From intern to chemical lab technician – this is the path that nature lover and science enthusiast Lars Henkes has taken at Clariant. Starting his apprenticeship in September 2022, Lars’ interest in chemistry was already awakened at an early age and encouraged by an internship at Clariant when he was in ninth grade. Now, he is one of those who found their way to Clariant through our apprenticeship program in Germany, after which many apprentices stay with the company.
In the following text, Lars tells us more about his journey into chemistry and his first steps on this career path.
A family affair
My name is Lars Henkes. Nature and science have been my passion since I was young – it runs in my family. My enthusiasm for nature and the environment was sparked by my grandfather when I was a child. My mother is also very interested in science, especially in chemistry: she is the one who introduced me to Clariant. She trained as a chemical laboratory assistant at Clariant 36 years ago – back then Hoechst AG – and still works at Clariant today.
»For me, it is fascinating that chemistry plays a major role in our everyday lives: From detergents to plastics in cars, from dyes to pharmaceuticals. The list goes on and on. Now, I want to do my bit.«
Lars Henkes, apprentice at Clariant
From intern to apprentice
Throughout my life, this interest in science has deepened. At school, my focus was first on biology and then, in the following years, also on chemistry and physics. Because of my family ties to Industriepark Höchst and my interest in the subject, it was only natural for me to try my hand at this career field. So, in the ninth grade, I completed an internship at Clariant and was able to get an insight into what it is like to work in a laboratory. This experience made a lasting impression on me. For me, it is fascinating that chemistry plays a major role in our everyday lives: From detergents to plastics in cars, from dyes to pharmaceuticals. The list goes on and on. Now, I want to do my bit.
So, it came as no surprise when I decided to do an apprenticeship at Clariant after completing my vocational baccalaureate. Having started on 1 September 2022, I spent the first six months at an external training center. Then, I joined my first department: Clariant Crop Solutions. This field feels like a perfect fit for me as I spend a lot of my free time outdoors working with plants of all kinds. For example, I help out on my family’s allotment and plant vegetables there.
Continued growth and discovery
What I like about being a chemical laboratory technician is the mix of working in research as well as developing existing products, where you keep gaining new insights. I am glad that I have been able to experience this at Clariant Crop Solutions, for example, when it comes to new crop protection formulations.
Since my apprenticeship, my life has become much more structured, but also more varied. I am generally a very curious and interested person who enjoys learning new things. And that’s one of the best things about my apprenticeship: I learn something new every day. I am supported by my understanding and helpful colleagues who look after me in the company. After I finish my apprenticeship, I would like to continue working in this profession so that I can explore and learn even more. I could also well imagine doing further training in biochemistry or agrochemistry. As I continue my apprenticeship, I look forward to the continued growth and discovery that each day brings, and I am eager to see where this exciting path at Clariant will lead me next.
Are you interested in completing an internship or apprenticeship at Clariant? Then get in touch with us!