Collaboration, Enthusiasm, Hard Work: Cultivating a Successful Career Innovation Workshop
You reap what you sow. The well-known farming metaphor applies not only to a farmer’s harvest but also volunteerism. Months of preparation and long nights of emails, phone calls, designing, brainstorming, and more all boiled down to two afternoons, my reward: JA’s new independent research project – the career innovation workshop in partnership with Celanese, a company who has graciously and zealously supported JA China.
May 11, the butterflies in my stomach fluttered with nervousness, anticipation and excitement on that May 11th day. The “what ifs” race through my mind. What if the students and volunteers don’t like the activities or find the other party incredibly boring? What if nothing goes according to plan? My fears ease away as I…
Giving Back to the Community
No matter our role at Celanese, we are among those in our communities who have resources – whether it is money, time or talent – to give back to the many who are less fortunate. It makes me very proud when I read the many stories from around the world where employees generously donate to their communities in various ways. It might be cleaning up the environmental, volunteering at the local food bank or community kitchen, helping out in a classroom in Dallas or Tarragona, or building a home, as was recently featured on our company’s Facebook page. There’s a long list of recorded examples of Celanese employees giving back, and I know that is supplemented by many more of you who give back in ways we’ll never hear about.
Though I struggle to hammer nails in straight and can’t tell you when to use a mitre saw or a circular saw, I have been welcomed into…
Celanese CHAMP program – the job that was looking for me
While completing my Masters in economics at Heilbronn University, I knew what kind of a company and position I was looking for: An international corporation which would offer me a challenging and exciting position. A program which would allow me to gain experience across different functions and give me the opportunity to really make a difference even at the very beginning of my career. But where could I find such a job..? Then I saw a job posting from Celanese, something called the “CHAMP Program”…
It’s now been over a year since I joined the Celanese High Associate Management Program (CHAMP) in Germany. The program consists of four assignments in 2.5 years across multiple businesses and functions. During my first assignment I managed an…
Barbecue For Our Troops – Helping the country through the community
At Celanese we believe in giving back. Recently I had the opportunity to do that, and give back to those who serve in the US Army.
I work at the Clear Lake, Texas plant and volunteer with a program called “BBQ For Our Troops.”
BBQ for Our Troops is a non-profit, volunteer initiative “To honor those who protect our freedoms, and their loved ones, with the hospitality of the uniquely American meal of barbecue.” Why does this mean so much to me? I get the honor of cooking and serving your typical backyard barbecue picnic of meat and sides, active duty American soldiers and wounded soldiers.
This is the fourth time I’ve helped with the project and the second time my…
Florence Site Highlights Safety Best Practice
It was intern training day 2011 for Celanese and there I was, sitting in Florence, Kentucky, waiting for orientation to end and excited to start my new internship. We watched the site safety video, filled out some forms, and heard numerous other lectures about job-related safety. At the time, I figured that safety education began and ended on orientation day. I had learned how to be safe, what else was there to know? Wow, was I wrong. I immediately learned that safety at Celanese was first and foremost on everyone’s mind. “Safety First” wasn’t simply a catchy slogan around the office, it was a credo, a way of life. Throughout my summer in Florence from the business office to operations, safe practices were taught, discussed and acted upon.
Fast forward to summer 2012 and my second internship at Celanese. I began orientation day at the Bishop, Texas, site in much the same way as the previous year, except this time the culture of safety was already something I was used to – until I arrived at my department the Reliability Engineering Group in the Reliability and Maintenance Section. Here safety is taking on a whole new meaning thanks to the innovative ideas of several mechanics and maintenance staff. The site leadership places an active emphasis on safety, personalizes it, and fosters a family environment. Characteristics like “Family,” “Attitude,” and “Brother’s Keeper” encourage everyone to look out for each other and speak up when they see something unsafe.
The responsibility is on everyone – not just site leadership. Even as an intern I know…
Paying It Forward – Investing in Our Community
Have you ever had a day where you are told how great you are? Or called a “Rock Star” no matter which direction you turned? How about receiving not just one or two notes of thanks and praise, but a handful of personal cards and letters with heartfelt notes of appreciation recognizing your phenomenal acts of kindness? That was my day at MC Lively Elementary School in Irving.
On behalf of Celanese, we gave 900 students school supply items, customized T-shirts and backpacks. Students could barely contain their excitement as Celanese volunteers paraded up and down hallways handing out backpacks with school supplies and T-shirts. Several students said that they would never be able to afford these types of necessary school items without…
Celanese TCX Technology® Can Reduce Indonesia’s $12 Billion Annual Gasoline Subsidy
I recently returned from another trip to Jakarta, the third time in as many months given the significant progress being made in the country. The Celanese team has kicked off the work with Pertamina as defined in our Joint Statement of Cooperation and it was rewarding to see the progress they have achieved. As a reminder, Celanese announced its intention to jointly develop projects with Pertamina, the leading state owned oil and gas company in Indonesia, to convert local coal resources to ethanol using Celanese’s TCX® ethanol technology for use as a transportation fuel in the country. While in Indonesia, I had the opportunity to meet with the US Ambassador to Indonesia, Scot Marciel, at the Ambassador’s residence. The Embassy has been very supportive of our efforts and has provided instrumental insight and support into the opportunity.
Ambassador Marciel hosted a reception with members of “Commission VII” of the Indonesian Parliament to discuss the fuel ethanol project between…
Clarifoil Film Showcased at Walmart Show
Clarifoil have just returned from the Walmart Sustainability Expo – an invite only event exclusively for suppliers and buyers of Walmart. This is the 3rd year that Clarifoil have attended, having previously exhibited compostable envelopes and breathable donut boxes. This year was the launch of Clarifoil’s thermoformed packaging in the form of sushi boxes.
Traditionally, PVC has been used for this type of packaging however, there is strong drive to eliminate this from the supply chain due to its contribution to landfill, difficulty to recycle and the fact it is not made from sustainable sources. RPET (recycled PET) is becoming increasingly popular, however this product has a finite lifetime due to…
China, Celanese and This Summer
One of the ever-present views of the economic climate is the slowing of China’s economy and the impact it’s having on the world. Celanese has major investments in Asia and China which represents about 20% of our annual revenues. So it has been a priority of mine to get a firsthand look at what’s happening there, to hear from customers, suppliers and to spend time with our employees.
Having just returned from four weeks in Asia I want to share some highlights of this trip. But before I do, let’s start with…
Improvisation & Innovation – An Intersection of Personal Passions
Almost two years ago, Celanese was embracing its transition into a company focused on innovation, collaboration and customer-orientated opportunities; and I was enjoying my own transition into a new role to support that innovation built on strategy, marketing, and – a personal passion – improvisation.
How can I suggest that good business can come from improvisational acting? Easily. When we discuss unmet needs of the marketplace and debate possible solutions, we are embracing an unscripted environment where the solution doesn’t exist –quite frankly, we’re making it up as we go.
Strategic thinking, a “Market-Back” perspective, and “Stage Gates” improve the success of innovation development; similarly, there are core elements that make improvisation more successful. As I outline below, there are three improvisation skills which can…
Returning to Elementary School
I was thrilled to participate recently in two Junior Achievement teaching days with my Celanese colleagues Gretchen Rosswurm and Phil McDivitt as we co-taught a kindergarten and a third grade class at MC Lively Elementary in Irving, Texas.
It was a blast! Junior Achievement is a well-organized, straight-forward program that allows career professionals the opportunity to share their life experiences and make a difference in the lives of elementary students. I have taught children in the past, but no experience is required to volunteer. From my recent experience, I would like to share a few helpful tips…
Leaders communicate, and communicators lead
This week SmartBrief published a guest blog post about leadership and communication by Gretchen Rosswurm, Celanese’s vice president of communications and corporate social responsibility.
The full post is re-published here for the convenience of Celanese’s audience:
I’m lucky. Having been with a number of Fortune 500 companies, I’ve worked with some incredible leaders. They may not be names you know, but these are a special few who lead and communicate so well they bring people together to achieve amazing things.
From CEOs to supervisors and everything in between, these leaders have a few common communication habits that any of us can take to persuade, inform and encourage teams to be more successful. I’d like to share them with you…
Weibo – the Social Media You Need to Know
Do you Weibo? I do.
Last year I attended a meeting where communicators came together to discuss social media. Many companies did not blog or “Weibo (micro-blog)” fearing it would invite negative comments.
I was among those few who saw it differently. First, the risk comes from unqualified products, malfunctions, accidents or bad services, not from establishing a social media platform.
It’s a matter of attitude. You can choose to be silent to avoid potential negative response, or you can take initiative to speak your own voice to build a professional and positive image that would help deflate negative comments if they did arrive. I also know the future of communications will be more digitalized and more social. Now more than ever establishing a social media platform is important for companies, both as a way of doing business and for…
Perception Can Be the Elegant Missing Key
I have for a while now successfully replaced TV watching with watching TED videos. It makes me feel virtuous, although I do spend equal amounts of time on the couch — and by extension — not exercising.
Recently, one particular stream of thought spread across a few videos resonated with me strongly. It is this notion that often times what you should be solving for is the perceived problem and not necessarily the “described” problem. Let me give you a few examples (courtesy of TED and my own experiences).
Example: Six million pounds were spent on Eurostar to reduce the transit time between London and Paris by 40 minutes. For 0.01% of the money they could have instead put Wi-Fi on the train making…
Ask Yourself Three Questions When Managing Processes for Productivity and Efficiency
To effectively and efficiently manage a process, one needs “end to end visibility”. Too many times, we “compartmentalize” ourselves, do our own little piece, and toss it over the wall to the next person, without seeing the full process or understanding the objective.
I once lead restructuring in one of Celanese’s largest manufacturing facilities. It involved five individuals, three from the same department that had no idea what the other was doing. Each week, one individual collected quarters…