During the ASUG Houston Chapter meeting (June 8th, 2015) at downtown Deloitte, I met Christine Aboud and Starlet Davis from St. Micheal’s Learning Academy. They mentioned that they have been organizing classes for soldiers to learn SAP and preparing for the SAP certification (TERP10) – SAP Veterans to Work Program(affiliation with SAP University Alliance). They also have been inviting Professionals with SAP experience on an interview to promote their SAP program and to motivate their students. After hearing her story, I was intrigued. Soldiers learning SAP, never heard that before! After telling her that I had taken the 2 week certification training and passed the exam, I was thrilled to receive an invitation for a Skype interview. Of course, I said yes and telling them it would be great to just meet the soldiers in person.
In the late afternoon of July 23rd 2015, I was on my way to Killeen, Texas. A military town (Home of Fort Hood – military post) where they have been encouraging diversity and education for their soldiers. It was a relaxing drive where I had the chance to see some countryside (TX Highway-36). Once I arrived, was surprised on the numbers of restaurant nearby. The place is quiet and uncrowded, just the way I like it.
July 24th 2015, I arrived around 9am to meet the class but wait, so why I insisted to meet with them in person instead of through Skype? Face-to-face still makes a difference. The reason why we professionals get invited to these kind of talks, it is not about promoting yourself but it is about providing service. Most international students like me, once get a job, they tend to get off the grid. They networking stop and have forgotten to give back. They didn’t realized that we, young professionals still has a long way to go.
I didn’t see them in uniforms, they were wearing in casual attires and it made me realize that the 3 hour + drive to meet them was worth it. These men just like us, needed motivation in this kind of industry. These soldiers have skill sets in the army. They are tankers, in the intelligence and aviation division, and etc. The hope that once they leave the army, these veterans would be able to get in to the corporate world. Would be one though nutshell crack but hey, this is America! Remember the Living in America by James Brown? Loved this song when I was a kid, it is about time I get to relate on it.
“I live in America, help me out,
but I live in America,
wait a minute
You may not be looking for the promise land,
but you might find it anyway….”
The Discussion and Representing Hewlett Packard (HP Pride)
Once star introduced me to them. I started off by giving some time to get to them by asking them to introduce themselves, one by one. Then, I started to share about me and my journeys.
After telling my history, I gave some information about my current employer (Hewlett Packard). While sharing my internship experience and my personal observation towards the company and a high level information about what HP had recently achieved. Not only it provided them interest to work at HP but also reminded me that I am actually proud (for the first time in my life) be with one of the most prestigious companies in the world.
I also shared a video “HP – We are operations”, the video actually gives people an idea what is generally going-on in HP in the supply chain area and it helped me explain what my organization/team does within operations. It also gave me a thought of appreciation that I am a part of something big in the company since I only sit in my cubicle generating reports and project management. Surprisingly, they applauded after the video and started asking more about the company.
SAP & Certification Study Guide
This was the moment that they had been waiting for. Me, providing tips on how to pass the SAP’s TERP 10 Certification. I had done an article on this topic but I tried not to regurgitate from it and since I was there in person, I had a chance to share more information of it as well. I told them why SAP is a passion of mine and my perspective towards SAP’s promised high salary is just an incentive to have. Telling them that doing the certification should be something they really want from their hearts, not just something secondary because it actually helped me passed this exam. I kept telling them that the exam is very challenging and motivating them that they should take it seriously.
After giving some personal advice and some of my favorite quotes, we ending it with a Q&A session and I provided a few career advice. The next thing I know, it was quarter to noon. We took some pictures together, I wished them good luck on their exam/goals and distributed my business cards to stay in touch. I also told them that they are all welcome
Support our US soldiers and US veterans:
You might think that they are/were just tools of war. However, there would be a time that we would need to seek refuge from a conflict or a war but then these men and in uniforms shall stay and hold their ground, willing to die for a good cause. While we worry and tend to our families, most of them will not be able to be with their loved ones since it would be the time for them to face death.
Let’s help our US veterans to get a chance to taste the American Dreams. Just like any other corporate job seekers, they just need guidance and help. The least that we could do is to lead them on the path that they would take, so they could at least find the doorway for a promising career.
You can stop reading now. Thank you for taking your time to read this blog. You have the option to continue reading. However, content below are personal insights and reflection during my trip to Killeen, TX. Also some of the things I like to mention and thankful for.
Here is an update: The SAP Soldiers – Graduation Day
I would like to thank HP for being such a cool company and to my manager, Karen Blosser for her support and encouragement towards my growth and exposure on these kinds of opportunities. I would like to thank and congratulate Starlet Davis (SAP instructor) who had passed the exam and is now SAP Certified Associate. She now has the authority to teach TERP 10 classes. Lastly, I would like to congratulate all the soldiers who had passed the certification and it was an honor meeting them in person.
A Horse with no Name:
While I was driving out from Killeen, The radio played some of my favorite songs. One I would like to mention is “A Horse with No Name” by America. Listening and singing along while passing through a pleasant view. I am actually an old soul music lover. 😛
When I listen to these kind of classic music. I tend to have psychedelic trips without any weed or drugs. My imagination runs deep and have I mentioned that I am a dreamer type of person? 😉 Listening to this song helped me realize how hot Texas is and somehow appreciating the state as well. It might behot, irritably humid, not much places to hike and I just can’t wait to get out of the state but there is something indescribably special in Texas that helps me tolerate the place once in a while.
I am in the process of repairing my car. While I was on this trip, an object fell from a truck. It managed to hit and bounce off my car. Resulting a noticeable dent and scratch. Being frugal and person who likes to take card of there things. I have been learning how to fix the damage on my own and made it as a project. Scary but hey, no pain no gain. 😎
SAP Certified Associate
Hewlett Packard Inc.
ASUG Houston Chapter Volunteer
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