Working at satis&fy
Niklas Hommel, 27, Project Manager at satis&fy in Karben
As project manager, I am responsible for serving our customers, a duty I share with my colleagues from Project Management. We generally stage events and trade fairs and build retail showcases for clients, planning how to deploy the equipment, install the set and provide creative input. Once I get briefed, I talk to our specialized departments, inspect the location, do the calculations, put together offers, and assemble the project team. We jointly come up with solutions that we then present to the customer. Each client has a mind of their own, with different wishes and requirements, so every project is a bit different. Constantly confronted with new task and challenges, we often have to come up with creative solutions to meet different expectations and put different ideas into action. That's why the job is so incredibly exciting and varied. At satis&fy, you can stretch your boundaries almost every day. It just never gets boring.
A good plan
How I ended up at satis&fy is a short story. After graduating from high school, I apprenticed as an event technology specialist. The apprenticeship wasn't quite enough for me, so I studied Media and Communications Management at Idstein. To bankroll my studies, I continued working as a freelance technician. I got to know many different companies, including satis&fy. Love at first sight—that probably describes this encounter best for me. I knew right away that this is where I want to be! The people, the team spirit, the working atmosphere—everything was right. My plan worked out and I was recruited while I was still working as a freelancer. It's been three years now and I still feel very much at home here. The give-and-take within the company is simply incomparable. I also have a lot of freedom to grow.
Personal responsibility and structured work
This line of work can be very stressful, especially on productions, so you need to be the type of person who is not easily rattled. And you shouldn't be deterred by irregular working hours and night shifts. Fixed working hours are simply not part of this job. It doesn't bother me much because my job as a project manager is exactly what I've always been looking for: a perfect combination of office and production work with creative activities and daily interaction with people. It takes creativity, technical understanding, spatial perceptiveness, and a structured yet independent way of working to do this job. A structured way of working helps you keep on top of things and gives the client the feeling that they are in good hands.
On the go in the world
A nice perk of my job is the travel. satis&fy is a multinational operation with branches in Germany, the Netherlands and the USA, so it's not unusual for me to tour the far corners of the world for days at a time. My personal highlights since I joined satis&fy: planning permanently installed facade lighting in New York and building popup stores for Swarovski in Toronto and Milan during the Christmas season. The store featured an augmented reality viewer that let you try on jewelry 'virtually', a photo station, a fun wall, an LED wall and other online gadgetry. In the run-up to this production, we rehearsed the setup at Karben to ensure every move we made on site would be the right move. I work with colleagues from our various locations; mainly from New York, Portland, Karben and Berlin for this project. This happens a lot, and it promotes interaction and team spirit. This project came off perfectly, despite very little time to prepare and build the set, and temperatures that dropped down to -20 C° when we tore the set down in Toronto. Somehow we always find a way to make the impossible possible. No hurdle is too high for us. For me, it is simply the best feeling to see the result of our teamwork at the end of the day; to see what you worked and fought for over weeks and even months come together. There is no better motivation booster. Nothing compares to that moment, and it gives me goose-bumps every time.