When I graduated last May from Salisbury University, with two Bachelor of Science degrees, one in Marketing and one in Information Systems, and a minor in Fine Arts, I found myself faced with the same question every graduating senior must answer: “What do I do now?”
I may have been struggling with this question a bit more than most. During my college years, I fell in love with both art and business. I found ways to nicely balance both of these pursuits. Through diverse classes and through serving as president of both the Photography Club and the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization, I deepened my knowledge of both subjects. In my spare time, I competed in business case competitions and found extra hours to work on art projects in the ceramics and glass studios. I found myself developing an interesting combination of analytical and creative skill sets.
When the time came to choose a career path, I was torn. Finding a job felt like needing to commit to only one half of myself. Business OR art – one or the other. My background created opportunities, but it made it difficult to find one that did not force me into a specific mold. In building a list of employers to research, I identified SAP as a potential candidate. In particular, I was intrigued by the Graduate Academy, which would allow me to rotate through four different lines of business in just ten months. For me, this was the perfect way to explore the potential for a career with more duality. I was fortunate to start my professional career with SAP as part of the Graduate Academy in July 2013.
What makes me Run with a Purpose at SAP?
What makes me Run with a Purpose at SAP? I knew the answer to this question even before I received my offer letter. Throughout the interview process, all of the people I met instantly tipped me off to the uniqueness of SAP’s corporate culture. The interviewers were often more interested in asking about my artistic pursuits (photography, painting, ceramics and glass blowing), than my prior work experience. I could tell this is a company that appreciates the value of diverse perspectives.
The Graduate Academy centers on rotating participants through different areas of the business. While this creates a huge growth opportunity, changing careers every ten weeks can easily become more than daunting. This type of an experience would not be possible without a company culture that fosters a balance of competitive excellence and support. In each new rotation, we are expected to quickly find ways to add value. This is only accomplished though the wealth of individuals who offer a helping hand.
I am now half way through the program and I have already had the opportunity to work in two different lines of business. As a part of the Mobility CoE, I created customer facing content and led the execution of a mobile event series. In my most recent rotation with SAP Services, I created and maintained the revenue backlog forecasts for multiple projects, as well as completed a change management case study, where I was able to conduct interviews with representatives of multiple facets of delivery to develop recommendations for process improvement. All of my rotations have allowed me to explore creative approaches for solving business needs. In just six months, I have seen firsthand how SAP employees are driven to succeed, but always in a way which creates a win for the whole team.
Art for me has always been about finding new ways to approach the world around us. SAP has built a company that constantly pushes for new innovations, therefore transforming how people interact with their world. My time in the Graduate Academy has allowed me to develop a sense of creative problem solving, which blends my passions into one, and allows me to Run With Purpose.
Blog It Forward
To continue the challenge, I will blog it forward to Meagan McIntyre who will be sharing her story next week.
If you would like to join in on our conversation, please post a blog with “Blog It Forward Challenge” in your blog title and add the tags “run_with_purpose” and “blog_it_forward” to your post. Please respond back to one of the following questions:
1. My purpose in my work is definitely not ___. I tried ___ out and after this experience I realized it really wasn’t for me, but ___ is. (Give an example of something you tried that may not have worked out, or has helped redirect you to work that has been more enjoyable and rewarding for you.)
2. What inspires you the most about your work right now?
3. How do your passions contribute to your work here at SAP?
4. How does having purpose/passions in your work at SAP allowed for success or advancement?
5. How do you think your work create a positive impact for other people or the world?
6. What does it mean to run with purpose and how does it relate to the work you do at SAP?
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