Employee Spotlight: Jens Wittland

How long have you been with grosse-hornke? What is your role on your team?

I joined grosse-hornke in 2019 as a Senior Consultant. After working on the successful implementation of a new BI solution in the strategy and innovation department of a DAX-40 company, I was promoted to Project Manager. Since then, I have managed several digitization projects in Operations teams and supported our clients in their transformation towards a digitized future.


Any fun projects on the horizon? What are you and your team up to next?

The focus for the second half of 2022 for me is the further development of a software solution for a leasing product for an international bank. I also still have a focus on the automotive sector and with war in Ukraine, rising inflation and supply chain difficulties it’s an industry facing big challenges to find the right balance between investment and outcome. It doesn’t sound so fun at first glance, but I love the challenge of finding sustainable solutions for our clients.


What are some of the common challenges facing your clients at the moment?

There are a lot of issues at the moment – war in Ukraine, the consequences of Covid-19 pandemic, rising inflation, supply chain difficulties – but besides those, I see digitization is a key challenge. Our clients are initiating programs to become future-ready. What is usually missing is understanding of the constant effort and change required to keep up with the pace of innovation and digitization. A key example is AI. Companies are starting small AI initiatives to experiment with its potential, but then hesitate to take the next step forward. This is a great opportunity because AI and a proper data management program can really help to better understand the customer needs and to drive better decision-making for the management team going forward.


What was your dream job as a child and what has your journey been like to arrive where you are today?

My dream job was to become an astronaut. When I was a child, I loved to play with my Lego space station and was fascinated by the idea to go to space. When I was 16 years old, I left my home for a year – but instead of the moon, I chose to go to Peru to live with a host family. At university, I wanted to further improve my Spanish skills, so I decided to study international business with a focus on Spanish business language. I completed another year abroad in Spain, and shortly thereafter began my career in the automotive industry, in the product and portfolio strategy at Volkswagen, before joining Fiat Chrysler Automotive, FCA, Germany as a Market Intelligence specialist in the operations team, where I led my first digitization project. My curiosity about different countries and cultures and the drive for new challenges brought me to the FCA Headquarters in Italy, where I joined the Corporate Leadership development program. It is around this time that I met Silke and Matthias, and I did not have to think twice about joining the grosse-hornke team.


What did you study at university and how has it been relevant to your role at grosse-hornke?

I did a Bachelor degree in International Business and a Masters in Management and Marketing. I tried to keep a very broad focus in terms of modules so I could cover as many entrepreneurial aspects as possible. That allowed me to gain insights and improve my knowledge in controlling, legal, economics, informatics, methods, statistics and other business topics. Today, this broad foundation helps me to quickly adapt to new projects and understand the pain points of the project stakeholders.


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What piece of advice would you give to an aspiring management consultant?

Be grounded and humble, and approach challenges with full vigor and passion. If you deliver basic tasks to a high standard, you will very soon get more complex tasks and more responsibility. And don’t limit yourself to specific topics you want to deal with; you grow even faster when you leave your comfort zone.


How do you like to spend your free time/unwind?

In my free time I like to do sports or enjoy the time outside with the family and dogs. My passion is football. In former times in FCA Italy, I really enjoyed the after-work football matches with my colleagues. If you are a good team on the pitch, you better work as a team in the office.



What good books have you read lately?

One of the last books I read was The wonder weeks – a stress-free guide to Your Baby’s Behaviour (German title: “Oje, ich wachse”). The book was very interesting and useful, and helped us to better understand the behavior of our son Luke in his first year. As a young family, you need to experiment a lot to find a good balance and the right solutions to the baby’s actions. This book used illustrative stories and examples that make it easier to understand and inform our actions accordingly. We recently welcomed our second son, and still refer back to this book for useful hints and confirmation that we are doing things right.

2022-05-30 grosse-hornke

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