Hendrik Finke, anchor in the storm, passionate cook, orphanage builder for children in Uganda, family man, kite surfer, and Vice President Operations & Collection at Paigo, Arvato Financial Solutions, Baden-Baden.
“Work gives me a sense of purpose."
“I don’t go to work in the morning just because I have to; I go because it’s something I truly enjoy.”This makes things easier for him and everything simply runs better, he says. This was already the case back when he was pursuing his bachelor’s degree in business administration and while working at an auditing firm. But of course, it’s not just the fun factor that determines whether a project will succeed or not. “You generally need to pull a number of levers, initiate and supervise processes – all of which largely relies on good communication with your colleagues,” explains Hendrik.
And sometimes you also have to stop and question things – just like he experienced in his job at the auditing firm. He realized that it wasn’t actually the best fit for him, and he had the feeling that he needed to breathe some new life into his career. “Before, I would have never imagined doing the jobI do now. I envisioned myself more as working in the consulting area, but then fortunately had the opportunity to do a master’s in management, which included a semester abroad in South America.”
His first job at Bertelsmann was with the Bertelsmann Printing Group. His view of the Arvato Financial Solutions business activities was still quite remote at that time. “Back then, I completely underestimated what we do here,” says Hendrik today. And he’s not just referring to his employer’s services and service products. On a personal level as well, his job offers him a great deal of variety and creative freedom – both in his tasks and in his responsibility for employees.
“I learn something new every day – and these are always exactly the things, which bring me a step closer to my personal goals.”
Besides being responsible for a team of 250, Hendrik primarily focuses on optimizing and enhancing the processes in his area – receivables management for businesses in the payment services, insurance, utilities, mobility and financial services sectors. He also supervises the implementation of new communication options and supports his team in cross-sector projects.“What motivates me is that I am constantly able to contribute new ideas and do my part to advance our company.”
The necessary energy for this task comes from his family – and occasionally from kitesurfing. “Even if I’m sometimes exhausted at the end of the day, my daughter’s encouraging laughter – and her compelling clarity when it comes to choosing her current favorite book – help me to forget the stress and pressure of the job.” Hendrik is enjoying his new role as a family man, and he doesn’t mind if his Sunday mornings are more often spent on the playground than on his kiteboard. But he doesn’t plan to abandon his hobby entirely. “The combination of water, sun and the beach are the real appeal of kitesurfing. But the wind also makes it quite loud. I enjoy being on the water and having to concentrate 100% on myself. It clears my head and helps me to completely unwind.”
Strong headwinds are not just something he has experienced as a kite surfer. They also come in the form of critique, but this is something that is important to him in every respect. “I don’t see it as something negative. I always try to reflect on what I could have done better, and learn my lessons for the next time,” explains Hendrik. He considers himself the anchor in the team – even in the more tumultuous times. “My strength is focusing on what’s most important and then further developing the more established concepts. This kind of strategic thinking, even in turbulent times, is something I learned in the printing industry.”
Before Hendrik came to Arvato Financial Solutions in 2017, he was assistant to the CEO at Prinovis, which is today part of Bertelsmann Printing Group. “We had to tackle new challenges there on a daily basis. Circulation amounts were declining while, at the same time, technology was so advanced that increasingly cheaper machines were competing with our superb – yet unfortunately also expensive – print quality. Publishing companies had also discovered the digital world, which didn’t exactly make things easier for us.” Such challenges attract him, which is why he also feels quite at home after his internal transition to Arvato Financial Solutions at Bertelsmann. “My path fits well with our motto at Bertelsmann,” says Hendrik. “After all, ‘Create Your Own Career’ also means that everyone can discover the career that suits them best.”
“I think it’s great that I had the opportunity to advance within the company.”
Despite his professional ambitions, he doesn’t forget those who have it harder in life. “If I didn’t have such an incredible family, I would return to Uganda. I spent quite some time there, taking care of an orphanage project that I established together with friends from Germany. While there, I helped to build a home for children and to teach them, in order to improve the situation there,” shares Hendrik. In the future, he would like to backpack through Africa – together with his family, of course. With his dedication and willingness to learn, Hendrik Finke is sure to bring a breath of fresh air to all he does, both in his professional and personal life.