Blake Rowley picture.JPGSAP Academy is a 9-month program that brings new hires from around the world to participate in a curriculum that blends classroom-style learning at our world-class facility in Dublin, CA with on-the-job training at one of SAP’s many international office locations.

With our Sales Academy set to begin in February, we wanted to follow four Sales Academy students throughout their time over the next 9 months. The idea is to give a real account from real participants about their experience. This week, Blake Rowley, SAP Associate Sales Executive, who is enrolled in the upcoming program, shares with us a little bit about himself, why he enrolled in the program,what career tools and experiences he expects Sales Academy to provide and why he is excited to start.

I am a graduate of the University of Notre Dame – Australia, with a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Advertising. I have had a few jobs previous to joining SAP in both the IT and advertising industry. I worked at Bluewolf (a Salesforce.com platinum partner) as a marketing assistant and at URBAN – The Brand Experience Agency as an intern working on campaigns for Coca-Cola South Pacific, Fanta and Logitech, amongst others.

I first heard about the SAP Sales Academy in Sydney, Australia by pure luck looking at the jobs section of LinkedIn.

One of my goals for graduating was to start my career in a company that was influential and innovative. The SAP academy is exactly that, a new revolutionary program designed to growing talent internally, creating young, driven and skilled sales executives the right way, the SAP way. I wanted to be that talent.

Whilst the travel component to the U.S.A. was very appealing, my real excitement stemmed from the opportunity to learn and develop through a fast-track program tailored to the needs of a graduate. I was excited by its focus on development ahead of the curve, meaning I could provide value to a company well before any of my peers and be recognized as exactly that, a valuable member of SAP.

Lastly, the program enabled successful entrants to build a global network. Whilst this may not seem important to some at graduation, building a global network creates various opportunities for ones future career moves into other countries.

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                                                                                (Blake, pictured above, third from the right)

The [Sales Academy] application process was very simple. After completing an online psyche test, I sent my resume to the global acquisition site. Soon after I received a call from SAP requesting I attend their Boot-camp Selection Day.

The Boot-camp selection day was both fun and challenging. Over 8 hours I was asked to complete various challenges that could come up any day in ones career in Sales. Further to this, interviews were conducted challenging the thought process behind my solutions. I came away from the day with a better understanding of the challenges a Salesperson would face and methods of solving said challenges.

Later in the week I was congratulated on my effort and asked to work for SAP. It was a simple yet challenging process.

I expect the Sales Academy Program to be a highly innovative, engaging and most importantly relevant learning program tailored specifically to graduates who seek professional Sales training.  I expect the Sales Academy to provide a solid foundation of knowledge and skills of which I can use / utilise in my career to stand out and be successful.

And as the grad program allows me to converse with grads from various countries, I expect, and have no doubt that my time at the Academy will provide, the ability to establish a global professional network. This aspect of the program alone is one reason I believe SAP stands out from all other companies in terms of recognising personal growth and career advancement.

Finally, I expect the Sales Academy Program to leave me with mixed feelings. I expect to ‘graduate’ to Academy with not just a smile on my face, a spring in my step and a useful set of skills in my midst but also an element of sadness that one of the best experiences of my life is now finished.

At least I’ll be ready for whatever comes my way.

Keep watch next week for our next post in our SAP Sales Academy series.

To learn more about the SAP Academy program and to apply, please click here: http://www.sap.com/sapacademy

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