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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)

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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)

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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)

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Studies successfully completed. And now? My career start at consenso

My career start at consenso was very warm and easy.

II 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)

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