“We’re always at the cutting edge”–
An interview with Data Engineer Sarah Paruszewski

Data and mathematical models are Sarah Paruszewski’s passion. As a Data Engineer, she develops data platforms for companies, combining software development with analytical thinking. Her job also requires her to take a lot of personal responsibility and be creative.

When did you join Lufthansa Industry Solutions and what are your duties?

I have been working as a Data Engineer in the Technology Consulting & Quality Assurance business unit – “T & Q” for short – since January 2018. This means that I’m responsible for developing data infrastructures and that I spend my time finding the best way to store data in a system and prepare it for further processing.

In my current project, my team and I are designing IT architecture for a major car manufacturer. The aim is to create a platform for large volumes of data generated in the area of aftersales so that our customer can manage that data and use it to generate more sales – taking into account the customer’s different locations as well. We start by preparing a concept, where we define the platform and lay out which components make sense for this specific customer. The project also involves coming up with presentations to introduce the idea to the customer and discuss it with them. I’m also writing minor software components that we will then use for the platform. The project consists of a number of requirements and tasks that are constantly changing. You have to get creative when you’re trying to find approaches to solutions and implementing them. This is something that we work on together as a team; there’s always a lively exchange going on, and we discuss among ourselves the specific solutions that have been proposed.

How is work organized in your team?

One of our team colleagues has the lead and is the most important contact for the customer. But, generally speaking, we carry on the conversation together, and team members are constantly called upon to take personal responsibility and act independently. If the customer has any questions, you have to be able to take up a position. And responsibility increases with experience – if that’s what you want. 

Data engineering was the right way for me to combine the two fields – software development and analytical thinking.

Sarah Paruszewski, Data Engineer

Do you spend a lot of time on-site with the customer or do you tend to work from the location in Norderstedt?

I spend a lot of time at the location in Norderstedt, but I also travel a lot to see customers. Personal contact is really important, because sitting across from each other and discussing technical challenges face to face it is often a better way to deal with potential difficulties, changing conditions at the customer’s company and optimizations. And being on-site allows me to build up a better connection with the customer through personal contact.

Data Engineer (m/f/diverse)

As a data engineer (m/f/diverse), you will advise our clients in the wake of the digital transformation from the conception of an information platform up to its implementation at the highest technological level. You will provide support and guidance for the implementation of related projects for our customers from many different walks of business.

To job description

What path did your professional career take?

I studied engineering mathematics, which is a branch of applied mathematics. You study a mixture of engineering science, computer science and mathematics. After completing my degree, I went into software development for three years, where I programmed business software – it was heavily Java-based and had less to do with mathematics. But I noticed that I needed some variety, because when I was working there, I usually had to solve problems according to a particular formula. That’s why I switched to consulting. In my opinion, the projects here are more exciting, and I have to come up with solutions on an ongoing basis for entirely new challenges. I was also excited by the fact that mathematical models come into play more frequently. Data engineering was the right way for me to combine the two fields – software development and analytical thinking – in the development of data infrastructures. 

What qualities do you need to have to work as a data engineer?

You have to be curious and enjoy learning about new things all the time. I come into contact with new technologies every week. You don’t have to know about all of them in detail, but you should be able to say whether they’re relevant. To find out, I spend a lot of time exchanging ideas with my colleagues. This also helps you to develop creative solutions, because there’s not always a standard solution that you can apply. And, as a consultant, I also spend a lot of time talking to customers – an aspect that I personally really like.

What do you like most about your job?

My job is very diverse, challenging and full of variety. On the one hand, the tasks are very technical, but, on the other hand, they’re also very communicative. Moreover, the issues that we deal with are highly topical, as we’re involved in data processing on a day-to-day basis, which is increasingly gaining in importance in the age of all-encompassing connectivity. We’re always at the cutting edge, or even one step ahead.

About Sarah Paruszewski

Sarah Paruszewski has been working as a Data Engineer for Lufthansa Industry Solutions at its Norderstedt location since January 2018. She designs IT infrastructures and develops data platforms for companies. After studying engineering mathematics, she began by spending several years working in software development. 

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