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The Road to SAPPHIRE: A First Timer’s Perspective


On the second day of my new internship supporting the North American University Alliances team I found out that I was going to attend SAPPHIRE NOW in Orlando. I was quite surprised, but seeing as how University Alliances is bringing along 25 other students and 22 professors, my inclusion as a Drexel University student meshed well with the team’s mission. Now here I am, less than a week from the big event and still not sure what to expect. “Huge,” “exciting,” “like nothing you’ve ever seen before,” and “you… you just have to see for yourself” have all been used to describe SAP’s premier conference. As descriptive as my colleagues have been, there is still a lot left to my ever-active imagination regarding SAPPHIRE NOW.

Our whole group will start each day with the keynote speeches and then dispersing amongst the four campuses to scan attendees’ badges. Being a student myself, I will be collaborating frequently with the other students coming along. I’ll be floating around the show floor granting breaks and providing guidance for the multitude of fellow student workers. Any fatigue that is experienced by being on my feet scanning badges and assisting my team and fellow students will surely be mitigated by the sights, sounds, and networking offered at the conference. With us will be a number of student mentors, contest winners from Notre Dame, and students and professors from Delaware State University as a part of University Alliances’ new partnership with HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities).

When we aren’t scanning badges, us students will have the opportunity to attend roundtables, panels, student meetups, and interviews. Monday night, Deloitte is hosting a networking happy hour for students and I’m thrilled to grab a drink or two with some of the esteemed company’s employees. Also on the agenda is a special signing ceremony for #ProjectPropelEmpoweredbySAP, our HBCU initiative. When students are not scanning badges we will be sure to document the excitement. You can expect to see social media coverage from the whole UA team (staff, students, professors). A wide array of people from diverse schools attending different events will make for exceptional social reporting. Frequently check out our Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram feeds for updates at the event.

Be on the lookout for black SAP University Alliances shirts or our special gold SAP #ProjectPropelEmpoweredbySAP shirts and feel free to introduce yourself. We are not only there to help the event run smoothly, we are also there to learn, network, and boost our resumes – something customers, partners and employees can all contribute to. The pre-conference rush is in full swing as I finalize the fine details of my travel and help pack t-shirts and other materials.

As my flight date creeps forward I’m anticipating a whirlwind experience that will expand my horizons, resume, and relationships with other students and professionals – and I can’t wait.

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      Author's profile photo Colleen Raftery
      Colleen Raftery


      Great blog, this will be an experience that you will never forget! Our group of students will be able to meet Dwight Dy, a former UA student from UT Dallas, who went to SAPPHIRE NOW last year in the same capacity. He is attending this year as a partner because he landed a great job with HP. He will gladly share his experience and be a great resource of this door opening experience.



      Author's profile photo Ruth Zamudio
      Ruth Zamudio

      Great blog Casey! I bet you will have a great experience!

      I will follow your tweets, and look forward a post-event blog 😉