Are you curious about the career journeys of professionals in the world of data & technology? This sector offers a wide range of opportunities, but navigating the complex realm of business analysis, digital transformation, and ERP systems can be challenging. What motivates experts at Deloitte? And what did their career path look like?
To answer these questions, we engage in a conversation with Sahand Fescharakifard, SAP Digital Transformation Business Analyst at Deloitte. In his interview, Sahand elaborates on his academic and professional journey, sharing the valuable experiences that have contributed to his current career. Thereafter, he provides insights into his role and the impact he is making in the world of technology and business processes. Discover more about his journey and be inspired by reading the interview below.
What did you do before starting at Deloitte?
I studied at the Rotterdam School of Management (Bachelor International Business Administration (IBA), Master Business Information Management). After that, I started my career working at a start-up in Rotterdam and there I was introduced to the world of SAP for the first time. The company and my work focused on process mining, which entails optimizing day-to-day business processes based on historical data provided in the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system of the client. I liked the fact that you could make an impact by improving the clients business processes, however, our knowledge was limited to identifying problems, we could not implement the solutions ourselves. This is the reason why I started in SAP, as learning SAP would allow me to bring both worlds together. Moreover, in my masters I learned a lot about ERP systems and how to set up day to day business processes in systems such as SAP or Oracle. These experiences allowed me to get an understanding of the consulting world especially regarding technologies and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. I enjoyed learning about all different processes within a company. My working experience further sparked my interest in implementing ERP systems and understanding all underlying concepts behind it.
How are you experiencing your role so far?
My role in the project I am currently working on is in technology support. This means that I help with the back end implementation of the SAP system for our client. This entails installing the system and all relevant components, understanding the integrations to other systems and also maintaining and ensuring that the system runs smoothly. This allows functional leads to build the process into the system. Moreover, due to having a lot of workshops, it is quite vital to be able to work with PowerPoint and create visually appealing slides. Although people might think the data and tech sector is dominated by introverts, it is very important to be an extrovert when it comes to presenting to the client and getting involved with them. It’s a bit of both worlds: a nerdy side with the back end work, and front-facing work with clients and presentations, allowing you to grow in both ways. Moreover, to gain more structure in the way of working and documenting information, a person in my role needs to be familiar with Microsoft Excel.
What is your experience in working for Deloitte?
Deloitte consists of a very diverse group of people. We have more than 20 different nationalities representing our SAP offering, and therefore you learn a lot about other cultures as well as knowing how to work with people from different cultures. Moreover, in a project you work with people who are from different experience levels. You will work with more senior people as well as other business analysts. So, you learn a lot from the more experienced worker, while at the same time you can also engage with people your age. It is a perfect mix of both words and makes it very exciting to go to the office. In addition, Deloitte offers a lot of opportunities to network with your peers and to get to know more people. For example, when I just joined it was the Persian new year (Nowruz). It was great to see that the Deloitte Cultural Diversity Network organized a dinner to celebrate this day and to share more about my culture with colleagues. As I was born in Germany to Iranian parents, I love celebrating my roots.
What did you want to know before you started working as SAP Digital Transformation Business Analyst?
As a SAP consultant you learn about the heart of a company. You will understand the end-to-end processes of all functionalities, even though you are not necessarily specialized in one of the functionalities. You learn a lot from all the perspectives – not only analytics but also HR processes, finance processes, procurement processes – whereas I only thought I’d be building dashboards. It opens your eyes to more than just how to utilize SAP. I am in the analytics team and I thought I would just work on analytics related clients, however, that is not the case.
You learn a lot from all the perspectives – not only analytics but also hr processes, finance processes, procurement processes – I only thought I’d be building dashboards. But I learnt much more – some projects even take 3 years. You really get to understand how a company works on a day-to-day basis. And, that’s something I really like and believe gives me a great advantage in my career as the general knowledge I have of these companies is applicable to almost any industry!
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