A master’s degree in International Business and Strategy and a strong willingness to learn: that’s in a nutshell what it took for Victoria Douin to get hired by Sopra Steria Benelux as an SAP Consultant and Business Analyst. “I act as an intermediary between two worlds: the world of IT and the world of business,” she neatly sums up her new job.
What made you decide to apply for this job?
“I didn’t specifically apply for this job, to be honest. In fact, I didn’t apply for any specific job at Sopra Steria. It was a spontaneous open application on my part.
I was living and working in Vancouver, Canada at the time, when one of my relatives mentioned Sopra Steria to me, speaking very positively of the company. So I decided to present myself as a potential candidate to them, especially since I was planning to return to Belgium anyway and looking for job opportunities over here. This led to the first meeting with one of their HR business partners. That general discussion, not related to any particular job offer, was then followed by other interviews with various directors and managers. Eventually, we both came to the conclusion that SAP consultancy would probably be the best fit for me. So the whole recruitment process started and evolved quite organically, which is actually how I like it best.”
How would you describe what you do to an outsider?
“As a Junior SAP Consultant, I assist in and contribute to SAP implementation projects at our customers’ sites. SAP is an Enterprise Resource Planning software. That is a comprehensive IT solution which basically covers all the day-to-day operations for different departments: from manufacturing and logistics to HR and finance. My involvement in those projects ranges from managing the business and functional aspects to the actual project management itself.
A crucial aspect of my day-to-day job consists in understanding the needs and wishes of our customers and then translating them into concrete and tangible requirements for our developers to work on. That’s why on top of hard skills this job also requires some good soft skills. The way I see it, as an SAP Consultant, you form the link between the business users, or the actual end-users of the software solution, and the technical experts who develop and manage that solution. Therefore you need to be able to work and communicate with both profiles within any organisation, be it a customer, a partner or subcontractor, or even another consultancy. And often you have to collaborate with them every day. So you also have to be able to quickly adapt and build a sense of trust.”
Did your studies prepare you for this new challenge?
“To a certain extent they did, yes. The approach used at my university, called problem-based learning, helped me build a certain mindset and strengthen my adaptability. I got used to collaborating with lots of different parties, working together on short deadlines, and developing solutions for business-related problems. Through my international business studies, I got introduced to all the different departments within a company, their specific workings, and the potential problems they can face. However, acquiring on-the-job experience is even more important to succeed in SAP consulting. I only had a few months of experience as an SAP end user before starting at Sopra Steria, but I am ready and willing to learn a lot more in the years to come.”
Interested in a career at Sopra Steria? Have a look at the Careers section on our website. Or better yet: check our current vacancies and apply immediately for the job that suits you!