Katharina has been with MHP for three years. Her career path with us is a testament to diversity – both professionally and on an interpersonal level. Having started out in a purely SAP consulting role, she has since changed her specialist area and is now a senior consultant advising our clients about change management. Katharina is an expert in enablement and training. In addition, she is committed to encouraging greater diversity within management structures, both as part of our internal MHP diversity initiative and in her personal life.

First SAP consulting, then change management – they appear to be two completely different worlds at face value. How easy was it for you to make this change at MHP?

It was a quick and simple process. The two areas are really not so far apart: SAP projects can only succeed if all the stakeholders are on board. Our clients have come to understand this too. My previous professional experience from the client perspective has also been an advantage – it means that I have a good understanding of both angles and a good foundation to build on. 

Ultimately, successful change management is the key to successful projects. I’m delighted that MHP has given me the chance to follow my own path. That’s exactly what I love about the consulting business – it opens up so many options and life is never boring. 

And I have not yet come to the end of my path, of course; I’m currently moving toward a career in project management.

So, you’re an aspiring project manager – that sounds exciting. What steps have you already taken, and what else is on the agenda for you?

I already had some experience in project management before I began working at MHP, and now I am increasingly managing sub-projects in the field of change and training management as part of bigger projects. In doing so, I get to work with some great primary project managers; I learn a lot from them, and observing their approaches helps prepare me for my future role. They also take on the role of a coach if I have questions. Generally speaking, I consider coaching and mentoring to be enormously important for personal development – which is one of the reasons why I am involved with the NGO MentorMe.

That’s great to hear, because MentorMe is one of MHP’s partners. Is your involvement with the organization as a mentor or a mentee?

Originally my plan was to register as a mentee. But as it turns out I’m now in my second year as a mentor with the program, and my work with the mentees is thoroughly enjoyable. I have been particularly impressed by how quickly the mentees develop and I feel privileged to be able to stand by their side offering encouragement and guidance. I sometimes play sport with my mentee from last year – so, as you can see, the program also allows you to make lasting connections. I would certainly recommend that anyone sign up, whether as a mentee or a mentor!

It’s clear that you generally like to stand up and speak out on various issues, both professionally and personally, and particularly in areas that concern women. What drives you to do so and what are you most hoping to achieve?

In my professional life to date, it has repeatedly been my experience that women all too often hide their own light under a bushel and to some extent end up putting the brakes on their careers. I would like to change this and help women to discover and develop their potential. This is what prompted my KADO#women initiative. Not only is KaDo an abbreviated form of my two names, but it is also the phonetic spelling of the French word “cadeau” – in English: gift. Everyone carries their own gift inside them – they just need someone to help them discover it. This is why I started a blog in which I ask various interesting people about their recipes for success. I also now provide coaching in this area alongside my job.

What is important to you when it comes to portraying people in your blog?

Authenticity, clearly. But also, I don’t stick to any specific selection criteria. If I find a woman exciting at first glance, I interview her. Women who are doing what they really enjoy are interesting to me. Women who are addressing the issues that see them spring out of bed in the morning. I really value this kind of passion and “truth.”

How would you finish this statement: For me, diversity is …

… a topic that should be a given but that has not yet become the norm for everyone. That said, diversity is now attracting more and more attention.

What goals have you set yourself for the next few years?

I have quite a few – a whole vision board full. In terms of my work at MHP, I would like to continue moving ahead with my specialist areas, manage exciting projects, share my knowledge with colleagues and learn from the expertise of others. And, of course, I want to continuously work on my personal development – so that I can “enable” myself to take on new topics and challenges.

We have come to our last question: Using the benefit of your experience, what advice would you share with anyone wanting to move into consulting?

I would never have thought that I would end up working in consulting. Before I joined MHP, I had only planned to spend around a year working in consulting, but it’s been three already. So, my tip would be: Just do it! You’re every bit as good as all the rest.