Do you have any idea how hard for me to write a blog or an article? Below, was a screenshoot of my paper for the past 3 weeks! I do write sweet letters and romantic poetries to individuals but just knowing that my words have been seen by many in public gives me heebie-jeebies. So then why continue? Is there something in return? Is it for fame? Am I getting paid for this? Sadly, no but it is certainly all about ethics, values and passion for SAP.
With a realization that millennial generations have been increasingly looking up on what I have been doing ever since I started getting involve with the SAP University Alliance with unique credentials as a foreign student on this country (That would be in the United States and at The University of Texas at Dallas) and it seems there is a certain responsibility that I must respond. Majority or almost most of the local/foreign students step down from participation after getting what they want or need. Their educational achievements are nothing more of mere investments to get hired and live the life that they would dream/hope to have. Just like people would ask, is chivalry really dead? This is somehow compasses towards younger generations. They did not realized that they could not have succeed without the help of others and giving generally something back is one of the few things that they hardly get a grasp of it.
Should I just disappear as well? If I already did, then you would not have heard from me again after SAP SAPPHIRE of 2014. Since it was that very day when Bill McDermott had his keynote that I received a called from Julie Alfring, who offered me an internship in Hewlett Packard (Houston). What happened to the goal of changing the world and making it a better place? Dwight happened I guess (I am just humoring you). It is a substantial decision that I need show some motivation and inspiration to people who are in need of it. This is my journey and I think It would be nice to share something about myself.
One Hit Wonder? Not me!
After the August 2014 event, I thought my journey with SAP was over. Don’t get me wrong, my internship was great but somehow I felt that I am being disconnected with people and friends who I hold dearly. Then I thought of something, ASUG! I checked out if I am eligible to join ASUG as member through HP regardless that I was still an intern by then and yes, I just became an ASUG member! Then to my surprise, there is an ASUG-Houston Chapter, I emailed Ginger, Allen and Tommy if they know someone whom I could reach out in Houston Chapter. That’s when I got a hold of Rob Roberts. I checked the schedule date for Houston and Dallas Chapter meetings. Guess what, I attended both meetings. Houston Chapter Summer meeting was at Lone Star College (just right beside HP office). Then I drove up to Dallas during the night to attend the Dallas Chapter Summer meeting at Texas Ranger Stadium.
During that time, I was worried what will become of my relationship with SAP/ASUG after my graduation. (Figure of speech) Allen said: “Be a volunteer” while Ginger said: “Once you get in to SAP/ASUG, you will keep coming back. I had hoped they were right, another concern was that if HP would take me in as an employee and sponsor me for H1B. I did all I could to be involved with ASUG, even participated on Ginger’s I love SAP art contest.
By the way, if I just had the energy after attending two events simultaneously, I would have gone to meet people at Colorado Chapter Summer meeting (Never been to Colorado but I have been dreaming of moving there).
Graduation Days: Carry On My Wayward Son
I was nothing special in my high school years, really. People saw that I have potential and confidence that would do something good in the future but I was never in my mind to do such things. They adored my voice when singing, famous on my unique and impounding drum skills, and had a band, one of the few who loves to listen and play music, even heavy metal (Metallica, Megadeth, AC/DC, Kiss, Black Sabbath and etc.) but this is just far as it goes. I am one of those nice boys who could never get a girl in school, even in the high school graduation ball. All I cared was being a rebel (still obedient) and being a rocker, studying just to pass high school curriculum and staying at home. Being a deep thinker, I had a fair share of loneliness, stress and depression throughout my journey. Food is actually became a happy land where I ran off to make me feel better and carry on.
My failures and disappointments have taught me well throughout the years. I could say my life experience started to go downhill when I started college life. College professors loved me as student and some nice things had happened along the way (like being in the fencing team). However there are more than enough hardships and sufferings that made me who I am, especially after when I am done with my bachelor’s degree. Life lighten up since I arrived here in the US. People see me differently here, in a good way and it seemed that it was a new wide road ahead of me.
December 18, 2014, was the last day of my internship. Wary once again came knocking at my door. Would a company take me in with a sponsorship? Since I only have three months to a year left to stay in the US. The only thing I can do is wait and stay positive. My graduation ceremony for my Master’s Degree was on Dec 19th. Being different from other students, graduation day was not that appealing to me since I didn’t mind not getting attention and not showing off on what I have achieved. It does not make any sense to attend at all since I was in Houston. During that time, a friend of mine invited me for trip since we both love hiking, we decided to drive to west. Headed to Guadalupe Mountains National Park and New Mexico, booking cheap old hotels along the way. While we were hiking up to the highest peak of Texas (Guadalupe Mountains), I realized that very moment that I was my graduation day. It was the longest and excruciating march that I have every experienced for a graduation ceremony.
Application for ASUG Volunteer
February 2015, the month HP have been able to work things out to hire me. Anxiety still lingers because regardless of a company who is willing to sponsor for the a working VISA. With limited slots available every year, they had to take the risk of its lottery process where every foreigner hope and pray that they would get picked.I thought to myself, what if I did not get picked this year? Then I only have one year left in the US. To be able to stay longer or not, I have to get the best out of it! Time is of the essences as always, I just wish I could have more time for traveling and go hiking.
I had decided to continue getting involved with ASUG as a member but what is the point of just attending it anyway? I see a few students who already graduated and have also join ASUG. Yes, we do learn something when we attend but we don’t actually have the position to ask our company to use the things we have just learned since we are just still SAP kids. Usually they would say, gaining experience and focus on career is important in SAP. After you have gained knowledge then it would be a goof time to volunteer in ASUG. Well, why wait? Is today could not be better than tomorrow? Why not now? Being a volunteer is just like being involved in a school organization. It is not just about giving back to the SAP community but also we also learn to improve and develop skills sets like leadership, marketing and communication. Now, I am one of the the ASUG volunteer in Houston Chapter and it seems that I could that I am the only Millennial in ASUG Volunteer or maybe one of the few. What bring me joy is that my boss fully supports me on this!
I get to go to SAPPHIRE, again!?
April 17th of 2015, I decided to attend ASUG Dallas Chapter for the last time and I did not expect to meet the lovely Kaela Altman in person, what a coincident! During our conversation and get to know more phase, she asked me about attending SAPPHIRE for 2015. I informed her that I don’t have the budget for ticket and she then informed me that I am eligible to get an access for being a volunteer. I was shocked and could not believe it! So, one of the privileges of being ASUG volunteers, is that I get to attend SAPPHIRE for free! I didn’t know! Silly me! 😛 I thought SAPPHIRE 2014 was my first and last. I was wrong!
After booking a flight and place in Florida. News spread fast. Invitation emails for a video interview had been requested for my appearance. I thought I could sit back and relax during the trip but honestly the thought of me being interviewed made me anxious. Being a perfectionist, I always want viewers/audiences to be pleased and meet their expectations.
Me and Good Ol’ Charlie Brown
To end this post, I would like to share a story when I was in the Philippines. Year 2012, before I came in the US for my studies. I found out there was a play going on and the title was You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (performed by local actors). Since I am a fan of snoopy/peanuts, it would be fun to watch it and coincidentally my sister came for a visit us from Texas, so I tagged her along.
Now, we all know about Snoopy but what about his owner Charlie Brown? Expecting the story would only be for amusement, I was surprised to find out that I have similar traits with Charlie Brown and there was a lesson to be learned. I did not even know that there is also a cartoon version of it.
To summarize Charlie Brown’s Characteristics:
“Personality-wise, he is gentle, insecure, and sometimes sarcastic. Charlie Brown possesses significant determination and hope, but frequently fails because of his insecurities. While he is highly smart and clever, he over-thinks things and this often gives him a tendency to procrastinate.
While all of the permanent characters are his friends, he is often ostracized by them, and three of his friends even bully him. Many of them (including the bullies), however, follow him as the manager of a baseball team, and that is where Charlie Brown’s greatest skill, good leadership, is displayed. He leads the baseball team and keeps hoping for a victory despite their numerous failures and painful letdowns, yelling words of admirable encouragement to his players, leading them to the next game. Charlie Brown has many more traits, and his character is very deep.”
I have so many failures in my journey and always is/was the underdog. I mostly lose, not usually on the winning side but I keep trying and hoping for a brighter tomorrow. Until now, I do not count myself as a successful person because I still have a lot to learn and growing up to do. It’s true that I had experienced countless sadness and tears when I get a chance to be alone in a room. However, people who had been long enough to stay and to observe, described me as a person who never gives up regardless of numerous disappointments given to me.With a strong determination and a good heart, Good Ol’ Charlie Brown…
Thank you for reading.
SAP Certified Associate
Hewlett Packard Inc.
ASUG Houston Chapter Volunteer
Follow me on Twitter: @dwightdy
Follow me us on Twitter: @ASUG_Houston