Celanese’s University Recruiting Team recently attended the Society of Women Engineers Annual Conference in Austin, Texas. At this World’s Largest Conference for Women Engineers, our recruitment team sought out talented college students, recent graduates and female engineering professionals to introduce them to, and educate them on, the many benefits of working for Celanese. The opportunity to gain valuable engineering experience with a global Fortune 500 company; the culture of diversity and inclusion; and the opportunity to make a difference in the world through our many volunteer initiatives, differentiate Celanese from other companies in the chemicals and materials industry.
We interviewed a few of Celanese’s own talented engineers, including Sarah Abrego, Trinity Hale and Lauren Moore, to gain insight into why they chose Celanese as the place to begin their careers.
1. What is your current position at Celanese?
Sarah: I’m a process engineer. I handle projects that build new equipment or improve existing equipment, such as heat exchangers and distillation columns.
Trinity: I manage a group of projects in appliance and fluid management, such as applications for our GUR and POM products.
Lauren: I am a Utilities/WWTP section leader at our Bishop, Texas facility, leading the operations team.
2. What factors affected your decision to choose Celanese as your employer?
Sarah: I had a few colleagues at Celanese who had positive things to say about the company. We talked about career opportunities in my chosen field, as well as opportunities for personal growth. Celanese seemed to be a good fit for me and my future goals, and I felt that I could use the skills I learned in college in a meaningful way.
Trinity: At the time, I had just completed my Masters in Chemistry and was looking for a company that still used traditional chemistry. I liked the people I met at a career fair, and they explained to me the various options including multiple job sites and varied job opportunities. I had six interviews and four offers, but ultimately, it was the culture and the people at Celanese that made the difference.
Lauren: I worked for Celanese as an intern. They provided the best overall work experience for an engineering student; so when I was offered a permanent position, I was more than happy to continue with the company.
3. What do you enjoy most about your job at Celanese?
Sarah: I love that my job isn’t the same every day. Some days include calculations and models, and some involve field work. I enjoy the people I work with and learning different skills; and I especially enjoy interacting globally and finding different ways to approach problems.
Trinity: The family aspect of Celanese culture is what first attracted me to the company and what keeps me coming back each day. Celanese’s culture, size and global footprint has allowed me to work on innovative and challenging assignments, collaborating across different functions and countries. In addition, it is very clear that Celanese values safety, family, and community along with innovation and business excellence, and I come to work every day knowing I will make a difference.
Lauren: Celanese has helped me grow in my career by allowing me to accept new challenges and opportunities. It feels great to work for a company that sees me as more than just a number and appreciates what I bring to the table. What I love the most about Celanese is the people. Having moved from Chicago to South Texas, my family may be 1,000 miles away, but my Celanese family is always there for me.
4. Was there anyone who inspired you to become an engineer?
Sarah: My father is a mechanical engineer and encouraged me to consider engineering as a career. It seemed like a natural progression as I made the decision about what to study in college.
Trinity: My father inspired me as well. He works for Exxon as an engineer. Also, my parents gifted me a chemistry set when I was a kid, so I wasn’t at all intimidated by science, math and chemistry.
Lauren: I worked for Celanese as an intern. My original plan was to go to grad school and pursue my PhD, but when I saw the opportunities that Celanese offered for a new college graduate, I took a chance to skip grad school and work with Celanese right away. To this date, I am very happy I took that chance!
5. What makes you especially suited for the engineering profession?
Sarah: I’ve always enjoyed science and math – logic and sorting. I like solving problems creatively, outside a determined set of instructions. I’m always learning.
Trinity: I was adept at science and problem solving early in life, and I’m a very organized person. These skills fit perfectly within my engineering responsibilities.
6. The number of men in the engineering field far exceeds that of women, (tech jobs held by women at Apple and Google range from 17-20%), but Celanese strives to narrow that margin by appealing to the aspects of the job that women find meaningful. What would you say to a female high school student considering engineering as a profession?
Sarah: The sky is the limit, and engineering is fun. With an engineering focus, you can go into architecture, civil engineering, teaching – so many options to choose from. My experience at Celanese has been overwhelmingly positive. Team members and managers have gone above and beyond to foster and further my career. I believe those I work with have my best interests at heart.
Trinity: Go for it. Your unique personality will determine which avenue of engineering you choose. From IT to supply chain, there are so many choices. At my university, there was a good balance of male and female students; we even had an SWE chapter, which allowed for more support and female advocates.
Lauren: I would say that while the engineering field is still sometimes viewed as a man’s world, Celanese strives to overcome this view by providing a work environment that is appealing for women. The importance of work/life balance and of giving back to the community are a few things that employees (especially female employees) value about Celanese. The company even goes beyond the U.S. mandated maternity requirement by offering 12 weeks of paid maternity leave.
Sarah, Trinity and Lauren all expressed that they have experienced incredible support and encouragement from their teams and managers at Celanese. It seems clear that while the chance to work on challenging projects and the wide range of innovative opportunities may be the reason candidates initially choose Celanese, it is the culture of diversity and inclusion and the commitment to global career advancement that encourages them to stay and even take part in recruiting bright new candidates.