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From IT to The Great Unknown in Seven Years

     Working for SAP over the past seven years has taken me to places I never would have thought possible. Both literally and professionally. The perspective that I will bring to you in future blogs with be uniquely diverse. What better way to introduce myself than to tell you my story? The story of an IT professional who decided to take a leap of faith.

     In February of 2005, I interviewed at SAP for the position of Support Engineer for Citrix Services in the US. I had a ten year IT career up until that point comprised of “all purpose” support positions. In other words, I had done everything from fixing printers and desktop issues to building Exchange Servers. This would be my first opportunity to work for an Enterprise Business and actually specialize in a particular area. I liked working for smaller shops and didn’t quite know how I felt about this new opportunity in front of me, but I decided that through the “rolling stones don’t gather moss” theory, I was making the right decision.

     I was fortunate enough to begin my new SAP career surrounded by some of the most intelligent and genuinely cool people I had ever worked with. I knew very quickly that I made the right decision and put my heart and soul into learning as much as I could about various Citrix Offerings. After a couple of years, I became the Technical Landscape Owner of Citrix in the Americas region. I thoroughly enjoyed the added responsibility and it allowed me to really branch out globally. By 2009 I had realized that I wanted to start getting involved in different aspects of the business. I became more drawn to the social and collaborative aspects of my job than the technical.

     One of the great things about working for SAP is that if you are looking for new opportunities, they will find you. Shortly after I approached my network of friends and co-workers at SAP with the suggestion that I was looking for new opportunities within the company, I was given one. I was asked if I was interested in interviewing for the position of Team Lead for the Global Data Center Support group. My policy is that it is always good to interview, so I did. I wasn’t sure if I was serious about taking the position. After all, this was taking me outside my fifteen year technical career and down the path of management. Throwing caution to the wind, I decided to go for it. I was confident that I could contribute more to SAP by choosing to travel this new path. I also believed that I would be opening up many more opportunities for myself as well.

     Shortly after accepting the GDS Team Lead position, I knew I had made the right decision. I made an immediate connection with my new team and my confidence began to grow. I successfully executed quite a few critical projects and earned a quarterly MVP award in the process. I was also nominated to the internal High Potential organization, which allowed me to branch out my network exponentially. Through the High Potential program, I was able to take advantage of another opportunity that would take me even further outside my comfort zone, a fellowship with the KMCC User Experience team.

     I have been working with the KMCC UX team for almost two months now and it has really given me a fresh perspective on the business. I get to see how processes and applications are viewed from both a broad and granular user viewpoint. This amazing opportunity will undoubtedly benefit me in my epic journey down this awesome and unpredictable road.

     These past seven years have been rewarding and scary for me all at the same time. As a result, I now have a wildly diverse skill-set and new challenges are being presented to me at every turn. I am working on some really cool projects right now that I look forward to sharing with you in my next several entries, so stay tuned!

     I believe in SAP. Seeing the business strategy in action from so many different perspectives has been extremely refreshing. There can’t be many companies out there that give their employees every chance to fulfill their potential like SAP has given me. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to post them. It would be my pleasure to help you along your path in any way I can.

     If I could express one thing that I have learned during my career at SAP, it would be to explore every opportunity that presents itself to you, and if opportunities are scarce, make some for yourself. You never know what you can truly accomplish until you take that first step into the Great Unknown.

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