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Plamena.jpgSAP University Alliances (UA) spotlights Plamena Yonkova, a UA program student at Sheffield Hallam University in England. Plamena shares her university experiences and tells us about the internship, including TERP10 training, with SAP that she looks forward to next year.

The goal of the UA Spotlight Series is to exchange insights with professors, lecturers, students, researchers and the entire SAP ecosystem and community.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you currently located? Please share a fun fact or hobbies that you would like to share with the community?

My name is Plamena and I am originally from Bulgaria. One year ago I made the decision to move to England in order to continue my higher education in Sheffield. To describe myself in one sentence, I will use the saying: “Do not limit your challenges, challenge your limits.” I strongly believe that the most effective way to “upgrade” the current version of “You” is by challenging yourself.

I am passionate about youth community work and that’s why I spend a great deal of time working as a youth trainer in Bulgaria and in the Netherlands.

Currently, I am a youth trainer in the GLOW Association in Bulgaria where I deliver sessions and workshops to youngsters between 14 to 18 years old. These workshops range in topics including: Team and Leadership; Effective Communication; Goal Setting and Decision Making. In Holland, I was a youth moderator doing expert meetings and training courses. We facilitated sessions for mixed-age groups of people (aged 17-46) with different backgrounds and nationalities.

My deep desire to understand people’s nature better, leads me to a whole new world of observing people’s attitudes, reactions and behavior on a daily basis and to draw assumptions and conclusions in regards to my observations. These interests somehow parallel to my analytical approach towards everything which surrounds me.

What university are you currently studying at, in which degree program and in what year of study? When and how did you first hear about SAP? Which of your classes have used SAP software and/or curricula in the classroom?
I am studying at Sheffield Hallam University, England and am currently a second year student in Business Information Systems. I first heard about SAP a couple of years ago when I conducted a research project about leading companies in business software with branches in Bulgaria. In fact, SAP was not my initial target company for this project. However, I came across an interesting fact during my research; there are 13 SAP Labs locations worldwide and one of them is in Bulgaria. Through this research project, I learned more about SAP and its establishment in Bulgaria. I consider this period as the beginning of my aspiration to connect with SAP.

My first experience with SAP solutions was during the Level 5 module Web-based Information Systems (WBIS). I entered university with a strong foundation in mathematics and extensive experience with it, including winning several Math competitions in Bulgaria. Taking this into account, together with my course leader, we developed an individual program of study which included the WBIS classes.

During these courses we run a simulated business in a real-time ERPsim environment by playing two interactive games. The first one was mainly concerned with the distribution of bottles of mineral water. My primary activity was to act as a go-between for the customers and the suppliers by receiving requisitions and converting them to purchase orders. At the same time, I kept an eye on the stock levels, maintained the price list and market the products where it was necessary. The second one was a manufacturing simulation game related to the production of muesli. I performed the same activities here, but this time I was involved in the manufacturing process by converting production orders.

Next year you will start an internship with the SAP Services and Support Center in Dublin, where you will also work towards receiving your TERP10 Certification. What do you most look forward to in this experience? What are your goals in pursuing TERP10 certification in terms of advancing your career, skills, and appeal in the job market?
I will start my internship with the SAP Services and Support Centre in Dublin, Ireland in June 2013. I am looking forward to working in a highly motivated and high-performance team for the leading company in business software: SAP.

I expect to come in contact with a variety of opportunities to handle challenging situations. I believe this experience will help me unleash my potential and deliver results which will exceed expectations. TERP10 certification will be a great skill to jump start my SAP career. As a result, I will enhance my understanding of integration of business processes as well as become more aware of using SAP software. It will enable me to maximize my efficiency and truly contribute to the success of my team. In addition, TERP10 will give me a competitive advantage over my rivals when it comes to searching for a graduate job and hopefully, will make me more employable.

What do you like the most about your experiences with the SAP and the SAP University Alliances program?  How has it improved your SAP knowledge?
I was provided with a hands-on SAP experience at two different levels. First, I studied a module which was based primarily on the idea of running a business in a SAP context. Second, I participated in the Student Dashboard Design Competition run by SAP in collaboration with UNICEF France. During that time, I had the opportunity to gain in-depth experience of the Crystal Dashboard Design software. In both cases, these experiences helped me get a better understanding of the SAP basics such as SAP GUI and the internal SAP architecture.

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