See the world while traveling as a consultant
Working with clients all over the world has its perks. Especially when you get the opportunity to travel to their offices abroad.
The PIKONeers shared some of their best business trip experiences!
Michiel's experience as an SAP Consultant at PIKON
Starting at PIKON as a “PIKONeer” was an exciting journey. The company encouraged me to explore various topics of interest and engage in meaningful discussions about projects and personal development. The coaching team plays a vital role in guiding and supporting us, ensuring our growth aligns with our aspirations within PIKON. Regardless of our seniority, knowledge sharing is highly valued, fostering growth at all levels.
Balancing work and studies
In addition to my role as an ERP consultant, I’m pursuing a master’s degree at the University of Brussels. Balancing a full-time job and academic studies can be a daunting challenge. However, working at Pikon has been a blessing, as it provides me with the flexibility to schedule my day according to my needs. These flexible hours enable me to strike a healthy balance between work and studies, allowing me to excel in both areas.
Rewarding moments at PIKON
PIKON truly values its consultants, constantly striving to keep us at the top of our game. The company acknowledges our achievements and celebrates the successful completion of projects with a congratulatory drink. Moreover, we engage in various company activities, including company-wide events where we have the opportunity to meet and collaborate with colleagues from PIKON’s offices in Germany and the United Kingdom. Additionally, PIKON organizes company city trips, treating all consultants to memorable experiences.
Working at PIKON has been an incredibly rewarding experience. The journey from understanding the power of ERP systems to becoming an ERP consultant has been transformational. PIKON’s commitment to personal and professional growth, combined with its vibrant company culture, makes it a remarkable place to work. I am grateful for the opportunities to learn, contribute, and celebrate milestones alongside an exceptional team.
Olga's journey to an SAP Consultant
My acquaintance with the SAP world started more than 10 years ago when I became the Business Process Owner Lead for the Order to Cash process for an SAP Implementation. As a newbie to SAP, I was amazed at how much this system could do. The ease of how processes can be automated and the importance of correct customizing and settings behind the screen. All to get the most out of the ERP system, reduce manual work, and support business processes.
Ten years later, I, Olga Berendeeva, am working as a Senior SAP consultant for logistical flows at PIKON and have already been involved in numerous projects.
The decision to switch from an internal role to a consulting role has not come easy, there are always “buts” in each job, but I was slightly scared of consultancy. Now that I have this experience, I can look back and highlight the advantages and challenges of consultancy compared to an internal role within a company.
As a consultant, you are always challenged to learn more, dig deeper, and solve the most complex issues. Issues that the internal support team might not be able to solve. Apart from all the fun, there is also the responsibility to find and deliver the best solution.
You get to see and work for different companies, discover how they operate, learn the best practices within each domain, and which business processes they use. There is also a lot of variation within the projects you are assigned to. Sometimes it will be an e-invoicing project, an implementation of a new company into the existing SAP landscape, the set-up of a new warehouse, the set-up of a new business line, or different mergers and acquisitions. This experience can be very enriching both professionally and personally. As the more you see and learn, the faster and more efficiently you can support and tackle issues in future projects. It requires a certain dose of commitment to get to know the company, its processes, and the team you are working with. It can sometimes feel discouraging as you might experience that with each project, you need to start over again to get to know the people, figure out how the company operates, and understand their unique business cases. But this is what makes the job of consultants interesting and fun. You will never get bored, and you will never have the feeling that you are doing the same tasks over and over again.
I am writing this blog while sitting in the airport lounge waiting for my flight to Budapest to visit a customer. As a consultant, you get to see the world. You will meet all kinds of people from different countries and nationalities and develop your intercultural skills. You get to speak different languages daily – in my case, it’s a lot of English but also Dutch, French, and sometimes German. I even had to read some texts in Italian for one of the projects (I studied Italian back at university as a hobby). During the four years of working for PIKON, I have so far been in 12 cities and 9 countries. As an internal business analyst, you are limited by the offices in which the company operates, but as an SAP consultant, you never know what life can bring you. Some of the places I have visited so far are London, Manchester and High Wycombe (UK), Moscow (RU), Milan (IT), Madrid (ES), Solingen and Saarbrucken (DE), Prague (CZ), Budapest (HU), Rotterdam and Amsterdam (NL), Basel (CH).
As you see, there are challenges in each job. In my role as an SAP consultant, I get a lot of fulfillment from what I do. The content and variety of the tasks and projects keep me sharp. I am still discovering and learning new things in each project I do. There is also a lot of satisfaction in seeing the project going live after working on it for several months. And of course, the valuable feedback from the customers and colleagues makes me feel appreciated in what I do.
Become our new colleague!
Hanna tells us what it is like as a junior consultant at PIKON
Like several other colleagues at PIKON, Hanna Makuch started working for us as soon as she left school. After working as a trainee during an internship here, she is now officially a junior finance-controlling consultant. But how did her training period go? How did she learn the tricks of the trade? And what are her day-to-day tasks? Hanna was happy to answer all of our questions.
During the search for an internship Hanna became curious about the company PIKON that was searching for a trainee in IT-consulting. After a first internship contract at PIKON Hanna met our Manager Tommy and other PIKONeers at the Jobfair of UHasselt and they convinced her even more about her right choice to start her internship at PIKON. While being a trainee Hanna realised more and more that PIKON filled all the gaps of her expectations in a company, with a great culture, friendly colleagues and many opportunities to grow professionally and personally.
After completing an additional summer student job at PIKON and her graduation in Accountancy and Finance, it was clear for Hanna and PIKON to start the adventure with a permanent contract in the field of Finance/Controlling consultancy.
The training period
There is no real classical training scheme at PIKON. The interests and knowledge of the people themselves are taken into consideration and a personal schedule is made for each new colleague after basic coaching sessions. During Hanna’s training, she got included in customer projects very soon. She mainly attended meetings and observed her colleagues working in the customers’ SAP systems. This way of training gave her an immediate picture of how things work in real life. Another way of learning the job skills was through specific one-on-one trainings she received from colleagues and the management team. She is currently working out complete customer demos and supporting her colleagues with their customer projects.
The coaching sessions are held regularly with her assigned coach at PIKON, where Hanna learns new skills, gets challenged in client project but can also openly speak about her feelings and development.
Hanna is genuinely passionate about exploring new topics and innovative ideas to benefit our clients. At PIKON, we prioritize individual interests in our weekly planning and task assignments. Currently excelling as a consultant, Hanna is on a continuous journey of improvement, thriving in her role each day. Her dedicated research not only adds value to her work but also contributes significantly to our company’s drive for ongoing innovation and evolution.
A tip from Hanna for recently graduated students
“You don’t need to be a SAP genius right away. Your school business knowledge is a good start. When you dive into projects and get hands-on SAP training, you’ll see how to use your business know-how in the SAP world. It’s like putting the pieces together.”