From automotive saleswoman to junior consultant

My career – study or training?

“I asked myself this question in 2014 after successfully passing my A-levels, ultimately opting for a commercial apprenticeship in the automotive industry. There were two reasons for this: On the one hand, I was undecided about which course of study would make sense for my future career, and on the other hand, the desire to finally gain my first practical experience in the working world (and to earn money at the same time) outweighed 12 years on the school bench. After I had the opportunity to get to know numerous areas of the company during my two-and-a-half-year apprenticeship and also successfully passed the final exams to become an automotive sales representative, I was taken on as a full-time employee. My field of activity was in sales, where I mainly worked in the back office and took on administrative tasks.”

Laura Schulz

Laura Schulz
, Junior Consultant in the area of Regulation & Analytics

Time for change

“A rolling stone gathers no moss” – in both private and professional contexts, it is particularly important for me to keep this well-known proverb in mind. In my search for a new challenge, I remembered the question I asked at the beginning: study or training? At that time, I had decided in favor of training for the reasons mentioned above and I am still convinced that this was the right path for me.

In 2020, I reviewed that time and adjusted my answer to that question: Why not both? Despite the fact that the time of studying had already ended in my circle of friends and acquaintances, I decided to study distance learning at the IU-International University of Applied Sciences in International Management. This is a business management degree with an international focus, which was an ideal complement to my commercial training. I completed this in a full-time model with a standard study period of three years parallel to my regular workday, with efficient time management being the key to success.

My electives focused on business consulting, business controlling and financial services management. To complement this, I decided to change my career and took a working student position in accounting, which gave me numerous insights into the financial accounting department of an automotive manufacturer.”


The last moves of the study

“2022 – my last year of study: as a well-organized student, I started thinking about the topic of my bachelor’s thesis in the middle of the year. With a business, international management degree, I had a variety of topics to choose from, which were already somewhat narrowed down by my electives.

Because of this, I was quickly certain that I wanted to take a closer look at the financial system and, at the same time, work on an issue with a high degree of current relevance. The topic of sustainability was ideally suited for this purpose, as it is becoming increasingly important in politics as well as in the private and business sectors, and thus also for banks. In this context, I finally came across the ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) criteria, which represent the areas of ecology, social affairs and corporate governance.

At the end of the year, I fleshed out my initial ideas and decided to investigate ESG criteria and the related application of the Taxonomy Regulation at credit institutions in the EU. Fortunately, a particularly interesting issue arose in this context, as initial disclosures under the Taxonomy Regulation were mandatory for the first time in 2022. Thus, I decided to compare the sustainability reporting of credit institutions in the EU with a focus on the reporting years 2021 and 2022.”

And what happens after graduation?

“Parallel to finding a topic and formulating the question for my bachelor’s thesis, I was once again dealing with the question of my professional future due to the approaching end of my studies. As a working student in Accounting, I realized that this would not be the future work environment for me. At that point, I had already completed the Business Consulting elective and saw it as my calling.

Because of this, I took a closer look at the topic by reading reports from employees of various consulting companies. Through this, I developed a good idea of what opportunities the profession of consultant entails. I found the varied day-to-day work through varying projects and constantly growing demands particularly attractive, as a result of which continuous professional and personal development is promoted and at the same time also demanded. Even an occasionally higher workload did not deter me, as a career in consulting offers a wide range of career opportunities and thus corresponds exactly to my expectations. At the same time, I was specifically looking for a consulting firm that specializes in financial companies, as this would allow me to apply and further deepen my theoretical knowledge from my studies.

After extensive research, I was sure that I had found the right company in ADWEKO, so the next step was to look at the job postings for the various business units. But in which field do you actually apply with a completed apprenticeship as an automotive saleswoman, some professional experience in accounting and an international management degree?

In addition to my theoretical, basic university knowledge, the intensive examination of the Taxonomy Ordinance in particular was decisive for this when formulating the question for my Bachelor’s thesis. In the process, I already noticed that this subject area is very complex, which initially presented a particular challenge and briefly gave rise to the thought that it would be better to discard this topic after all. At the same time, I found it very exciting to deal with the interrelationships of various regulatory requirements, which is why I continued to familiarize myself with the related content. I finally realized that I wanted to deepen my knowledge in practice and thus in the context of my professional career. So, despite the lack of work experience, I decided to submit my application to ADWEKO for Regulation & Analytics in November 2022.”

A new stage in life

“After two successful interviews, I already received the acceptance letter in December and was thrilled to start as a Junior Consultant at ADWEKO in the area of Regulation & Analytics from April 2023. Before starting my new job, there was only one last, insignificant hurdle to overcome: writing my bachelor’s thesis.

Thus, I started at the beginning of the year 2023 and intensively used the eight weeks available to me to deal with the topic “Sustainable Finance in the EU-The Impact of European Sustainability Targets on Significant Credit Institutions”. After I handed in my thesis in February, I received an appointment for the final colloquium in March.

In summary, I look back on three exciting years of study and interesting first steps in my professional career. At the same time, I started a completely new path as a Junior Consultant in Regulation & Analytics at ADWEKO in April, which opened up numerous opportunities for me. This is something I look forward to and look forward to my future professional experiences!”

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Laura Schulz!

Laura Schulz