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October 27, 2013

By Cheryl Taylor

Source: Valley Morning Star

Luis Rodriguez is among the first students in the School of Business at The University of Texas at Brownsville to receive a certificate in the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software system from SAP, a German multinational software corporation.

An international business major, Rodriguez is learning about the customs brokerage business both in the classroom and on the job. On the job, he is learning from his mother, who has built up a successful brokerage business importing U.S. goods into Mexico.

“This is the area of business that interests me, and I hope to some day take over my mom’s business,” said Rodriguez, who will earn his bachelor of business administration in May 2014. “The classes I’ve been taking that include the SAP components are really valuable, definitely giving me an advantage that will benefit the family business.”

In the spring of 2012, the School of Business became a partner in SAP University Alliances, joining a number of other universities teaching SAP software’s many applications.

“Just as in all fields, technology has made a significant impact on business, facilitating the wheels of commerce to run smoothly and efficiently,” said Kevin Cruthirds, associate professor of Management. “Our students must be well-equipped, understanding not only theories and methodologies, but also the practical application of the tools of business — and that includes technology.”

Blanca Rodriguez also achieved one certification in SAP in a class over the summer.

“At first I wanted to pull my hair out, but in the end it all came together,” said Rodriguez, who is an international business and marketing major. “Now I understand its advantages, and I really like how the program is hands-on and collaborative.”

Rodriguez knew she was interested in business when she entered UTB after graduation from Porter High School in 2010. Now she has narrowed down her focus, and is considering pursuing the master of health care administration after she receives her bachelor of business administration in May 2014.

“For a period, my little brother was suffering from a serious medical condition, and during this time I spent considerable time interacting with health care personnel,” Rodriguez said. “I saw the business side of health care and the importance of having that part of healthcare run effectively and efficiently.”

Rodriguez worked with SAP applications in two of her summer classes, Supply Chain Management and Production Operations Management. She and her classmates used SAP to create the beginning step of most business processes, a purchase requisition. They carried this requisition through the required steps toward finished goods manufacturing and subsequent distribution.

Students become eligible for student certificates in courses where SAP is incorporated into at least 30 percent of the course content. This semester, SAP software is integrated into the curriculums of four business classes. The School of Business is in the process of introducing other SAP applications in additional courses.

Read the original article on the Valley Morning Star.

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