“If one is good, it’s even more fun”: on mutual growth in the company and where this differs from free climbing

Sabrina Hentsch (27) is the new Business Analyst at *um. But people have known each other for a while, because eighteen months earlier she got on board as a working student. A few weeks ago now Sabrina did her master’s thesis, and the very next day she became a permanent part of the crew. We spoke with her about what it’s like to grow within a company and why it is worthwhile to tackle firmly.

TUM PM47 Interview SH

Hi Sabrina, congratulations.

What for?

Well, for successfully passing your “Master of Science” and getting your steady job at *um. The both of it is not that long ago.

True, thank you. Since August I am officially doing what I already did for quite a long time.

You are taking care of the finances.

That’s right.

Thinking of *um one does not necessarily think of finances.

But of numbers. The data guys (Data Scientists, Data Engineers, etc.) are dealing intesively with mathematics and have their calculations. But I am interested, rather, in key figures and reportings.

That sounds rather “corporate”.

No way! Large companies and groups are corporate. There figures are simply defined and one only has to maintain prefabricated structures. Here at *um we develop the structures ourselves.

And what specifically are you doing?

As a Business Analyst I am defining and measuring figures and performance indicators. Currently, for example, for carrying out cross-sectoral analyses. Shortly ago, we have introduced a new business intelligence tool.

How does one come up to it?

The topic of finance and numbers is mine. I have always enjoyed dealing with numbers. Originally I come from the Lower Rhine region. There I completed an apprenticeship as a bank clerk at the Volksbank, and spent another year working right after that. But that was too boring for me.

So you moved to Berlin?

At first I have been travelling for ten months around the world, to Australia, New Zealand and a few great Asian countries. Then I decided to study again: industrial engineering at the HTW Berlin.

And how did you end up here at *um?

Thanks to the professor who supervised my bachelor thesis. At that time, I’ve made hundreds of Excel reports, and everything was great numbers driven. He knew that I have a soft spot for it. And he said that he knows someone who is looking for someone who can deal well with numbers and with Excel. So he introduced me to Sven Haberhausen, our Director of Finance. There was a job interview, and since then I have been working here in the finance division.

What do you like in particular?

Everything. (Thinks.) The fact that we are like a big family. You see, we are constantly growing and evolving ourselves. It’s great to be able to influence this development. When something new is introduced here at *um – a new process or a tool – then you can see how it evolves.

Unlike corporations, where you do not usually realize what is happening around you. I experienced this in different internships. Here, furthermore, decisions are made, sometimes within a day. In a group it usually takes weeks or months until something is decided.

This sounds really excited for your profession. What excites you privately? The world tour already shows that you enjoy to travel.

And how! Beside that I have a great passion for sailing.

So “…right out to Wannsee” as the well-known song says?

Is it a bit older? Unfortunately I don’t know the song. Anyway, a little more of water is just fine… at least the Baltic Sea.

And what do you enjoy to do here in Berlin?

To work. (Lacht.) That apart, I like to go out and, of course, do a lot of sports. Yoga for example. And once a week we go for bouldering with a whole group of colleagues.

Company sport free climbing? *um is aiming high?

No, quite loose. We have set up a Skype channel. If someone likes to go bouldering in the evening or the next day, he just leaves a note and four or five people usually join it.

One does not have to be good there, the main thing is to have fun. A bit different from the job. There you have to be good AND it’s fun. (Thinks about it.) Then it’s even more fun.

A good definition of team spirit.

Yes, it describes *um pretty good. Here, everyone lends a hand, as in bouldering, we take one secure step after another and achieve our next goals easily. Our reports confirm that – as I can see every day.

Is this not a trade secret?

I don’t think so. Probably more a secret of our success.

Which brings us to a great epilogue. Thank you for talking to us, Sabrina.

You’re welcome. (With a firm handshake saying that she might be pretty good in bouldering.)

This post is also available in: German