From Automotive Mechatronics Engineer to SAP Developer - even detours lead to the goal
I didn't head directly for my home port at consenso, but rather in a roundabout way. Why?
I like cars. So, I didn't actually want to become an SAP Developer, but an Automotive Mechatronics Engineer. I successfully completed the apprenticeship, but then I changed my mind – I also like computers.
Thus, I did a second apprenticeship as an IT Specialist for System Integration.
An acquaintance – now a colleague – recommended consenso to me as an employer and I applied. Up to that point, I had actually still planned to work in systems support, but things turned out differently.
During the job interview in Bielefeld, I was not only shown the advantages of consenso, but also the benefits of working as an SAP Developer with a focus on SAP Process Orchestration (SAP PO), i.e. the connection of third-party systems to SAP via interface. The ever-changing challenges of project work, the constant variety due to the different third-party systems of the various customers, the close communication – technical and professional – with the customers on the one hand and the colleagues on the consulting side on the other, the teamwork.
After three years at consenso, I can say that my expectations have been fully met. My induction took place gradually and directly in the customer project, with the guidance of a mentor who supported me in word and deed, so that I was able to work independently in a very short time.
Today, my field of activity encompasses the entire development process, from the definition of requirements in direct contact with the customer to the independent implementation and execution of tests with the business department concerned. My expertise now ranges from interface development in SAP PO via classic ABAP programming through to SAP Cloud Integration Platform (CPI), a broad field that never allows for boredom.
Working at consenso – for me, that means hands-on experience with the latest technologies, mutual support in the team, targeted internal training and working independently. In particular, I wouldn't want to miss the help and/or hints from my colleagues – whether in the same project or across projects. This way I can constantly develop myself in order to come up with the best solution.
But I cannot leave the social component unmentioned either. If it's possible, I am happy to drive the 150 km from my home office to Bielefeld to spend time with my colleagues – in the office, but also in the hotel after work. And the fact that you'd better not miss Fridays in the kitchen is no secret at consenso anyway.
So, I can say: anchor cast, anchor set!
Tobias Derks, SAP Developer (in May 2022)
Arriving with distance?! My career start under pandemic conditions
For my career start, it was particularly important for me to find a company that would promote and support me in my individual development right from the start. That's how I finally became aware of consenso, and I have never regretted my decision since.
On my first day at work, I was welcomed by everyone in a friendly and helpful manner. Together with two other new colleagues, I received a technical briefing and an introduction to the company's philosophy.
As I started my professional life at a time when Corona and exit restrictions determined everyday life, further training took place from the home office. This was an unprecedented situation for me as well as for my colleagues and consenso as a company, which made starting my career a challenge due to the lack of contact with colleagues and clients. However, daily video conferences, weekly online trainings and an internal project work for career starters enabled me to quickly settle in and gain an overview of the SAP basics.
However, I gained the most experience through my project work. I was already contacted by my mentors in the first week of work. According to the consenso mentor program, every newcomer is assigned an experienced consultant who coordinates the project-related induction and acts as a contact person for coping with the project activities.
Since I worked as both PMO and Finance and Controlling (FI/CO) Consultant in my first project, I was assigned two mentors accordingly. One for each area of activity.
As PMO, I got the chance to work in direct contact with the project management. I was given comprehensive insights into project planning and project management. Throughout the project, as well as in the meetings of the project management, I was integrated as a full member regardless of my professional experience and was thus always able to contribute my own ideas and impressions. My "PMO mentor", who was also the project manager, supported and encouraged me through targeted feedback discussions. My personal interests and professional ideas were always the focus. For example, I became the project-wide contact person for the project management software when I asked for more responsibility. On the other hand, when I wanted to take on new tasks to gain insight into other areas of activity, I became a member of the cutover management team, in the course of which I was then also involved in my first international go live. Job enlargement and job enrichment are not just empty concepts at consenso.
My induction as a consultant in the Finance and Controlling modules was just as successful and can be roughly structured into three phases.
In the first phase, I was given a basic overview of the operational project activities and the work packages involved. Therefore, I accompanied my "FI/CO mentor" to his daily meetings for the conceptual design and implementation of customer solutions. Before each meeting, he briefed me on the objective of the meeting and how to understand the content to be discussed and its background in the concept of an integrated SAP structure. After each meeting, he also gave me the opportunity for a debriefing to clarify open questions and consolidate my understanding. Thus, in addition to the training series, I was able to gain knowledge across all SAP modules during my project work and link the theoretical content with practical experience.
The focus of the second phase was on independent work. I took on individual tasks and discussed and presented solutions in customer meetings. My mentor accompanied me during these activities to be available for questions and to give me feedback afterwards.
During the third phase, I then took on smaller work packages independently, which I worked out and implemented. Even though my mentor no longer accompanied me to every meeting from that point on and sometimes let me research or ponder a little longer until I came up with the adequate customer solution, he was still always available to answer my questions. Although I did not receive any direct answers, he pointed out starting points and guided me in the right direction, teaching me a structured error analysis and an integrative evaluation of solution approaches.
In summary, I can say that I was able to take on many exciting tasks in my first project, both at the strategic and operational level, and that I was able to gain a lot of experience that will also make my work easier every day in my second project.
Or even shorter: I have arrived – in my home port.
Svenja Tölle, SAP Consultant (in March 2022)
Mission Automation - From Intern to SAP Consultant
I joined consenso because my studies in computer science at the FH Bielefeld were coming to an end and I was looking for an internship.
Since I had heard that you can learn a lot in a very short time in consulting, I applied to consenso. The right step? Oh yes - and how!
On my first day at work, I was "onboarded" together with other colleagues who were starting a permanent position at consenso at the same time.
There was a thorough introduction to the company culture and history as well as the technical equipment. From the beginning, I was treated like a "normal" employee and appreciated accordingly. Everyone I met here offered their help at every step of the way.
Due to my interest in business administration and my computer science background, I ended up in the automation team. For our customers, we automate process steps in SAP or other applications with the support of RPA (Robotic Process Automation). For example, transactions and processes in SAP can be automated and executed at the push of a button. This is currently my focus. I was immediately given a lot of trust and responsibility; I had the opportunity to attend courses directly at the software manufacturer UiPath and acquire certificates in the process.
Thus, I was trained theoretically and practically at the same time and quickly had the good feeling that I could offer real added value in the customer's project.
After only 10 weeks of good cooperation, I was offered a permanent position and the opportunity to write my Bachelor's thesis here at consenso. I have also been supported in my Master's degree, and my own interests have been taken into account.
Work-intensive days are mastered together with nice colleagues, so that at the end we can be proud of the final product together.
My expectations have been confirmed. The learning curve is huge, and I look forward to continuing to learn and improve every day.
Marcell Wach, SAP Consultant (in February 2022)
Studies successfully completed. And now? My career start at consenso
My career start at consenso was very warm and easy.
I was quickly admitted into a group of young people, and the relaxed and humorous atmosphere between the colleagues instantly dispelled all my initial concerns that might come along with the first job after university.
In the second working week already, I started to work at the customer which suited me perfectly. Instead of hitting the books for months, I could gain my first practical experiences.
In parallel, there was a comprehensive training plan for all starters providing an overview of all processes in all business sectors, presented by qualified colleagues with numerous practical examples.
You constantly keep learning and are supported by the colleagues, enabling you to solve tasks and problems independently. In my case, this motivated me to take over more and more topics and tasks within the project.
The following project provided me with many new and totally different tasks so that I could make further progress. The strongly increasing project responsibility resulted in my first own sub-project, which – of course – was also successfully implemented!
Every time I am astonished when I realise that I have been part of consenso for about three years already.
During this time, I have learned such a lot, have had international projects, have been assigned as sub-project manager of various undertakings and have met great colleagues that you definitely can also call friends. I have learned to grow with my tasks and the constantly increasing responsibility, always knowing that I can rely on my experienced colleagues where necessary.
Of course, it is the projects and challenges that make me stay, however, I have also come to deeply appreciate the big family into which you are admitted!
Sounds like MY HOME PORT, I would say!
Jennifer Mölders, SAP Senior Consultant (in November 2019)
My experiences with SAP Retail mass rollout
or: With consenso in Europe's most beautiful industrial areas
One Sunday morning, we started our last go-live of an SAP Retail mass rollout in the regional companies of an Europe-wide acting food retailer.
At this point in time, we still thought that, as usual, we would be able to send our internal "success report" on the completed go-live via email to our colleagues in the project team and consenso's management at about 15:00 h in the afternoon. We would never have expected that, in the end, we could only hit the send button with a one-day delay. But finally, we could proudly announce that the last company in the European mass rollout was successfully converted to SAP.
I had been the last team member to join the retail rollout. However - or maybe also because of this fact - it was a very intensive time for me, that provided a lot but also demanded much. At the beginning, our journey started by visiting the German industrial areas, later on, we could extend our radius to large parts of Europe - an area somewhere between Aalborg and Sevilla. And the journeys have left us with many unforgettable impressions.
So, Torben is planning his avocational career as an author. His debut book - a travel guide entitled "Europe¹s most beautiful industrial areas - 1,000 places to see before you die" - will surely become a bestseller. We travelled the probably hundreds of thousands of travel kilometres alternately by car, by train, by ship or plane, thus covering almost the entire mobility range. Our travel destinations were as different as the experiences we could gather on site. Greiz definitely is totally different to Madrid. The same applied to the supply situation. While some sites set a very high standard with SAP cocktail bars and chocolate specialities, with homemade cakes and real French champagne, other sites brought us back down to earth with tap water and cold pizza.
However, what remained the same was the gratitude of the customer's employees on site, who always appreciated our support and were impressed by the work commitment of the consenso colleagues. We developed a very friendly relationship especially with the colleagues in the customer's regional IT departments located in other European countries. And, three years ago, I never would have thought that I would start to learn French one day.
But what made the rollout really special was always the team spirit in our internal teams that extended far beyond the limits of the work. We laughed together, discussed, ate and drank together, wandered through national parks, rode the rollercoaster, went shopping, tried to hit the Eurojackpot; sometimes, we also argued or fairly shared the 120 Euro ticket for illegal parking like Muhammed and I did. In the end, we could always and in every respect rely on the colleagues - a valuable realisation when you also spend most of your spare time with your colleagues due to your work situation. A burden for your private relationships? Not necessarily - a French employee of the customer pointed out to us that it can also be of advantage when you simply don't have the time to argue with your partner because you spend most of the time with your colleagues. The French really understand what love is about.
So, I consider it my duty to thank the whole team for enabling the implementation of the rollout in this form. Personally, I would like to express my special thanks to my "professional telephone jokers" Jenny, Marc and Serdar. But also Nora, Torben, Simon und Muhammed who have showed understanding for every grumpy question and never lost their belief in me finally arriving at the breakfast table. When we needed support, our project manager, Max, was available at any time at day and night, thus sacrificing probably the most weekends of us all. Also the back office has always supported us excellently, no matter whether someone got stuck at the Amsterdam airport, came back with a flood of travel receipts, needed to rebook the dozenth flight or to book a hotel room that could only be done by phone and in French, or if I broke the VPN again somehow. Florian even endured the ingenious invention of the A1 forms. Many thanks to all.
Next year, with the completion of the mass rollout, there will actually be "only" two more companies waiting for their conversion to SAP Retail. My chance to gather some more basic knowledge in two further languages. But we will bother about that after New Year¹s Eve. Until then, we will enjoy the last days of this year and in this rollout on site at the customer. And after completion of the go-live support, we will arrive "at home" just in time for the X-mas party - to a welcome with a big applause!
Florian Schütte, SAP Consultant (in December 2019)
Make consenso YOUR HOME PORT, too!
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