I’m going to be a senior at Grand Valley State University this coming fall, going for a BBA in Management Information Systems (MIS). At Grand Valley, we use SAP to further our learning of business processes within the classroom. This means I don’t have the technical programming background that other people reading this might have, but I’m always willing to learn! This summer I have been given a great opportunity interning as an SAP Business Analyst at Perrigo.
Each business major going through Grand Valleys Curriculum is required to take the introductory MIS class. This class introduces SAP and we learn how some of the business processes can be tied directly to an ERP system. After the introductory class, there is another business process course covering 5-6 modules in SAP ERP. Then the diehard SAP students (like me) take a configuration and ABAP course. (Grand Valley’s, ERP Curriculum Courses that use SAP) Throughout these courses, I have learned many valuable skills that have translated over to the “real world”. Solving SAP errors has been one of the most important skills I have learned while at school. Even though the errors encountered in the class room aren’t typically seen at a large company, it still gave me the opportunity to work through the problems. The faculty at Grand Valley won’t just give students the answers when they encounter the problem. Instead, they direct students to our portal site (http://www.gvsu.edu/business/erp/), where we have forums set up just like the forums on SDN. If students are still facing issues within SAP, they will then be direct to SDN or other SAP support sites.
Another valuable skill learned in the classroom was learning the impact of each business process. Having the overview on which processes effect their respective functional area has been a huge benefit in my transition at Perrigo. Since I’m still an Intern, (fresher) I have been thrown all over the place working with many different people on many different projects. I have been able to catch on much quicker with my knowledge of the processes from the classroom.
First, I learned everything is much more complicated in the “real world” than it is in the class room. When I was helping create a new fictional bicycle company, (“I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand.”) I didn’t have to think of the hundreds of scenarios that could create problems. I’m still learning how to think of all the possible scenarios that could arise while working on new projects.
I have also learned that people are such a great resource to learn from! As an Intern, I’m given the time to meet with others in the company to ask questions and learn from them. I believe this has made my transition much easier by getting to know people in the organization and learning from them at the same time.
- Get an internship that will allow you to see the corporate life. (Check out Otto’s blog, The specified item was not found.) I have had an awesome experience with a few different internships. At the very least, you will learn whether or not you will want to do this after college graduation.
- Soak up information like a sponge! When I first started, I felt a little overwhelmed with all this new information at once. I started to document everything people had shown me how to do and this quickly relieved that overwhelming feeling.
- Hard work. This may sound obvious but if you constantly work hard and go above what you are asked to do, you will get noticed. (Check out Jarret’s blog, Valuable Lessons to Make the Most of your SAP Career)
*Special thanks to Otto Gold for encouraging me and helping with the ideas for this blog.