Position: Professional Consultant & PMO
At the company since: 2013
Company: PROMOS consult
Erik Walter is director of the department Facility & Construction Management. In this interview he introduces himself and his tasks at PROMOS.
Hello Erik! How long have you been at PROMOS and what has your career path been like here at the company?
Erik: I’ve been at PROMOS since June 2013 and started out here as a working student. Back then I wanted to find a job alongside my studies that would challenge me both personally and professionally. Important was the opportunity to write my Master´s thesis for this company and to get the chance to be taken on. PROMOS was the right place for that. I’ve now been a full-time consultant at PROMOS since January 2015. I gradually took on more responsibility, and in 2018 I was then responsible for the entire ERP introduction for a large customer as the project manager. Since 2019, I’ve also been involved in the PMO (project management office). I perform my regular consulting work three days a week and do the additional work in the PMO on the other two days.
Can you still remember your job interview, how was it?
Erik: Yes, it was a quick interview. After I turned in my application I had the interview short after at PROMOS. The conversation was pleasant, open and not cramped at all. It was clear right away that everyone feels good here. Familiar surroundings, pleasant atmosphere and a central location in the middle of Berlin. That was very good for me, because I live in Brandenburg at the Havel and I am depending on a good traffic connection. A few days after the interview I have found the work contract in my postbox, I signed and now I´m here… [laughs]
What do you like the most about your work?
Erik: The variety and the responsibility I have as a consultant. In addition to that the work is very sustainable. What I mean by that is, that the software solutions we e. g. implement in a customer´s project can probably be used by many people even in 10 years. And if my head is spinning I can talk with my colleagues about everything without any problems.
How would you describe the age distribution at PROMOS?
Erik: PROMOS strives to take on many young people, including working students and vocational trainees. This makes for a nice wide age distribution. You have the oldest, most experienced colleagues, the youngest ones and those in the middle – it’s really a good mix. There is no trend towards overrepresentation of any single age group.
Have you ever encountered the situation in the context of your PMO work that you had to convince colleagues who had been at PROMOS much longer of the value of new processes and methods?
Erik: Yes, that comes with the territory. But I have never experienced not being taken seriously because of my age. A certain amount of persuasion is always needed when it comes to changes – that has nothing to do with age. But my goal is for the new processes and methods to provide added value for my colleagues, and if you effectively communicate how this will make their work easier, then they will also accept it. I've also been working in projects at PROMOS for a few years now in various roles – as a consultant with my own individual subtasks and also as a project manager for large projects. This has allowed me to get acquainted with every aspect of project management at PROMOS. My colleagues know me and are aware that the suggestions are not coming in from some outside observer – we have a good level of understanding there.
You became a father recently. How are you balancing parenting with your career?
Erik: It’s gone really well so far. I really appreciate that we don’t have to “clock in” at the office at 8 o’clock sharp. I’m sometimes already in the office at 6 a.m. just because the night ended up going that way. But if I have the option of sleeping a little longer because my son is doing so, then it’s nice to be able to start my day at a different time – assuming my work appointments allow for this. Another great thing is that new parents at PROMOS are free to work remotely one day per week until the child is one year old. This grants us more flexibility to support our partners and be more involved in family life.
How does PROMOS support you as an employer in this new situation?
Erik: The level of acceptance from colleagues and superiors is really great. Many people here have families themselves and know the situation. Nobody puts up any hindrances when it comes to taking parental leave, for instance. They’re happy for you and tell you to enjoy the time. This is on top of all the other things – as I already mentioned, the flexible working hours and the option to work remotely are an enormous support. And it goes without saying that receiving a bonus for your wedding or the birth of a child is great too!
One last question: how do you envision your future within the company? Do you have plans and goals for the months and years ahead?
Erik: The PMO department is still quite young. There a still a few milestones we have to achieve in order to improve our project work. This will certainly keep me busy for the next two years or so. In my capacity as a consultant, I would be very happy for the opportunity to lead another large project. It’s quite fun, and I’d love to do it again.
Thank you for setting aside some time for us! We’re crossing our fingers that you’ll be leading another big project soon enough.
Erik: Thanks, glad to do it!