Readtime: 9 minutes


Sara's change driven path to becoming Trainee in People & Culture Management

Mar 22, 2023 10:28:13 AM

What do tourism management, Scrum and agile frameworks, UX design and People & Culture management in the IT consulting environment have in common? At first glance, not much. The second glance goes to my colleague Sara, who has managed to reconcile this impressive skill set. In this interview, you can learn more about Sara's eventful working life, (work-)cultural differences and agile frameworks.

Jochen: Sara, you grew up in Syria, got your Master degree in Italy, and came to Germany five years ago joining your family. How did you experience this time?

Sara: Living in different countries is definitely enriching, I would say. Every country has its own culture and teemed with its experiences. At the same time, certainly, it's also a challenge. And yes, I started from scratch. The educational & working systems between Germany, Syria and Italy are very different. Maybe one of the biggest challenges in my life was learning German and coping with the culture here during the Corona pandemic.

Jochen: How do you perceive Germany as a place to work?

Sara: What I love and admire about Germany is that qualification, passion and commitment to a subject really pays off. No shortcuts here but an everyday journey of learning discipline, perseverance and sincerity in carrying out work. What paramount motivates me that I get something back for the energy I put into my studies or self improvement. In addition, there is a broad access to knowledge for everyone in Germany regardless of age, gender, background and erstwhile education. I experience here more opportunities and opened doors to aquire new skills and mastering thier needed tools, which is something that keeps enticing me and quenches my thirst for continuous self-development.


Jochen: Let's stay in your professional past for a bit. You have a master's degree in tourism economics and management and you are a certified UX designer. How do the two fit together? 

Sara: UX design & destination marketing both have in common core skills such as research, solving problems & designing the process in a way that best offering an enjoyable and fullfilling experience by the tourist or user. Nowadays everyone books his trips and tickets online and if you don't have a modern updated website or an app with a good user experience here, you face big challenges to survive in the market.


Sara | Junior Scrum Master & Trainee People Management

Jochen: At the All for One Group, IT is becoming even more of a focus for you. How did you hear about us and how have your tasks changed?

Sara: I applied on the Female Accelerator Program which is an initiative of Agile living and 10 corporate partners together with Socialbee to be trained as a qualified project manager in Scrum during one year. 
So I have joined the All for One Group as a trainee in People & Culture Management since September, and as a part of doing this traineeship, I was able to be certified as a Scrum Master (CSM) by Scrum Alliance last December, and currently I am responsible for the Starter training (note: an onboarding format). The Starter training takes place simultaneously throughout the Group at a total of six locations in four countries, including Germany, Austria, Turkey and Egypt. And recently, the new Starters from Poland were also able to join us remotely.

Scrum & Agile working

Jochen: Agile working is one of the big trend topics in the working world. Can you explain Scrum a little more? 

Sara: Sure. Scrum is an agile project management model. A framework that’s designed to solve complex problems and depends on a collaborative cross-functional team that has the skills and knowledge to deliver value in an empirical approach. It supports enormously the dynamic and fast response to all kinds of change, based on an iterative and incremental delivery ending of every sprint. This helps teams adapting to the complexity, turning to become a learning community that grows with more fun, and gaining a sustainable knowledge that succeeds dealing with any change. 
Scrum teams are characterized by a high degree of self-organization, lean processes, empiricism, step-by-step development and regular and systematic feedback loops.


Jochen: From my own experience, I know agile work such as OKR. Scrum as a framework is not yet part of daily business throughout the whole group. Will that perhaps change in the future?

Sara: Well, whit taking into consideration that launching an agile transition in large companies is inevitably challenging and patience-demanding, it is a process to anchor agile frameworks and ways of thinking, such as Scrum, in people's minds. It is easy to understand once you have read and learned about it, but ruther difficult in practice. Anyway being a part in driving the change process in the company, building and scaling the transparency and flow with the suitable framework boards, designing and deciding what is working best in our context, holding all of that in an incremental approach too, is quite interesting, I see this as an exciting challenge for the future.


Jochen: How do you perceive the All for One Group as an employer overall? 

Sara: A favorite question to ansewer 😊 All for One Group is a modern employer that keeps amazing me, the well modern equipped working space is more than amazing and satisfying, the contract of trust and the great amount of flexibility in the working hours that the hybrid model provides is also very motivating and works great for me personally. Offering the employees a space of freedom, trust and respect to the individual human working nature, is the key door in my opnion to establisch the loyality and the mutual satisfaction.
Experiencing on a daily basis how the seven values for which the All for One Group stands, are profoundly lived and implemented, provides a high degree of orientation and facilitates the integration into the corporate culture.
Our value "Valuable Space" as an example, where a space of freedom and creativity is offered, that allows you to try new things, learn from mistakes, and take the responsibilty of own actions is enormously encouraging for me. Having such a strong fault-tolerance culture is, in my opinion, the best ingredient to a successful process in:Transparency, Inspection, and Adaptation, which are the three empirical pillars of a thrived Scrum.
Jochen: What challenges did you face in your new working day? For example, have you arrived well in the IT and digitalization cosmos?  

Sara: Of course, the breadth and complexity of IT and digitization topics like those offered by the All for One Group are something completely new and challenging for me. But getting involved in it is comparable to a Scrum project. It's about accepting the unknown and improving the self-management and learning skill to embrace the change and the unfamiliarity. You can get into a complex topic that you know little about and you have to find your own way to learn more about it until you internalize it. I like that because it keeps me challenged.

Jochen: Our values are important to us. Is there something that you find particularly important?

Sara: I appreciate personally the value "Serious Sustainability" in all its facets, which deals a lot with social aspects such as inclusion and equal opportunities, in addition to the economic and environmental sustainability. At the All for One Group, there is an emphasis on bringing more women power into the IT world and I'm grateful that initiatives like Socialbee are supported, which allows me to delve into the IT world and gain additional qualifications.

Jochen: If you could fulfill two wishes from the All for One Group, what would they be? 

Sara: Wish number One: A Ping Pong Table and the Idea of a cross-departmental‚ Having Fun Pause‘, the idea seems appealing to me because I'm a big fan of this sport. Why not of some quick brain & body workout during short breaks and looking every time for new colleagues to challenge that would be awesome! I'll be besotted promoting such initiative in Filderstadt! A kind of revitalizing socializing and networking at the office in the time of Post-Covid 😊

Wish number Two: I'll take your question as an opportunity to promote my upcoming achievement, as I'll start next week in A-CSM (Note: Advanced Certified Scrum Master) and hope to get certified at the end of August. So I‘ll be happy to offer my expertise in this area to all Scrum Teams at the All for One Group.
Jochen: Do you already have further plans for your career and your future in mind?

Sara: Well, attaining CSP (Certified Scrum Professional) level would be a significant elevation in my career life. According to the Scrum Master Trends Survey Results 2019 and the Scrum Master Salary Report 2023 numbers show that the wage gap between man and women is closing, which is promising and quite encouraging 😊

Jochen: Thank you very much for this inspiring conversation, Sara!

Sara: A pleasure. Thank you too, Jochen!


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