Nobody could have fully prepared me for the moment when I arrived at the SAP campus in Walldorf. I am one of the first twenty Vocational Training Students in Ireland and having only been part of the company for two months, the absolute enormity of SAP’s operation in the small town of Walldorf left me feeling quite insignificant. My moment of apprehension was quickly diffused by the hearty welcome bestowed upon me and my colleagues by the University Alliance team who had organised the InnoJam. We were individually greeted by name and then inducted as a collective as we were finding our feet in our new environment. The organising team went out of their way to help us integrate with the other students taking part in the InnoJam which allowed us to hit the ground running, something that is vital in a hackathon style event where you need to condense everything into such a short timeframe.

The InnoJam itself was testament to what can be achieved through clever planning and exceptional time management. What I was most fascinated with was the punctuality with which the schedule was followed. The mentors were reluctant to allow us to deviate from the timetable by more than five or ten minutes, however, they were not unwilling to be flexible in certain circumstances. This provided a fantastic fluidity to the InnoJam and ensured we remained focused throughout.

If you are ever afforded the opportunity to attend an InnoJam I would adivse you to seize it with both hands. While I certainly gained a number of valuable insights from taking part in the event, I believe there is also a great deal to be obtained simply from observing the logistics involved in the running of an InnoJam. As a developer, I went into the event placing a heavy emphasis on the technical aspect of the design process. I now realise that the design thinking aspect deserved just as much, if not more, attention. I feel that those who possess an inquisitive mind, an eye for intelligent design and the skills to clearly present their thoughts to others would thrive in the environment of an InnoJam.

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