SRH Hochschule Heidelberg

Never lose sight of your passion and purpose

Pascal Jacob talks about his Bachelor's degree in Business Administration / International Track and his Master's degree in International Management & Leadership as well as his day-to-day work at SAP as Account Executive.

Portraitfoto Pascal Jacob

Tell us, what are you doing right now and what does your professional life look like?

As an Account Executive in the Pharma Life Science & Professional Services Industry at SAP, focusing on SAP SuccessFactors / Human Experience Management (HXM), I am responsible for building and maintaining relationships with large enterprise customers in this industry. My everyday professional life involves Client Relationship Management, where I work closely with customers to understand their business needs and challenges. Based on this, I develop and nurture long-term relationships to ensure customer success. In Solution Sales,  I promote and sell SAP's solutions (SuccessFactors / HXM), to meet the specific needs of pharmaceutical and professional services companies. This involves prepare and deliver proposals, presentations, and quotes to customers. In Contract Negotiation, I am  responsible for negotiating contracts, pricing, and terms with customers to ensure a win-win situation for both SAP and the customer. In also work with SAP's internal teams, including product development and customer support, to ensure that clients receive the best possible service and support.

What makes your industry so exciting for you?

I find the HR software industry dynamic and appealing. It's constantly innovating, empowering HR professionals, and enhancing employee experiences. The industry promotes data-driven decision-making and global reach, simplifying HR management worldwide. It ensures compliance and cost savings while streamlining operations. Talent management features aid in talent attraction and retention. The commitment to sustainability is a significant plus. This industry offers exciting opportunities for me looking to optimize HR operations and employee experiences, making a significant impact in modern business management.

How do you imagine your future professional career? What career paths, opportunities for advancement or professional fields would you like to pursue in the next few years?

I envision my future professional career with SAP as a path of continuous growth and expanding responsibilities. I am excited about the opportunities SAP provides for personal and professional development. Furthermore, I have an extreme curiosity for entrepreneurship, and I see this as a parallel avenue for my career growth. I believe that entrepreneurial ventures can unlock new horizons. The future is full of potential, and I am eager to see where the journey takes me.

Application processes are always exciting. How do you remember this phase immediately after graduation? Were there any particular challenges?

The post-COVID era represented a critical turning point in my career. In the midst of massive job cuts, I was a working student at SAP, at the same time writing my master's thesis and actively searching. I made the most of this time and first explored the customer side of one of SAP's top customers, where I gained practical experience in implementing SAP HR-solutions. Despite tough competition, the irresistible opportunity arose to rejoin SAP through the prestigious SAP Academy for Customer Success. This trip highlighted the importance of seizing opportunities and adapting to career-changing changes.

What have you learnt from your studies that is helpful in the working world?

My academic journey has imparted several key skills that prove highly beneficial in the professional realm. I've honed the ability to work with a clear focus on goals, consistently delivering results even in high-pressure situations. Moreover, my studies fostered strong teamwork capabilities, allowing me to collaborate effectively in diverse, multicultural teams. Additionally, I've developed a structured and methodical approach to tasks, enhancing my efficiency and precision in addressing complex challenges in the workplace. These skills have been instrumental in my career, enabling me to thrive in a variety of real-world scenarios.

It's been a while: How did you decide on your degree programmes?

Choosing my course of study was a decision rooted in a desire for both academic and personal growth. I sought a program that not only offered a strong academic foundation but also provided a nurturing, family-like environment where I could thrive. Moreover, I valued close learning opportunities that allowed for mentorship and interaction with professors. The program's international focus further appealed to my aspirations, offering a global perspective and the chance to explore diverse cultures. Overall, the blend of academic excellence, personal development, close-knit learning, and international exposure made it a compelling choice for my educational journey.

What made your studies at SRH University Heidelberg special?

My studies at SRH University Heidelberg were truly exceptional for several reasons. Firstly, the collaborative work with fellow students allowed us to deliver outstanding outcomes. We thrived in a supportive community, fostering creativity and excellence. Secondly, the close relationship with professors was invaluable. Their mentorship and guidance greatly enriched my learning experience. The campus itself offered a vibrant and conducive environment for academic growth. Moreover, the international opportunities, such as a semester abroad at San Diego State University and internships in Shanghai and London, broadened my global perspective and enhanced my adaptability. Lastly, the founding of the interdisciplinary student initiative, SBN - Student Business Network, with my close friend Julian Goldschmitt, was a highlight. It enabled us to apply our knowledge in a practical setting and make a positive impact. These facets collectively made my studies at SRH University Heidelberg truly special and transformative.

Is there a quote that best describes your time studying with us?

The quote by Henry Ford, "If You Always Do What You've Always Done, You'll Always Get What You've Always Got," perfectly encapsulates the importance of leaving one's comfort zone to reach new heights. In my case, this meant stepping out of the familiar and embarking on a journey that led me to study in the USA, along with seizing the remarkable opportunities of internships in Shanghai and London.

By breaking free from routine and embracing the unknown, I experienced personal and professional growth that I couldn't have fathomed had I remained in my comfort zone. These experiences exposed me to diverse cultures, work environments, and perspectives, enriching my life in ways that simply wouldn't have been possible had I chosen to stick with the familiar. This quote serves as a reminder that stepping into the unfamiliar and taking risks can lead to unanticipated and extraordinary achievements.

What advice would you like to give to our students and young alumni?

I wholeheartedly encourage students and young alumni to not only seize existing opportunities but also actively cultivate new ones. Remember, the journey is just as significant as the destination, so savor each moment. Embrace the chance to learn, explore, and engage with a diverse array of individuals. See challenges as pathways to growth and maintain a resilient, can-do attitude. Above all, never lose sight of your passion and purpose - let them serve as your unwavering guiding stars on this exhilarating journey.

Portraitfoto Julia Beck
Julia Beck

Alumni Management

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