‘Hearty congratulations on being named a 2011 top contributor at SAP TechEd Las Vegas and in appreciation we are providing you a chance to take up a SAP certification exam for free…’ so went the email which I received from the Director, SAP Marketing .
For a moment when I read the email in mid of October 2011, it felt surreal. It took a few days for the fact to sink in as all along I had pondered whether I should take up a certification exam or not and here I was with an opportunity starring at me to not only take up the certification exam but also one which was paid for. At one side I felt it was a matter of personal pride and at the same time doubts crept in as to which exam I should take if I choose to and in which module should I take. I let the thoughts linger in my mind further for a couple of weeks and was quite amused at the thoughts which surfaced out. But one thing which I was sure of, if I had to be certified it was not to be after reading up some books or material available online or by speaking to people who had certified in the past to know what kind of stuff is asked.
I was kind of oblivious to the fact that days n weeks whizzed by while I was still in state of flux and indecisive as to what I should do and then it dawned on me that I had very little time to make my decision as the email from SAP clearly stated that I had to take the exam before 31st Dec 2011. My mind then quickly worked at a pace which might have left even Usain Bolt gasping for breath & I decided that I would first certify myself in PP module before certifying in others. After a quick check through the options, I decided that it would be the professional level certification ‘P_PROD_65’. No sooner did I think everything is going to fall in place, was there a surprise in the plot. The SAP partner site where I was to take the exam were not offering the professional level, but only the associate level here in Singapore. For a moment I thought all my effort and a hope of getting certified came to a nought.
I frantically sent out emails to SAP and to the partner site, but the response was late as the clock had ticked past 31st Dec 2011 and the validity period was over. I paused and looked back in reflection to take solace in the fact that I tried all that I could, but it wasn’t meant to be. Life seemed to chug along as I got back into my daily rigmarole, when suddenly the lines of paulo cohelo’s alchemist ‘When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it‘ seemed to be playing out. I received an email from SAP in mid of February 2012, saying I can still take the certification exam. After a few email exchanges and the necessary paper work done, the ‘d’ day was finalized and it was to be 20th April 2012. I had exactly 50 days to go and before I began preparing myself I asked myself ‘what will this certification mean to me’.
After much thought, I firmed up my mind and wanted this certification to be a reflection of the knowledge which I have managed to gain over time in different projects / assignments. This clarity in my thought made the next 50 days a time for reflection, where-in although I was working on my daily tasks a part of my brain was working on preparing myself. For a moment I took a pregnant pause and asked myself would I have taken the same approach had I paid for the exam with my money. Quick came the reply, at stake was something beyond money, as SAP had given this opportunity for being a top contributor and if I performed anything less than the mark it would be a big let down. Unfettered by these thoughts my preparation via reflections went along and not before long was it 20th April 2012. The 80 questions rattled one after the other and I managed to click in the answers in about 1 hours time, further took another 30 mins. to revisit the responses to see if I had done to the best I can and finally clicked submit.
The next few seconds of waiting made me re-live every one of the moments from the time I received the first email to the time I entered the certification exam room and then…. the screen showed… ‘Congratulations’….your certificate will be posted… and also giving breakup of each section. My mind was quick to note that I was off the mark by 20% and immediately registered the sections in which I had missed out, as this would be the areas where I need to improve upon. I came out and felt I had finally figured it out that I indeed wanted ‘To Be’ certified. I have just managed to certify myself in one and there are more to come in the near future, so my reflections will continue.
This was my first attempt at a blog, so please feel free to drop in your views / comments. If this blog has been able to add some value to the forum, then I plan to write more blogs but those will be more on some specific subject matter. Thanks for your time and happy reading…