But first, let us have a beer
First part of the excursion took students of the Elite Graduate Program "Advanced Synthesis and Catalysis" to a family owned brewery. It was a great chance to get familiar with the process behind German’s most popular beverage. We started with part of choosing the grains depending on which beer is being made and followed the technological process all the way through to how the perfect foam is obtained. During the tour, we were lucky to try some of their new beer and take a bottle of choice home. The passion and tradition behind this family business were as fascinating as the production procedure.
Next day we went to one of Germany’s biggest (chemical) companies. Wacker seemed to us like a world of its own, covering the surface of land our eyes were not able to cover. What fascinated us more than the size of this company, were all the products either made there or utilized by other companies for making their final products.
Moreover, the hospitality of its employees attracted us the most. They explained to us not only what kind of chemistry and business they do, but also what goes behind the scenes, namely, what is the recruiting process. It was very useful to hear tips and tricks for job hunt, which can serve as a guidance for our future career choices and planning. Besides that, all of our questions regarding scientific background of certain processes were met enthusiastically with clear explanations.
Last but not least, the trip offered opportunities to strengthen the ties amongst the students from the respective program. Students from different generations enjoy every opportunity to exchange the knowledge and advices on how to tackle the challenges regarding their study program successfully and with as little stress as possible. It might have something to do with the fact these conversations always take place with good beer and lots of singing. There was no better environment for all of us to charge our mental batteries upon the beginning of a new year. We are already looking forward to both new challenges as well as new get-togethers in months to come!
Text: Matea Sršen, Elite Graduate Program "Advanced Synthesis and Catalysis"