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2017 | Gold Partner
We are
Givaudan is the global leader in the creation of flavours and fragrances. In close collaboration with food, beverage, consumer product and fragrance partners, Givaudan develops tastes and scents that delight consumers the world over. With a passion to understand consumers’ preferences and a relentless drive to innovate, Givaudan is at the forefront of creating flavours and fragrances that ‘engage your senses’. The Company achieved sales of CHF 4.7 billion in 2016. Headquartered in Switzerland with local presence in over 98 locations, the Company has more than 10,476 employees worldwide.
We offer
At Givaudan, everyone impacts the world of millions of people. We can only do so, by living our longstanding culture. We live by our DNA values, which guide us in all we do. Inspiring, Challenging and with Heart & Soul.
We are looking for
Are you someone who wants to grow and shape your own world? Who thrives being in a culture where you can express yourself in a creative team environment? Who wants to collaborate and learn together with teams who are as passionate as you are? Then come join us - and impact your world.
// Interviews 2017
Dr. Corinne Baumgartner
Portfolio Manager

Diploma Chemistry/Biology ETH Zürich (1999-2003)
PhD in Organic Chemistry ETH Zürich (2004-2007)
Postdoc at California Institute of Technology (2007-2008)

Research Scientist (2009-2015)
Senior Research Scientist (2015-2016)
Portfolio Manager (2016)
What do you do as a Portfolio Manager at Givaudan?
I am currently the Portfolio Manager for Fragrances S&T/Ingredients Research and responsible for our research programs. Within this role I ensure that our projects are in line with business priorities, define business cases, consolidate innovation needs, monitor project progresses, validate key decisions and measure our pipeline’s performance. I am also leading selected projects as well as our launch committees for molecules which are close to commercialization.
Are you working in Dübendorf most of the time or does your position entail a lot of travelling?
I am based in Dübendorf and am travelling to our other research centers once or twice a month.
What did you do in your starting position as a Research Scientist in the discovery team?
The Discovery team is responsible for the development of new fragrance ingredients which was my main goal during my time as a Research Scientist. Together with my team of technicians and apprentices we were exploring the world of organic chemistry to deliver novel molecules for our perfumers.
Are there only chemists in the team or is it interdisciplinary?
The Ingredients Research group in Dübendorf consists mainly of chemists, biologists and perfumers. Especially the teamwork with the perfumers is exciting and was totally new for me when I started at Givaudan. The ability to directly evaluate what has been created in the lab is quite unique for our industry. We work in a fascinating environment where science meets art.
How common is it for chemists to switch to a different position within Givaudan, as you did?
At Givaudan, every employee has the chance to build and shape its own career according to his/her professional interests, therefore a common approach does not exist and every 'case' is treated separately.
Your dissertation was focused on synthesizing new organic molecules, which target specific enzymatic pockets in order to establish a new pathway to target Malaria pathogens. Were you able to use this experience in your tasks at Givaudan?
Regarding structure based design of new molecules it was for sure helpful to have this background. However, fragrance molecules may not bind specifically to only one olfactory receptor and therefore our approaches are a bit different to what I have done during my PhD. But in the end the molecules which are designed on paper need to be prepared in the lab. So it’s back to the roots trying to apply our skills in synthetic chemistry to get a real sample into our hands.
How easy was the transition from your postdoctoral position to Givaudan? How does work in an organic chemistry group differ from work in industry?
It took some time to get used to the new environment, equipment and the processes but overall the transition was smooth. Regarding leading a team, it certainly helped that I was supervising students during my PhD. From a synthetic point of view, reaction scale and an early focus on industrial feasibility might be the biggest differences, but again, it’s still chemistry. Whereas during the PhD and the postdoc I was focusing on a single project, at Givaudan we are usually working on several projects in different teams with people having various backgrounds which is very inspiring and diverse. The focus clearly is on projects driven by business needs and time to market is crucial.
What led you to choose Givaudan as an employer? How did the application proceed – did you apply for an advertised position or was it a speculative application?
Getting the opportunity to work within the Fragrance and Flavour industry was very appealing and I liked the diversity of jobs offered at Givaudan. On one floor we are exploring new chemical reactions for fragrance ingredients and on the other we use flavours in applications as ice cream or cookies. Regarding my job application it was an speculative application by eMail and I was lucky to be at the right place at the right time. I spent two weeks of “holiday” in Switzerland and tried to get as many interviews as possible during this time.
Are there internships or other programs that would allow students or graduates to see firsthand how it is to work at Givaudan?
We usually have at least two internships each year for students within the Discovery and the Process Research groups. These programs are announced on our homepage as well as for example on LinkedIn.
Last question: What would your advice be for someone who recently graduated from ETH and is looking for a job?
I think it is important to be flexible and keep an open mind about jobs outside your comfort zone and of the big and well known employers. Try to start early enough with the application process as it might take more time than you initially assumed.
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Dr. Baptiste Jaquet
Reaction Flavourist Trainee

BSc Chemical and Bioengineering EPFL Lausanne (2007-2010)
MSc Chemical and Bioengineering ETH Zürich (2010-2011)
PhD Chemical Engineering ETH Zürich (2011-2016)

Reaction Flavourist Trainee (2016)
What do you do as a Reaction Flavourist Trainee at Givaudan?
I am currently in a continuous training happening during the three first years of work, allowing new flavour creators to learn during the job and take time to meet people and experiment ideas. My job consists in developing new products and production technologies. This includes interacting with creation and application teams, with marketing and regulatory department. Once a product is developed, my team and I ensure its industrialization (upscaling). This job requires a lot of creativity and offers a lot of experimental freedom.
You are relatively new to the company, what are your plans and goals within Givaudan?
My first goal is to finish my training and get to better know how business works. I am still not sure if I want to stay on the R&D side or try out some management roles at some point.
How common is it to find chemical engineers at Givaudan? Do they have a PhD or are there also MSc or BSc graduates?
It is more common to find process engineers than chemical engineers, even though this is highly dependent on which division of Givaudan we are talking about. Most of the engineers that I met have a MSc in process or mechanical engineering.
In which areas is the engineering perspective needed?
The engineering perspective is actually essential for the understanding of the complex systems we are working with. Chemical engineers have the ability to build an abstract picture of a process or a chemical system, which allows them to simplify the approaches and get to the essential. I believe chemical engineers are essential to bridge chemistry and process engineering.
How often do chemical engineers like you interact with other disciplines of the natural sciences at Givaudan?
I interact with people from other disciplines almost daily. They have a biotechnology, food engineering, chemistry, or molecular biology background. I have never encountered any problems communicating with them. I think it is a prerequisite to be able to communicate clearly and efficiently with people from other fields in order to work in the industry. It includes communicating your results to your managers for example.
How easy was the transition from ETH to Givaudan?
The transition to Givaudan was very smooth. I was integrated easily to the teams and I am still discovering new interesting personal development fields every day. The main difference is the accountability that you have in a company. You have to be able to communicate a clear strategy and project plans about what you are doing. This makes you work in a more structured, rational, and direct way. The other main difference is that projects are typically shorter and less emotionally involved than during a PhD. This involves learning how to participate constructively, even if sometimes your contribution is not under the spotlight. On the other hand, the projects in the industry are much more real. You can witness the results of your projects on the production scale in the run of a few months. I find this very satisfying.
What led you to choose Givaudan as an employer? How did the application proceed – did you apply for an advertised position or was it a speculative application?
I wanted to change the field of my work and see something else than polymers. I always had a passion for cooking and tasting new things. So when I saw the advertisement for a “food chemist”, I decided to give it a try, thinking I had no chance to get through, since I had absolutely no background in this field. But the HR department and hiring manager saw some interesting features in my profile that were not listed in the job offer. After initial discussions, I found the job interesting – for the field, type of work and compensation- and decided to go ahead.
What was in your opinion the most important factor that allowed you to get the job?
The most difficult part is to manage to get through the first CV sorting process. For this, you have to invest time in writing a good cover letter, which explains clearly why the offer and company interest you and what you think you can bring to the company. Invest a little bit of money to get a professional looking photo you can include in your CV – this works wonders!
You speak English, French and German - which one do you use more often at work at Givaudan?
Givaudan is a multicultural company. So I mainly adapt to the people I am talking with. The common ground is of course English. But in my daily life, I mainly speak German, followed by English and then French.
Last question: What would your advice be for someone who recently graduated from ETH and is looking for a job?
Take some time to think about how you communicate. This may be more important than your actual skill when you get out of the ETH. Your hiring manager has to feel confident that you are able to adapt to the company, and that you will be able to work in teams in a constructive manner. So try to show your personality during the interviews, do not hide behind formatted answers. However, do not forget that the person in front of you probably has years of experience in his field, so try not to be too full of yourself.
Do not hesitate to apply for jobs which interest you, even if you do not fit exactly the requirement listed on the offer. You do not know exactly what the company is looking for, and it could be that some of your skills will reveal essential. Finally, would advise to start soon enough with your job search and also not to lose hope if your first experiences are not positive.
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