October 10, 2023 – Reading time: 10 minutes
Our latest blog post features Niclas Pflueger and his INVENSITY journey of becoming a senior technology consultant and reliable leader for his peers and clients. He also shares four insights for those looking to improve the lives of others.
Starting as a working student at INVENSITY, I was interested in learning what technology consultants do. Later on, I developed the goal of improving my environment to make a better world. Now, as a senior technology consultant, I’ve expanded my expertise in various industries, trained and mentored our younger talents, and developed myself personally and professionally. In essence, INVENSITY served as the catalyst for the incredible opportunities I’ve seized on my path to achieving my greater goal.
My name is Niclas, and this is the story of how I became a senior technology consultant.
Sailing Into Uncharted Waters
My journey at INVENSITY began right after completing my bachelor’s in Design, Informatics, and Media. Immediately upon joining, I dove into my first project, experiencing firsthand the chaos that can unfold in the automotive industry. Meetings were sometimes intense, with customers and colleagues making heated exchanges while others quietly worked on their laptops. Initially, I felt like I made a literal jump into the deep end. To my surprise, this was where I realized the value of active listening to understand the pain points of our project. Eventually, I got a better handle of experiences like these through my mentor, who provided his guidance on resolving conflicts in challenging situations.
Following that project, I embarked on numerous others, spanning different companies, topics, and tasks. Throughout, I consistently relied on important trainings, coaching, and support from my mentor and my department lead. This enabled me to acquire and utilize the necessary tools and skills for every task. I also ventured into our internal department’s software solutions, gaining experience in leading small work groups, and taking on responsibility for key topics.
Building My Expertise and Network
Shortly after making my entrance in software development, I explored various facets and roles within the software domain, all along the V-Modell. With my increasing experience, trainings, and guidance, I started assuming leadership roles in software development, software safety/security, and built deeper knowledge on industry standards like ISO26262 and ASPICE. It wasn’t long before I began to offer solutions and ideas to our customers that went beyond my initial role.
As my tenure at INVENSITY progressed, I fostered more long-term customer relationships and assumed greater responsibility for my colleagues inside and outside large projects. My role shifted towards active consulting for customer projects. There definitely was a learning curve I had to go through, since my responsibilities grew in number and urgency. I also had my occasional doubts on my ability to effectively lead and be a reliable senior for my younger colleagues. Yet, throughout all these things, my motivation persevered.
A crucial factor that helped me become a confident leader was training and supporting younger colleagues. It was during this time that I took on the role of a mentor and conducted training sessions on topics such as Negotiation Theory and Development Methods. I also developed a strong interest in recruiting new talent and supporting our working students, motivating them to improve their work environment. Through these experiences, I not only honed my leadership skills but also witnessed the remarkable growth of my younger colleagues, much like my own journey when I first started.
Leading in the World of Technology Consulting
After many years of growing and helping others do the same, I reached a point where I felt secure as a senior technology consultant. Currently, I hold different roles in customer projects, either as a team lead, technical project manager, or technical expert. I also engage with new or potential customers about our collaborations and their next steps. Although I started out developing software solutions for the automotive industry, my software expertise now spans across different industries like defense and energy.
Internally, I play a crucial role in our leadership team, developing new strategic anchors at INVENSITY to enable a better decision-making process for my colleagues. A central focus of mine is the care and support of our working students. To achieve this, I established the role of Head of Working Student Care Program which oversees the improvement of our offerings for working students. The main goal I set for this endeavor was to have our takeover rate from working students to employee up to more than 80%. I’m very thankful to have INVENSITY greenlight my passion project and provide me with full support to ensure its success.
Treasures of Insight
It’s important to remember that your career will have its ebbs and flows. This is most apparent for technology consultants like me who must be competent in both the technical and managerial aspects of the role. However, there are ways to ensure that you can sail smoothly in the vast ocean of challenges and opportunities this field presents. Here are four key strategies to do so:
- Listen before you speak. I’ve come across projects where clients couldn’t fully grasp the value of software or continually raised additional requests, even when the project is already over budget. The best way to approach this is to listen attentively and address your client’s current needs while maintaining a clear stance on the project’s purpose and constraints. Doing this will not only enable greater trust from the client, but also empower your team to manage expectations effectively.
- Think before you act. As a father of two kids, I must be very conscious around them so that they don’t get into trouble. A similar kind of care also applies when I work with teams and clients on software projects. This is because whatever I say or do during a project can or will influence its success.
- Be patient but not passive. When something is urgent and causing problems, be proactive to address it. I do my best to impart this advice to our working students, especially when they’re dealing with clients and new tasks come up.
- Trust your team. The popular saying “teamwork makes the dream work” is very real in the field of technology consulting. Let your team know that you have their backs and vice versa.
About the Author: Niclas Pflueger
Niclas currently works as a Senior Technology Consultant for INVENSITY with a focus on Software. He is passionate about being a role model for others and finding optimal solutions for ideas. When he’s not looking at the screen, he spends time with his two children and on his hobbies like cooking, baking, and gardening.
Interested in working as a technology consultant? Check out our career website and start on your career journey with us!