Working at CAMELOT: How an industrial engineer exemplifies social responsibility

Marisa Seth is just as engaged with state-of-the-art SAP solutions as she is with the climate or refugees.

Marisa Seth likes the special things in life: As a young industrial engineer, the 29-year-old works successfully in a male-dominated environment in the cloud sector for international customers. At the medium-sized consulting specialist CAMELOT, she values the specialized, individual approach – without losing sight of her social commitment and her personal work-life balance.

My start

It was a happy accident which brought me into contact with CAMELOT: while studying at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT faculty of business sciences) where I completed my masters in industrial engineering, I was always in the KIT careers fair team.

One day, I had to clear up a board with job advertisements. An advertisement in English for a master’s thesis on a completely new approach to supply chain planning, known as “Demand-Driven Supply Chain Management” caught my eye. It was about supporting the implementation of this approach in client companies using a software solution. Four years ago, the subject was highly innovative, the approach, meanwhile, has become the standard in supply chain management. It was like it was my destiny, as I was at the time about to write my masters thesis. In September 2015, I therefore applied directly for the job. Unfortunately, it had already been taken. But there was no reason for me to be upset, as the company suggested an alternative for me to take the subject one step further. I was of course very keen to do this – and another two weeks later, I was able to start straight away in the Cologne office.

And what can I say? I stayed at CAMELOT, because after my masters, I was able to step directly into my job, initially as Associate Consultant. My task today: As part of the supply chain management consulting team, I work on the implementation of the Demand-Driven Supply Chain Management approach, both for and with our customers – on the level of company processes and also on the technological implementation in the state-of-the-art cloud solution SAP Integrated Business Planning.

My opportunity

I am proud of my masters degree. It was really good and I could have applied to Accenture, McKinsey or other major consultancy firms for a consultant post. But I really liked the technical specialization of CAMELOT. Of around 500 employees in Germany, the majority of whom work in Mannheim and Cologne, I got to know a lot of them right from the start. That helped me to quickly network within the company and to feel at home. Two years ago, I went to Munich even though not as many colleagues work there as in Mannheim or Cologne. This was also anticipated here at CAMELOT. Because my boyfriend lives in Bavaria, my boss made it possible for my job to be from Munich. Great!

The work here in the team makes me happy. I like to compare it with shopping: I personally prefer to shop in a boutique than in a department store. I like the specialized, individual consulting provided by CAMELOT. To choose yet another analogy which in my opinion exemplifies our way of working, I prefer to be innovative while on the go on a speedboat than taking a ride in a cumbersome tanker. I quite simply sense very clearly that I am noticed as an employee and person with all my capabilities, skills and needs. It’s clear that you also have to fight to stand out. But here, the doors are open, even to management. And I want the challenge.

My development

It’s hard to imagine, but after three years in the company, I am already on the third rung of my career. I was employed as Associate Consultant for just under a year, then I became Consultant and, since December 2018, I am Senior Consultant in the field of Supply Chain Management. As far as I am concerned, it can continue in the same vein, as I really enjoy the work. But in no way am I career-minded. I do admit that: I have an extrovert, personal personality but I also like to be a generalist. This is why I really like working together with experts from completely different specialisms such as blockchain or artificial intelligence. It’s a well-balanced mix of subjects. I like to keep an overview and understand how systems work with one another, as I co-configured some of the software functionalities which make the implementation of Demand-Driven Supply Chain Management possible for companies in the first place, and I support our customers throughout the process up to launching the solution. Of course this can sometimes be stressful. After all, project work means that I sometimes have a 40-hour week, sometimes I have to spend 50 or 60 hours on it, and sometimes it means I can cut back.

My challenge

I am currently working on a project in Spain for a major, globally active life sciences company. I often have to be there on site because I have a leading role in the project. But it is still possible to do a lot of the work remotely. I have a direct line to management, and have regular meetings in person with the bosses at the headquarters in Mannheim to discuss technical issues. It’s particularly when it comes to designing new innovative solutions for our customers, as is the case with me, that management are all ears. This applies to all employees, regardless of their level. What I find particularly positive is that at the end of these discussions, it is always about Marisa as a person. The managers ask me how I am, how I feel about working on the project. It makes me feel that I am valued as a person, which particularly motivates me.

My environment

It is apparent that there is a real human factor at CAMELOT. My desire for social engagement was gladly taken on board and has now been touted across the company. I am very happy about this. This is because after starting my career I noticed that something was really missing for me in my full-time job, as during my time at school and university, I had always been active in helping refugees, caring for the environment and I looked after a disabled person. It was important to me – and CAMELOT was accommodating by allowing me leave at short notice for a one-month sabbatical, despite having project work. I used this to help refugees.

There is now a dedicated department for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the company – and I am head of CSR. Together with another three employees, we are forging ahead with the subject at CAMELOT. We have a biannual whole-day meeting and the rest of the time we manage remotely or via video conference. We are free to shape this as we wish, but we do of course run the topics by the management. We focus our CSR initiatives on the “17 sustainability goals of the UN” which were defined in 2015 and amongst other things indicate that there should be no poverty, no hunger, high-quality education, good work, clean energy, sustainability, responsibility, peace and equality by 2030. We have set out carbon offsetting as the first important topical subject; I am still working on a concept. What contribution can we as consultants make? First of all, we often fly to our customers. But this doesn’t always have to be the case, can be reduced and replaced by video conferencing. Switching between projects and sustainable work is in any case great. I like the balance that this provides.

My income

CAMELOT offers a very fair remuneration model which is competitive. At least my net income is enough for me to live in Munich and to finance my hobbies. It is the best of work-life balance that I am experiencing here: on the one hand, I take great pleasure in offering our customers high-quality consultancy and solutions and supporting them with the implementation. After all, it’s about technological and procedural innovations. On the other hand, after work and at the weekends I can do what I enjoy in my own time. In the evenings, I climb mountains with friends and, if things get late in the office, then we do it with our head torches on. I love kite surfing, and snowboarding in winter. I also find that dancing provides me with balance: I particularly like modern dance and latino. And the great thing about it is that I can do it in the cities where I am working for customers.

I have also taken up the opportunity offered by CAMELOT for a sabbatical. I recently spent several months in Turkmenistan, Mongolia and Iran. These are simply my bonuses here: after all, I have fantastic experiences plus the flexibility and variety of tasks in the company – this cannot be compensated with money.

This article was originally published in German on www.karriere.de.