hungary. Needless to say, I was in! Mere minutes after the first email, Petra Czugler, corporate communications manager Europe, and project owner, gathered her team of enthusiastic actors, and the preparations began.
Listening As An Ally Through Email
Every day we take in a lot of information, especially when it comes to our email. So how do you tackle active listening when reading and responding to email? Recently I received an email request that wasn’t clear to me. It could have been the note itself, or the fact that it was a Friday morning and my coffee hadn’t kicked in yet. I paused and reread it and it still wasn’t clear. There was something missing and I didn’t know what, so I reached out to my colleague. When she had a moment, she came over and we had a quick in-person chat. She helped clarify and I was able to successfully execute on the task. Success!
How We Quit Smoking…Together
Our journey started in the fall of 2016 when my husband, Fred, and I were prompted to get annual physicals and there was a U.S. benefit decision to begin smoking surcharges in the near future.
The findings on our physicals brought me to the decision that something had to change with our current way of life.
“But how was I going to be able to stop smoking after 50 years,” kept ringing in my head.
Walking With Hope
The last 12 months have been the most challenging, emotional and enlightening time of my life. On January 18, 2017, my husband died of complications from heart failure one week before our thirteenth wedding anniversary. During the last several months of his life, we went from hospital to hospital on a roller coaster of medical and emotional ups and downs. During these months, I continued working and tried my best to continue to be self-sufficient. I have always been very independent and not one to ask for help. Once my friends and colleagues learned of our situation, the amount of support was overwhelming. From care packages, to the delivery of meals for the entire family at the hospital and gift cards, to support of my caffeine habit, I can’t express how meaningful it was to understand the extent of my support network and how much everyone wanted to help. I learned during this time that it is not weak to ask for help – in fact it makes people feel good to be able to help and do whatever they can during these challenging times.
Celanese Celebrates 10 Years in the Heart of Budapest
It has been 10 years! Can you believe it? A decade ago, Celanese took the ambitious step to establish a shared services center in the heart of Budapest. A decade ago, a success story started.
September 7, 2017 marks the 10th anniversary of the Budapest Business Service Center (BBSC). What began with a handful of people in Finance, today has become a well-rounded solution provider for Celanese with more than 350 outstanding, talented employees. We could not have been successful on this journey without all our engaged and talented colleagues. Many of them have been with us since the beginning; and we asked them to share their thoughts with on what these 10 years at BBSC have meant for them.
Helping Our Human Beings
When we allow ourselves to serve others, it is very rewarding in so many ways. I have been employed by Celanese for 37 years,a company that encourages its employees to give back to its surrounding communities both near and far. Last year I had the privilege of joining other Celanese colleagues from other U.S. sites, Germany, Sweden, Mexico, and China in New Delhi, India, in an effort to reach out and serve the community.
Friendships to Last a Lifetime
Thank you for the opportunity to volunteer with the Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP). I was not really sure what to expect, but as we gathered at our home base, I realized that these 10 people from across the company are members of my Celanese family. We all share common goals, values, struggles and culture. I believe we all made lasting friendships during our time together.
Inspired to Keep Giving Back
I want to thank Celanese from the bottom of my heart for allowing me the privilege of participating in the Celanese International Impact Program (CIIP) in New Delhi, India. Celanese sent a great team of people who are truly committed to making an impact on the lives of those less fortunate.
Conditions in India are much different than what we are used to here in the United States, and yet we all adapted readily and easily knowing we were there to be of service. We dove into the culture and experienced the good and the bad. We were able to tour and see many amazing sights, but we also worked hard to make sure we could fulfill our obligation at our assignments.
We Are The “CHEMpions”
On June 13th more than 63,000 participants ran or walked 3.5 miles between towering skyscrapers while enjoying the beautiful Frankfurt skyline at the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge. Nearly 100 Celanese employees ran for a good cause under the “We are the CHEMpions” motto. Participants represented 5 Celanese locations, including Kaiserslautern, Amsterdam, Budapest, Sulzbach and Frankfurt. After the run, everyone met together to enjoy the great weather with a bratwurst washed down by a cool beverage to celebrate.
Learning from Teaching: They Taught Me More Than I Taught Them
I would like to take a few words to try and encourage fellow Celanese employees to assist in training growing minds at one of the many GED adult literacy program sites in the United States. Whether you are in the South or the Midwest, there is a local adult literacy program that would appreciate as little as an hour a month, or even as much as 4 hours a week, of your time. Many youth do not attain a high school diploma due to family, medical, or legal reasons. Volunteering at a GED training site can provide mentorship and guidance to those in need. Tutoring can also be a great source of personal development to the individual volunteer in terms of reinforcing fundamental skills and learning new tactics in communications. Ultimately, education strengthens our community and our workforce.
The Email That Put My Weight Loss Journey Into Overdrive
I will never say my decision to start losing weight was an easy one. I had a pretty terrible three days and it led me to focus on myself and making sure I was happy. While I had never been fully content with my weight, I never let it hold me back from living my life. As a full-time graduate student, my process always starts with research, so I looked into credible lifestyle change advice and recognized dieting fads weren’t going to lead me to real, sustainable results. At work, I started observing what people ate. The key is moderation. I started tracking my calories, meal prepping, and going to the gym.
Between school and two jobs, timing was everything and freeing up that time was crucial. Interning at the Celanese office in Dallas also gives me access to a gym facility, which really helped me stay committed while simultaneously avoiding rush hour traffic. I had changed my diet, started working out and after 4 months and 40 pounds, I received the email that put my journey into overdrive.
More Than a Budapest Shared Service Center
I have always been expecting more than just a 9 to 5 job. I wanted to work somewhere where people care about each other. A place where my ideas are heard and where I can be challenged every day. Have you ever wondered what makes our Shared Service Center (SSC) different from the others in Budapest?
The Best Night In A Long Time
Being selected to serve on the Celanese Foundation Committee, and then joining families with the Emergency Shelter of Northern Kentucky (ESNKY) and having the chance to Improve the World, has been an incredible experience that I will be proud of for the rest of my life. It’s caused me to reflect on the meaning of “family.”
It has also provoked me to think about what “families” mean. It’s not just doing a one-time volunteering event, but building an ongoing relationship with those in the community who we can help. This includes those who manage this wonderful life-saving facility at ESNYK and their overnight guests. In 2016 we have extended our relationships with ESNKY by doing a bowling night, which has become more than just a fun night out, but a real opportunity to build relationships of trust.
All of the hard work and dedication that comes with being a Celanese Foundation member is so rewarding, especially when I hear volunteers share their reflections about time spent with our “Shelter Family.”
Challenge Completed: UK Style
Hello, my name is Tina, and I have just turned 50 years old. Where did all those years go? I have worked at the Celanese Spondon, United Kingdom facility for what seems like forever. I am an organizer. Fortunately, this trait comes in quite handy when you are the Global Citizen Network (GCN) representative for the Spondon facility and in charge of coordinating all local volunteer efforts.
At this point I should also state that when it comes to charity work or volunteering, we British live up to our reputations and are quite reserved. This is a new concept for us, and even now my friends can’t believe that Celanese allows us to take time from work to volunteer.
How Volunteering Can Open Your Horizon
These days there is at a lot of emphasis on our leadership behaviors at Celanese, our competencies as leaders and on how to drive value. This made me realize I have a very internal, Celanese-specific view on that. However, recently I had the opportunity to widen my horizon just a little.
My daughter, Annika, with a PhD in Sustainability Entrepreneurship, has founded together with her friend Amy what she terms a “social business.” Their approach is to solve a social issue through entrepreneurial means and therefore make a tangible impact on society while still being able to finance themselves. As I got involved in lots of discussions around business plans, financing models, crowdfunding, and legal and tax considerations with Annika and Amy on their start-up, I also became very interested in the environment they are working in and visited the Social Impact Lab Frankfurt. The Social Impact Lab is a community for social entrepreneurs, social start-ups, coworkers and young people with a German and non-German background. It’s a co-working space where young professionals find the creative environment to further develop their ideas, network and seek professional support on their way of becoming self-employed. The lab’s purpose is to incubate the start-up during the first steps.
As my interest in those ideas and start-ups grew, I asked myself how to connect the Celanese Foundation’s volunteering program with the Social Impact Lab and soon started advertising the idea to do a social day where Celanese colleagues could consult young entrepreneurs at the Social Impact Lab.
The Power of the Working Family
I underestimated the amount of change I would go through as a new mother. People told me my life would be completely different, but there aren’t enough words to describe how my world was turned upside down in the most challenging, beautiful, and rewarding way.
Why I Volunteer: Meet Trevor and Jacob
I met Trevor and Jacob this spring. They were the first to arrive at a shoe giveaway sponsored by Buckner Children and Family Services. The event took place at an elementary school nestled in the community of Bachman Lake. It was just 7:30 am on a Saturday, but Trevor and Jacob were wide awake and ready to go.
Building a Culture of Giving and Caring
When I became the first Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) coordinator in 2010, my first assignment was to develop an annual event that would allow employees around the company to come together to volunteer in their local communities. We knew that there were plenty of volunteer efforts happening around the company, but because we didn’t have a formal CSR program, we didn’t really know about all of the great things our employees were involved in.
Something Is Wrong If You Don’t Belong
Have you heard this phrase? It’s true in many places and, in my view, it’s especially true at work.
Let’s face it, we spend a lot of time working. The average person will devote one-third of their life to the workplace. With that kind of commitment, it’s important to feel at home in the workplace. We should feel appreciated and at ease. Many factors are involved to be able to achieve that, including the quality of your job, feeling successful at what you do and having good people around you who know you and respect you for who you are.
What I Gain as a Volunteer
For the past two years I have volunteered for Special Olympics Edmonton as a track and field coach. The Special Olympics’ motto is: “Committed to enriching the lives of Albertans with an intellectual disability through sport.”
All You Need is Love
Being pregnant is usually a turning point in a woman’s life. Hormones are running high, the woman’s body changes in an uncontrollable, unpredictable, and amazing way. I have not been pregnant, but my best friend has told me that pregnancy was an incredibly trying time for her, both physically and mentally.
We Are All Global Citizens
At Celanese, we have a lot of brain power. We use our intellect, technology and creativity to create customer value. As employees, we work hard to be the first-choice chemistry solution source for our customers.
As global citizens, we are called upon to improve the world by making a difference in the communities where we live and work. We also have a lot of heart at Celanese. I’ve seen firsthand the difference we are making. In both small and big ways, we inspire each other to do more– whether running for charities to support a cause we believe in, donating clothing, blankets and toys to brighten the holidays for families in need, Team Celanese racing to the finish line to raise money to fund…
Running With Purpose
On Friday, December 4, my husband, Marcus, and I traveled from Dallas to Memphis for my first marathon. We arrived at the Cook Convention Center and met up with family to check-in prior and enjoy the benefits of the expo. While standing in line, workers rang cow bells and cheered. I felt proud when they announced that I had raised $9,000 for St. Jude. I was handed bib number 782 with GoGirlGo printed on it, and in less than 24 hours, the race would be under way.
Saturday morning was cold, but the sun was shining. With our family, Marcus and I made our way to the start line. The music was loud and my excitement grew. At 8:00 am the race began and corrals were released at 2-minute intervals. We were sent off by the cheers of our family and others lining the streets in support of the St. Jude Marathon.
It was time to put all of my effort and training (70 running days and 356 miles) to the test and enjoy the experience of running a marathon. Running for a purpose took on a new meaning for me when the route took us through the St. Jude campus and children lined the route and cheered us on. One couple came prepared with silver beads and as they passed each child, they hung a strand around their neck. It was an emotional experience I will not forget.
Earlier this year, we had record rainfall in the local area. The generous showers may have been a welcome sight to budding spring flowers, but not so much for area drivers as it flooded major roadways for days at a time. One of the impacted roads happened to be the one I take to work each day. Great – now what do I do? I knew I had a destination and I was forced to find another route to get there.
I had a few options, and because the road was closed for about a week, I think I must have tried them all. I was desperately seeking the route that would get me to work or home in the shortest amount of time with the least amount of hassle. One of my phone’s navigation apps would give me optional routes to my destination based on current traffic patterns. While each route would get me to my destination within a few minutes of each other, they would also take me on completely different roads. One route took me to an area I’d never driven through before. It wasn’t very far at all from where I live, and yet I discovered places so close to me that I never knew existed – like a nice park or popular restaurant. The next day I tried another route that took me WAY out of the way…taking a lot longer than it really should have but I got there eventually. Several times, my smooth talking driving companion (the system calls her “Jane”) would instruct me to take a turn, obviously unaware that the road she was leading me to was closed. When that happened, I ignored her advice and took another direction that I knew was better. I hoped she would quickly get the hint and create a new route for me: “Recalculating,” said Jane.
Going Full Circle
For the first four years of employment here, I often wondered what was my purpose at Celanese? Why was I placed here? I knew there had to be a reason, but I just couldn’t pinpoint it. I knew there was a plan, but it was not my plan.
I can still remember the phone call with the Celanese recruiter who had found my resume on Indeed.com, asking me if I had heard of Celanese. I eagerly responded, I did, since I had often seen the big orange C every day on my way to work driving on the LBJ Freeway. In fact, my job at that time was right across the street! However, it never dawned on me to apply here during my job search.
Why Do I Run? I Run For Raymond.
I began running in February of 2014, while my husband, Marcus, was training for his first half marathon in Pittsburg, Pa. His efforts motivated me, so I downloaded the ”Couch to 5K” app and got started.
I was bit by the running bug when we picked up his bib and bag of goodies for the Pittsburg race. The atmosphere was electric when I left Marcus in his assigned corral to wait for the race to begin. With my course map in hand, I proceeded to find my first location to cheer him on. When I saw Marcus running, I was so proud of him; he was running his first half marathon. Given the size of this event, I was unable to see Marcus cross the finish line in person, but his verbal account along with the photo sealed it for me; I was going to be a part of crossing future finish lines with him.
I continued my training and before long I was able to run a 5K without stopping. Shortly thereafter, my Dad’s (Raymond Dewayne Summers, Sgt. E7, Vietnam 65-66) health began to decline due to lung cancer, so I made as many trips home as possible so I could spend time with him. While visiting, running in Okeena Park became part of our daily routine. My dad would take his spot on the bench in the shade, and I would take off running with music playing in my ears. When I got close to him, I would silence the music so I could hear his cheers of “Go Girl Go.” My Dad had coined this phrase for me earlier, but hearing it when I ran past him made it very special for me.
Why A Social Day Is Always Worth It
In line with the motto “Take a short break, catch your breath, make some people happy,” we used our Social Day 2015 as a part of our Global Impact Month to strengthen the team. Our job was for a team of eight to paint the recreation room, hallway and kitchen in the childcare center in Hofheim-Lorsbach, near Frankfurt. Overall, the project was “one of those days again that it’s worth going to work,”summed up one of the participants at the end of the day. Even if work this particular day had nothing to do with e-mails, procedures and files, it was a great day filled with paint splatters and freshly painted walls.
Walking with Heart
On Saturday, September 12th I participated with 164 Dallas employees and their families in the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk in downtown Dallas. Employees came together and successfully raised $9,075 for heart health benefiting the American Heart Association (AHA). Everyone has a reason to live a longer, healthier life. I walked to honor my mama and this is my “Life is Why” story:
After my mother died of congestive heart failure in 2013, years passed before I realized her forgetfulness and inability to do simple tasks were symptoms of heart disease. At first, my mother’s memory loss wasn’t alarming. However, the first time she forgot something major it frightened me because my mother had always been full of life and wisdom. We thought it happened because she was just getting older and more forgetful.
A Jump Start in Sneakers
Personally, I always enjoy participating in social and team events. Especially at a sporting event like the J.P. Morgan Chase Run where It is easy to just jump into the next conversation around you and get to know new colleagues from others sites, departments and businesses. Where else would I have the chance to meet all these faces?
Sport has always been a good (and healthy) reason for people to get together and join the race. That’s why I also decided this year to not let the Frankfurt Chase happen without me. I grabbed my bags, a few colleagues from the Dutch site in Geleen and took the bus to Germany. During the 3-hour ride, not only were our sneakers ready for the excitement, but also our moods for the biggest Celanese European team event.