Position: Senior Consultant
At the company since: 2010
Company: PROMOS consult
Heiko Naumann works in consulting financials as a senior consultant. In this interview, he introduces himself and his tasks.
Hi Heiko, how long have you been working for PROMOS?
Heiko: It’s been quite a while now, since 2010.
Wow, so you’re an old hand. Was it always your goal to be an SAP® consultant?
Heiko: Not directly. I kind of fell into it by accident. I had other things in mind when I finished my economics degree. I wanted to open an organic takeaway restaurant. That was still a pretty new idea in 2005. I had even already started concrete business discussions. Ultimately, though, it didn’t pan out.
Where did you go from there?
Heiko: I looked though ads for job vacancies and decided to develop myself further in the SAP® field. I was attracted to the offering at PROMOS just as I completed my consultant certificates for FI and CO. The job was perfect for me. It was in Berlin for one, and I really had an unbelievable amount of space to develop for another. I was able to do so many different things. System configurations, training sessions, working with customers, live support – that was really exciting. Over time, I had the opportunity to supervise many projects with a wide range of responsibilities. And I eventually grew into my currents roles as a senior consultant and project manager. This was always my goal and I’m proud of that.
What would you say has kept you at PROMOS for so long?
Heiko: The job itself is one thing, of course. You get to be both a specialist and an all-rounder. I have technical topics for which I’m a point of contact, but I also supervise a huge number of different overarching areas and work in project organisation a good deal. You get a real sense of the big picture. My co-workers are certainly another reason. From the very beginning, I had the feeling that PROMOS was at a very high level in its field and that I could learn a lot here. Furthermore, other colleagues are always open to exchange ideas. PROMOS is set apart by a very flat hierarchy and a startup character, which I felt then and still do today. This, along with the high level of responsibility from the start, makes for an environment where you can really push yourself.
Are you a lone wolf or do you prefer working in a team?
Heiko: I’d say it depends. I wouldn’t describe my character as either completely extroverted or completely introverted. I identify with many aspects of both. And you have to be both in this job. The job demands this of you. You have to think things through and configure things in a concentrated manner that requires peace and quiet. In turn, there are situations in the project business that you can only solve with other people.
How much time do you spend travelling? Do you prefer being in the office or out and about?
Heiko: That changes over time. I travelled quite a lot when I started, sometimes even from Monday to Thursday. That happens far less these days. It all depends on the work situation. I’m less responsible for live operation now, and I currently mainly serve customers here in Berlin. But I still really enjoy visiting customers. It’s a great change of pace. You get to know people better, and a few friendships have even resulted along the way for me.
Do you lean more towards a suit or jeans and a t-shirt?
Heiko: It depends.
You don’t like to give clear answers, do you?
Heiko: [laughs] Yes, that must have to do with my character. I do like to come to the office in jeans and enjoy not having to stress about what I’m going to wear. However, there are also days and appointments that call for a suit, and I like to wear those, too. I’ve sworn off wearing ties, though.
And to conclude: if you could beam yourself somewhere right now, where would you go?
Heiko: Out into nature or the forest, just to get some fresh air and relax for a while. It is a stressful job we have, so I like to equal that out. Or sure, I’d love to beam myself into a tour of the world, now that I think about it. Drive around the world in a VW van. That’s quite unrealistic in the year 2020, though.
Thanks, Heiko. That was it from my side. Or is there anything else you’d like to get off your chest?
Heiko: Now that you ask … I'd maybe like to emphasise why exactly I love the job so much.
Sure, go for it!
Heiko: What I find so fascinating is that these SAP® systems are alive. They grow. The customer systems often differ drastically from one another. If you adjust one screw, you have to consider all of the possible effects. Sometimes you might feel hopeless and think that there’s no way to implement the requirements. But then you find a solution, think it through, develop it. And when it’s implemented, you see that all the gears mesh together. That’s the feeling that I work for. When you also accomplish that in time and in budget and develop yourself, the projects get bigger and bigger and the knowledge you’ve collected grows in complexity – that is actually what I find so exciting about this SAP® universe. There are some jobs where you watch the clock all day waiting to go home. That’s never the case here – every day is exciting. We are always trying to find solutions and implement results. It never gets boring. I can wholeheartedly recommend this job for anyone who has a passion for this. This is certainly still the case for me after 11 years.