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Alumna of the month August 2013

Manuela Weiss, who graduated from the Master’s degree programme in IT and Business Process Management in 2012, currently works as an SAP consultant at Zumtobel AG in Dornbirn. The degree programme at the University of Liechtenstein convinced her to move into consultancy and to engage with unfamiliar business processes.

“The Institute is really cool”

Manuela Weiss, who graduated from the Master’s degree programme in IT and Business Process Management in 2012, currently works as an SAP consultant at Zumtobel AG in Dornbirn. The degree programme at the University of Liechtenstein convinced her to move into consultancy and to engage with unfamiliar business processes.


Manuela Weiss, you work as an SAP consultant in supply chain management. What exactly are your responsibilities?

Our team is what connects logistics and production. We support the business in an advisory capacity and carry out the technical implementation in the area of SAP. I have a diverse range of responsibilities. Although my main area is reporting, I also take on project management, concept development and programming in other SAP projects related to SCM.

This means you are not the typical computer scientist that nobody ever sees all day because he is programming away in a quiet little room somewhere.

Yes, that’s the great thing about my job. I have to be proactive in approaching people in the business and seek out dialogue. I want to understand what they do, how they work and evaluate processes. Only then can I support them in defining processes, customize the SAP software and create reports. My objective is to make my colleagues’ typical working day more efficient.





What does the Zumtobel Group use SAP for?
SAP is used for corporate management. With the help of SAP, we carry out all the business processes. This concerns not only areas such as personnel, finance and production, but also logistics with regard to warehouse management and picking. We in IT are needed to adapt these processes to the particular business model and the local requirements.

That sounds fairly complex ...
It is! But ultimately, I can see what I achieve with my work and get the feedback directly from the business. That really is enjoyable – especially compared to developers who perhaps spend their whole lives writing a piece of software and never come into contact with the end-user. When working on individual solutions, I can give my creativity free rein and, in a way, be part of the business solution.

To what extent was the Master’s degree programme in IT and Business Process Management at the University of Liechtenstein responsible for you taking this path?
I had wanted to become an SAP consultant for a good while. However, it was during my studies at the University of Liechtenstein that I first dealt on a more sophisticated level with business processes and systems that optimize the course and management of business processes. In doing so, I saw how strongly IT supports business processes and how exciting it is to find optimal solutions for the end-user.





Why did you choose the University of Liechtenstein?
The reasons were really quite subtle. At the Information Day, I had a very pleasant conversation with the Academic Director Bernd Schenk. The Institute is really cool. The small group sizes of no more than 30 people were also important, as they allow a more personal relationship between the lecturers and students to develop. I already had a diploma in Information Systems from Regensburg University of Applied Sciences, and at the University of Liechtenstein I was able to add the university degree on top.

To what extent did the degree programme persuade you to take on a consultancy role?
The University of Liechtenstein didn’t just give me the necessary knowledge. Through internal and external projects, I was able to gain experience of consultancy and client contact for the first time. It was this that ultimately convinced me to carry on down this road. It was only in the job, however, that I actually specialized in SAP. Even after two years’ experience in SAP, I still often encounter what is, for me, uncharted territory and am always learning.

What precisely did you gain from your studies?
In addition to a more profound understanding of business processes, the degree programme showed me how important contact is between us IT consultants and users. I was able to develop further as a result of the challenging tasks and projects and had to deal with roles that I would never have assumed before. In addition, the degree programme opened up a host of interesting possibilities, as people with this background are in demand in a variety of fields.





Who would you recommend the Master’s degree programme in IT and Business Process Management to?
I would recommend it to anyone who can think analytically and who enjoys engaging with unfamiliar topics. The basic requirement, however, is an understanding of technology and mathematics. Anyone who enjoys taking responsibility within projects and group work will have a lot of fun during the degree programme.

What are your ambitions for the future?
First, I want to gain a solid knowledge base before thinking about advancement. That will take a few years. In three to four years, I would like to take on more responsibility in the area of management or as a team leader. The idea of taking a doctoral degree is also very attractive.

What role could the University of Liechtenstein play in this respect?
The University of Liechtenstein is my first choice by some distance for doctoral studies in the area of information and process management. The degree programme has a fantastic reputation and students enjoy close contact to the lecturers. What particularly attracts me is, on the one hand, the combination of teaching and research and, on the other, the form of the doctoral programme, namely publishing a number of articles in specialist journals. I think that universities with this sort of structure in my field are few and far between.





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Manuela Weiss 

(born 1984) has worked as an SAP Junior Consultant SCM at Zumtobel AG in Dornbirn since March 2011. After training as an IT specialist with a focus on systems integration at Siemens AG in Munich, Manuela Weiss studied Information Systems at Regensburg University of Applied Sciences and then worked as a software developer at Omicron electronics GmbH in Klaus, Austria, before she moved to the Zumtobel Group. 

She completed her Master of Science in IT and Business Process Management at the University of Liechtenstein in June 2012.