Career start as a SAP consultant at IBM

In 2018 Janina Rebhahn completed her studies in Media and Event Management successfully at HMKW Berlin. In the interview we asked her about her career start, her career goals and her current job position as an SAP consultant at IBM as part of her extra-occupational master's degree.

Janina Rebhahn is currently working as an SAP consultant for the global IT group IBM as part of her extra-occupational master studies.

Janina Rebhahn is currently working as an SAP consultant for the global IT group IBM as part of her extra-occupational master studies.

What comes to mind when you think about your studies at HMKW?

I think of a very practice-oriented study program with many great projects and dedicated professors.

You acquired a Bachelor of Arts in Media and Event Management at HMKW Berlin. What is your current job position?

As part of my extra-occupational master studies, I work as an SAP consultant at IBM in the automotive/logistics sector and study Business Consulting & Digital Management at FOM Berlin.

Did you get any further work experiences prior to your current position that you would like to share with us?

Prior to my job at IBM I did an internship at Lufthansa Technik AG in Key Account Management and before that I gained some experience in the agency and media sector. During my studies I also worked as a working student in a 5-star hotel.

When did you figure out your preferred career path? How much was your choice influenced by the compulsory internship?

Before I started studying at HMKW, it was pretty much clear to me that I wanted to work in the media industry (TV, moderation) or in a brand agency. During my internship in an agency, I realized that the "dream jobs" I originally had in mind did not correspond to my imagination. I therefore decided to end my internship there after 6 weeks and to try out my skills in another industry.

In making this decision, I learned to pay more attention to the corporate culture and thought more about this aspect of a job. Then I looked especially for jobs and industries that at the first glance I hadn’t taken into consideration.

Why did you decide to study “Media and Event Management”? And what made you choose HMKW Berlin?

I have always loved events and wanted to do something that I enjoy. Since other universities and colleges offered the subject event management only in combination with sports management, which I didn't want to do, HMKW fortunately offered a combination of event management and media management.

Moreover, it was clear to me from the beginning that studying at a state university would not be the right for me. State universities live on public funds which are almost always very limited. HMKW has the financial means to teach the chosen course of studies in a practical way while keeping study contents always up-to-date.


Which contents of your studies are part of your current job? How do your studies help you in your work routine?

I have to present a lot in front of my customers. It is important to understand what requirements they want to have implemented and how to do this as efficiently as possible. Therefore, my job has a lot to do with organization and the use of the right media and technology. My professors and lecturers have been able to impart a lot of relevant knowledge to me, as many of them have been or are working for large companies themselves, which has given me the input I need to make a good start in the working world.

We also had to present a lot (in each module), there were application trainings and workshops at companies. I remember for example the project weeks with cooperation partners such as Sony or our project work at Alex TV.

What are your plans for the future?

I would like to become a partner in consulting one day.

What do you like most about your current job position? What is your biggest challenge?

The great thing about my job is certainly the variety of activities and tasks. My work is project-based. That means that you work as a consultant in changing projects and thus you are able to learn a lot of new things. You also work with many different colleagues and teams. IBM offers many opportunities for further training to stay "up to date".

This is also challenging: you don't just have a fixed (physical) workplace and don't always work with the same colleagues. The tasks can change completely with every new project and then you have to acquire new knowledge.

Could you tell us more about the application phase after your graduation?

The whole application process was quite challenging to me. First I had a personal interview in Leipzig, then I participated at an online test. The online test took place right after I had defended my bachelor thesis.

After I had passed the test, there was an "assessment" in Ehningen which consisted of several elements. First, I was given a topic on which I had to create and then give a presentation within a given time frame. This was followed by an interview block with two IBM employees.

What would you tell fellow students that study at HMKW?

It is essential to try out the supposed "dream jobs" in the internship and to look for an internship place in time! Working as a student trainee allows you to gain work experience. This experience supports your personal development and is very much appreciated by future employers. You should (honestly!) be aware of your personal strengths and weaknesses and make a job selection that suits you. Before applying, you should consider the pre-selection criteria (required grade point average etc.). If you have certain goals, you should orientate your path towards them early on.

Which characteristics should students have that want to study „B.A. Media and Event Management“?

I think that it is definitely helpful to be goal-oriented by nature and to have a high degree of perseverance and self-organization.

Thank you very much for the interview, Ms Rebhahn. We wish you all the best and much success in achieving your professional goals.