During my school days, when our home appliances used to run out of order and serviceperson invited for repair, out of inquisitiveness I used to jump by his side to see what exactly he is doing with the machine. Staring at me he must be thinking why I am disturbing him to perform his job. Those days the words like IC, diodes, transistors, resistors seems very fascinating.
In our place, the career path was fixed either become a doctor or an engineer. Exactly following the trend, I joined one of the esteemed engineering college of India and graduated in ‘Metallurgy and Material Science’ specialization. No idea why I did engineering, no clue where I would end up doing a job. Finally, I was placed in a manufacturing company in India and started working. Very happy that I have found a nice job, importantly salary and freedom to spend.
While working in shift operations, I had my first encounter with SAP, one day my boss asked me to order in SAP system few items like hand gloves and gas masks. Totally perplexed !! What is this SAP stuff? , How to do this? I had no idea, I took his help, and he told me that on the desktop computer screen there is an Icon i.e. SAP logon pad. I just followed each and every step of how to create a purchase requisition written on a separate notebook and clicked on button save. That was a nightmare for me. GOD, I did that! and after 2 days I received my indent items. That was the first time I realized the power of SAP, how fast a business transaction takes place.
Working for about a couple of years still, I had no clue why am I working there? My seniors suggested If you want to excel in career and earn a handsome go for MBA. I did an MBA in Marketing and IT while pursuing the program we underwent course on basic awareness in SAP. Many of us were unaware – Is SAP a word, company or something else? In that due course of time, I started reading about ‘SAP’ and got infatuated with SAP terminology.
The placement season has begun and my batchmates were started getting job offers, going out of league I thought why not to make a career in SAP. The year 2008 was tough for placements and for job seekers since the recession had badly hit the market. IT companies were canceling campus visits, although I managed to sit in a couple of companies but was rejected, the reason was I had no previous IT experience. At that time looking for SAP jobs without having relevant background was a distant dream. Time passes by and I kept trying finding a job in IT, Alas!! The only thing I received was a rejection.
Wherever I appeared for an interview the HR person has one similar question to ask – Do you have SAP background? I said no I do not have, then I am sorry, there is no opportunity for you. Is it not an Irony that until someone doesn’t get a chance to work, how he/she will get an experience!!
The more I was rejected the more I got determined to find an SAP job. I used to get motivation in the quote by Vince Lombardi- “Life’s battles don’t always go to the stronger or faster man. But sooner or later the man who wins is the man who thinks he can.”
MBA degree got over and my education loan EMI was started. I was jobless for a year. Everywhere only rejections even I tried for 10K (Indian Rupees) per month job.
One day I got an offer for an Assistant manager- Sales position from one of the largest Indian steel company. Finally, the good time has returned – what next? Still, I wasn’t happy as I didn’t land where I wanted to be. The only satisfaction that I had was working as an SAP end user. But unaware which module I am using? After settling down in my job, I started building my sales and marketing skills and understanding the entire end to end business process i.e. order to cash. Off late I realized that as an end-user I am working on the SAP SD module and that paved the way for me to find a job in SAP SD.
While at work I was also exploring possibilities on how to get into the SAP SD. Having a Sales and operation domain, I got an interview call from one of the big consulting company. The interview was scheduled and I was totally unaware of the SAP SD questions !!
In the interview, there were many questions asked from customizations and pricing/OTC concepts. I failed miserably since as an end-user I had only seen SAP screen and few reports for example transactions like order creation (VA01), Customer Account Line Item Display (FBL5N), Customer Master data, etc. and No idea how this SAP stuff works behind the screen.
In a couple of months, I faced 3 interviews – but failed there too. Finally, at my last interview, I dared to ask from the interviewer about my feedback – He said you have good domain experience but no SAP experience except as an end-user. May I suggest!! why don’t you go for SAP SD certification from one of the SAP authorized training centers? Probably after certification, you will have a fair chance of qualifying interviews.
The very next day I went to the training center, I enquired about the course and the fees was approx. 3.5 lakhs (Indian rupees). Oh My God!! I have EMI running for education loan and now this 3.5 Lakhs, where should I go. I approached the bank it was very difficult to get a loan due to my existing loan and on top of that bank’s high-interest rates.
I was clearly looking at my destination but how to overcome the hurdle of arranging money. Come what may, I will go for certification – somehow I arranged money with family and friends?
I joined the course and started romancing with the classroom environment during the entire course duration. Now I was equipped with SAP knowledge and clearly able to correlate my domain experience with the SAP SD concepts. This day it’s curtain how this SAP stuff works behind the screen. On the final day of the exam, Just before clicking the submit button. I closed my eyes and said If I love it I will get it. I pressed the button; hurray, I passed the exam with excellence.
I can’t express that moment I have had experienced – big relief that one hurdle is over. Within a month I got my first call and I cleared the interview in one largest Indian IT company. After Interview, while coming out of the company’s sprawling campus I looked back at the Gate- I said YES I HAVE DONE IT. YES, I HAVE CROSSED THE GATE. All credit goes to the SAP certification program and the value it holds in the corporate SAP world.
I can proudly say that the SAP certification program has given me a launchpad to start my career in SAP. Now I am an SAP SD consultant working in projects to support our customers realizing their business benefits using SAP.
The people who wish to pursue a carrier in SAP may surely take advantage of the SAP certification program. Before that, one should ask from within that am I really wanting to do this, or just like that because it has a good career option providing white color job and handsome salary / foreign trips.
Globalization, cultural diversity, and vast knowledge sharing platforms has brought ample opportunities in every walks of life, one can now make a career in any field provided where one wishes to be.
Live your dreams and keeping trying someday you ought to make it true.