Digital SHero Saide – From the classroom to SAP consulting

Sarah Pfeil

April 30, 2024

Saide Yazici, SAP Consultant, valantic, SAP Consulting

“Don’t be afraid, just try it out!”

This time, as part of the digital SHeroes campaign, we went to beautiful Dornbirn, Austria, where Saide reports on her career in IT. Her original desire to work as a teacher ultimately led her to SAP consulting. The variety of her daily work motivates her anew every day. Her relaxed, positive attitude helps her cope with challenges, and she is particularly pleased when she succeeds in completing difficult projects. Even though Saide feels comfortable with her team, sometimes she’d like to have more female colleagues. The IT industry is diverse and offers many opportunities for people of every gender – her slogan: “Don’t be afraid, just try it out!”

Hello Saide, please introduce yourself briefly.

My name is Saide, and I have been part of the team at valantic in Austria since November 2022. I work here as an SAP consultant in FI and AMS.

Would you like to tell us how you got into IT?

IT is not foreign to me from the ground up, as I studied both business informatics and education. During my studies, I got to know many IT areas and learn different programming languages. After graduating, I started my student teaching. In the process, I found that teaching was not my true passion. That’s why I rethought things after that.

What motivated you to study business informatics and education at the same time?

My dream job was always to become a teacher. I found the combination of education and computer science very appealing. That’s why I applied for this course of study and was fortunately accepted.

How was the transition to consulting?

During my student teaching, I already had a lot of contact with adult students, some of whom were the same age or even older than I was. I particularly liked communicating and interacting with people. That’s why I was looking for a profession that would include this exchange with people and combine it with the IT topics I had studied.

How did you specifically come to SAP consulting?

During my studies, I took the SAP module SAP, which I really enjoyed. During my internship, I gained experience in programming and found that programming is not the right thing for me. I wanted more variety in my job, which is why I was drawn to SAP consulting.

Can you use subject matter or skills from your studies in education for your current work in SAP consulting?

Absolutely. Dealing with people and communication skills in general are just some of the aspects that I still benefit from today.

What motivates you most in your daily work?

The variety of my work gives me the greatest pleasure. No day is like any other and there are always new challenges to overcome.

Even if every day is different, can you describe a typical day of work?

Since I like to sleep late, I like to take advantage of the flextime regulation and start my workday a little later. When I open up my laptop, there are always a lot of emails from customers and my team waiting for me. Meetings with colleagues and customers are scheduled almost daily; in these, we discuss requirements and ensure that our customers’ needs are met.

What are the greatest challenges of your job?

IT itself is a continuous challenge, but not in the negative sense. The constant development and our customers’ changing requirements mean we have to remain flexible and adapt to new situations.

Did you have previous knowledge of finance before working at valantic, or did you have to acquire it first?

During my studies, I acquired basic knowledge of finance, but it wasn’t specifically tailored to valantic and SAP consulting. Therefore, especially in the beginning, my colleagues helped me acquire the knowledge I was lacking.

How is your team structured and how does it work?

I work on two teams, the finance team, and the AMS team. Both teams have weekly meetings where we discuss projects and tasks and determine the current status. The organization within the teams works very well, as we are in close contact and help each other.

Women are still under-represented in the IT industry. How do you experience this on your team?

That’s true, I work with five colleagues and I’m the only woman on the team. I get along very well with my colleagues and feel comfortable on the team. Nevertheless, from time to time, I also wish I had some female colleagues on the team with whom I could exchange ideas.

Have you ever been concerned about entering a more male-dominated work environment?

I thought about this before my studies because computer science departments are often predominantly male. During my studies, I quickly realized that there were more women than I expected. That’s why I wasn’t worried when I started my career in the IT industry. However, I was worried that my gender might be a disadvantage when applying, as I have observed many times around me. Fortunately, this was not the case at valantic, and my career got off to a quick start.

We’ve heard about your team events – can you tell us more about them?

Every team at our company regularly takes part in activities to bond not only professionally, but also personally. For example, we have played laser tag or mini golf, which brought us closer as a team.

How do you balance your private life and your professional life?

There are always phases of varying intensity, from calm to stressful times. Thanks to the flextime arrangement, I can reconcile my private life flexibly with the job. For example, if I have a longer appointment in the evening, I can leave early the next day. To compensate, I play sports and enjoy cooking. I also live near beautiful Lake Constance, where you can take long walks.

Was there a highlight during your time at valantic?

A special moment was the successful conclusion of a long and challenging project for a client in finance. It was a great success for me when I told the customer about the result, and therefore one of my highlights at valantic.

What characteristics do you think are critical for coping with situations like this as well as possible?

It’s especially important to stay calm and maintain good communication both on the team and with customers. Effective time and organization management, as well as an open, positive attitude, can also be very helpful.

Back to the topic getting started in IT: What advice would you give to other women who are thinking about taking this step?

My advice would be to just try it! Although the IT industry is often still regarded as a male domain, there are many different areas in which women can succeed. Without trying it out, you can’t figure out if it’s right for you. Even if it turns out not to be the right thing, you can always try another area.

So, what is your slogan as a digital SHero?

My slogan is: “Don’t be afraid, just try it out!”

Thank you very much for the conversation, Saide!

Photo of a happy valantic CX employee participating in a customer experience workshop.

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