I graduated, what’s next?
My first medium article. It isn’t my first blog — I’ve been writing for a few years, but each one feels like the first one to me. As I’m sitting in this bus on my way out of Philly into the suburbs of Pennsylvania to start my first day at work, let’s see what life’s been like around and post graduation for this Class of ’19 graduate who’s entering corporate America.
Just as I reached the half-way mark i.e. sophomore year in university, my then manager’s (Ron’s) advice stuck with me as I prepared to commence a professional career (my first internship!). On my last day of work, I clocked out at 8 am to finish my overnight shift which had started at 11:30 pm the night before. I bid farewell to my colleagues and what I heard next would leave a lasting impression on me. As I waved goodbye to Ron, he said —
Always going forward, never back.
SAP — where great work meets great people.
I joined the SAP Student Training and Rotation program. The next two years would be nothing short of a professional and personal adventure that quite literally would be world class. It is rightly said, great leaders inspire. My program manager June Huynh’s immense faith and trust played a vital role in my success integrating into and being successful at SAP, a prestigious enterprise solutions company and software giant in the world of technology.
I learned a great deal about the history, software portfolio and life@SAP during my 1-year vocational training period in the Digital Business Services board area as a Technical Support Engineer working with SAP Fiori, NetWeaver and Custom Code. But this was only setting me up for something bigger…
A year after joining SAP, I was offered the opportunity (and a great privilege) to spend 3-months at SAP’s global headquarters in Walldorf, Germany. My summer in Europe can be best summarized by my Airbnb status — traveling for work, living a vacation. Contrary to my role in SAP America, here I found myself focusing on Enterprise Cloud Finance handling up to 50% of SAP Private Cloud Sales’ deal support in the EMEA region. There was excellence in character and pure competence in the people I worked with on this business trip. I traveled many countries, networked & understood many areas of the business and made many friends along the way.
With colleagues from over a dozen nations, clients from even more covering two continents and work which put me in the shoes of both a technology and finance expert, it was simply thrilling. I learned a great deal from this experience. My team manager was Theresia Rajagukguk — an inspiring manager and a true leader at SAP, her mentorship prepared me beyond work and professional career.
I continued until graduation to work part time from Philadelphia providing remote support to structure Private Cloud deals from regions in UK all the way to Russia. And while it involved early morning work hours and crucial time management between school and work, these moments instilled in me discipline, work ethic and a resolute mindset.
Graduation, silicon valley and eternal learning
In May 2019, I graduated with honors as an engineer. A 4.0 GPA, third place Engineering Senior Design winner and Fox School’s Entrepreneurship Institutes’ People’s Choice winner, it was a very positive end to college. But learning must never stop. A recruiting phone call by a Silicon Valley giant led me to teach myself fundamentals of computer science within 2 weeks and crack the technical interviews. During these weeks of preparation, I realized how much I enjoy learning topics beyond what my academic background would allow me to comprehend. College didn’t just teach me how to be an engineer, it taught me how to learn.
Another SAP journey begins.
Coming back to the bus that is transporting me, my eyes follow the dozens of trailer trucks that zoom past me on this turnpike; I see plates from Virginia, Ohio and even Nebraska. The transportation and logistics business is nothing short of fascinating in this day and age where movement is tracked by the second. The Supply Chain Management (SCM) market is valued at over $12 billion, with SAP boasting~27% revenue market share (source: Gartner). Additionally, Industry 4.0 revolution will keep the momentum going and growing for SCM.
I am beginning a new role in my career today, where I have a unique opportunity to combine my academic background with my professional experience. A cross-industry role where I understand the engineering and planning aspect of Supply Chain & Logistics to integrate into the SAP ecosystem focusing on Extended Warehouse Management (EWM) — the latest and greatest solution from SAP for Warehouse Management. While I have left SAP for now, it will continue to stay with me. To diversify experience and not limit myself to one role and technology, I will be working on prototype creation and assisting in business development topics by collaborating with colleagues and customers internationally.
Sharing my knowledge
Knowledge is like money:
to be of value it must circulate,
and in circulating it can increase
in quantity and, hopefully, in value.
I am looking forward to creating a content series where I will articulate my continued understanding of the place Supply Chain and SAP has in the digital transformation of enterprises, business and the global economy. This is a journey, where we learn together.