Employee Tuesday – What does a Master Data Specialist do?

by Marie Terhechte

What are your main tasks as a Master Data Specialist at Urban Sports Club?

As Master Data Specialist I am responsible for the maintenance and preparation of master data from our employees, customers, suppliers, vendors and for finance (e.g. VAT, GL Accounts and various reports). Here, lots of data is fed from different systems which must be kept up to date. So far not all processes can be mapped with an API. Employee master data needs to seamlessly sync with travel booking or reimbursement tools and when it comes to payment runs, I have to make sure settlements are completed with the correct cost centers, bank details and information exchange. Thus, my role also includes optimizing and managing processes, setting up new ones and standardizing them. 

In addition to administration and management, I am also responsible for Financial Business System Access Management, ensuring everyone in our department has the access and information they need, and newbies have support from onboarding onwards.

As an OKR Champion for the Finance department, I work with my teams to achieve and define objectives and key results, which is a lot of fun and gives me a good understanding of where we want to go as a company and what we can contribute as a department.

You’ve traveled a lot – what have you learnt from these experiences? 

That’s a great question. I have fond memories of my student days, when I had the opportunity to combine studying and traveling with a voluntary internship abroad in India (Rajasthan). I went with a small tour operator, which allowed me to experience India up close and at the same time understand work processes that are so different internationally. The opportunity to travel to India was something very special for me.

You studied Tourism and Event Management – how did you get your current job?

Exactly, I did my bachelor’s degree in Tourism and Event Management. The course was very business-oriented and covered everything from economics, business administration, project management, finance/accounting and HR. It meant I had many options open to me, and my first role was a travel manager. I’d manually book travel for employees of a company and soon introduced systems to replace this manual and cumbersome work. With my knowledge of various travel management systems I got the job at Urban Sports Club and implemented our current travel management system and travel policy.

At the beginning of this year I applied internally for the position of Master Data Specialist because I was looking for a new challenge. That’s certainly what I got, but I find my role very fulfilling.

If you had three wishes, what would you wish for and why?

Tricky question. I would love to feel complete satisfaction and harmony with myself and my environment, without constantly worrying about the intentions or opinions of others. I’d have a lot of time and peace to enjoy beautiful things. The second thing I would wish for is health and to live my life without experiencing depression, cancer or the like. The last thing I would wish for is financial independence. Life is more carefree when you know there’s no hurry and no pressure.

What Urban Sports Club value is your favorite and how do you apply it to your daily life?

My favorite company value is “Embrace Vulnerability.” I love clear and open communication, which is crucial when working on projects with colleagues. Lack of clear communication leads to misunderstandings and over-thinking like wondering what the sender meant by something they said. I like it when people speak openly and ask counter-questions, so there are no misunderstandings. It’s easy to assume you’ve conveyed something very clearly, while your counterpart only sees question marks. In turn, I like to work in an environment where I can express opinions or concerns and feel comfortable asking questions.

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