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“My Life at SAP Academy” with Elliot Chiam, SAP Singapore

As a part of our “My Life at SAP Academy” blog series, we interviewed Elliot Chiam, Academy Account Executive – SAP Singapore. He told us a little about his life, his time at SAP Academy, and how SAP Academy can give recent graduates and young professionals the tools and traits to start their career at SAP!

/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/elliot_chiam_group1_555160.jpegTell us about yourself. Where are you from? What University or College did you study at? What did you study? What hobbies/passions do you have?

I am a business graduate with a double major in International Business and Marketing from the University of Auckland, New Zealand. I was born in Singapore but had spent much of my formal education in New Zealand since an early age, and I am now back in Singapore on the journey with SAP.

I have a passion for music, and enjoy making music with others. I love the creative process of music production, the end result is incredibly satisfying, especially when I share it with others. I also love the great outdoors, New Zealand presents itself as a beautiful place for hiking, sailing, snowboarding, and fishing, which I enjoy very much.

How did you hear about the SAP Academy?

I heard about the SAP Academy from a colleague in my previous role with the SAP technology innovation organization.

Tell us a bit about your SAP Academy experience. What was one of your biggest takeaways or greatest experiences? What did you gain from your experience through the SAP Academy?

I can combine my classroom learnings with on-the-job training, and adding a unique touch by living out my personal brand statement. My biggest takeaway is when I look at these experiences together holistically. I have also gained a greater sense of self-awareness, and how I can channel my strengths in the best way possible.

Tell us about the diverse culture of SAP. How did the focus on diversity at SAP Academy impact your experience?

I believe diversity and inclusivity goes hand in hand, the SAP culture encourages this. Inclusivity does not mean agreement or consensus, rather, an open culture which welcomes individuality and uniqueness to come together as a collective.

Engaging and working this diversity will create variance, which is vital. Without variance, we will not get any deep inquiry or breakthroughs. This diversity taps into both collective and individual creativity, enhances problem solving, which ultimately leads to more effective decision making.

There are 48 countries represented in the 2014 Academy program. When you put individuals from 48 countries into a single nexus of learning, it makes for a truly vibrant and rich learning experience. Diversity challenges me to think about things in new ways, and encourages me to ask even more questions. I came into the program curious, I am coming out of the program even more curious than I ever was.

What does RUN SIMPLE mean to you? How do you RUN SIMPLE?

Run Simple means finding the signal from the noise.

Run Simple means concentrating on the important, not just the urgent.

Run Simple is not just about simple, it is about running as well.

What part do you play in the concept of Next Generation Leadership? What does NGL mean to you?

Next Generation Leadership is about stewardship and having a heart to serve others.

Next Generation Leadership looks beyond our own needs, but to the needs of a greater cause, to the needs of others.

Next Generation Leadership not only encompasses personal ownership of the SAP vision, but the sharing and shaping of the SAP vision as well.

Next Generation Leadership never says ‘we are too young’, but looks out for the next generation, it is never too late.

What makes you passionate about pursuing an education or career in technology? What inspires you about technology right now? What gets you excited when

you think about the future of technology or how do you think technology can change the world?

In 1975, the price of the fastest supercomputer was $5 million. Today, you can buy an iPhone with equal performance, for less than $900. There are 3 lessons that I can learn with this fact alone:

1. Technology is evolving incredibly fast

2. New business models are created

3. Technology is exerting its disruptive power to transform the way we live and work

We are living in very exciting times. To me, the most exciting aspect is not technology’s existence or progress in itself, but what technology can do to for people because of its existence and progress.  It is from this where everything else about technology suddenly becomes more meaningful, exciting, and vital, because it shapes the way we live and work today. This is why I am here with SAP.

When you look ahead (3-5 years) what do you most look forward to in your career? What impact do you hope to have at SAP? What impact do you hope to have on the world? What legacy do you want to leave for future SAP Academy AAEs?

I look forward to having the opportunity to play a vital part in achieving its vision and business goals.

I look forward to be challenged with assignments that will test my abilities and drive my professional development.

I believe that even the smallest of things can make the biggest impact on the world, because they add up too.

There is no secret sauce, or magical method, it comes through hard work, a positive attitude, personal motivation, and having a fire in your belly.

Two things for future Academy AAEs:

1. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side, it’s green where you water it.

2. “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind” – C.S Lewis

If you’re a student or recent grad looking to start your career at SAP, enroll in SAP Academy now!

Are you looking for an innovative career with one of the world’s largest tech companies? Check out all of our open SAP positions now:

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