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    As a college student at Grand Valley State University, SAP University Alliances has given me the opportunity to attend the 2015 SAP SapphireNOW in Orlando as well as the 2015 SAP TechEd in Las Vegas. I am graduating this upcoming December and will become an SAP University Alliances ‘Alumni’ and wanted to share how much SAP University Alliances has done for me. First and foremost, it is an honor as a college student to be 1 in 30 students selected  to represent SAP University Alliances and my respective university at these two huge SAP conferences.

     SAP University Alliances provides students the opportunity to network with industry professionals during the week long SAP SapphireNOW and TechEd conferences.It is such a rewarding experience to be able to use the knowledge learned in the classroom and being able to apply it to an interactive conversation with an industry professional in that specific SAP discipline. At GVSU, we learn a wide range of SAP disciplines from the business process, ABAP, business intelligence, data warehousing, configuration etc. which provides the opportunity for a wide range of conversations with the SAP industry. I really enjoyed being able to reach out to professionals to not only network but being able to ask for career advice as well as getting a better understanding of what direction in SAP I want to continue with post graduation.

      After attending SAP SapphireNOW this past May, I have realized how valuable networking truly is. I met an awesome SAP Mentor at SaphirreNOW where we exchanged our contact information and she reached out to me to invite me to a Women In Technology Event during SAP TechEd, which ended up being the highlight of my week. At this WIT event we discussed how to help empower women and engage young girls in pursuing careers in STEM. It was extremely powerful to see the amount of women and men passionate about changing the future of women in technology fields. After this WIT event, I plan to engage more in this discussion to help find solutions to this issue we are faced with all over the world.

     Another opportunity SAP University Alliances provided was being able to participate in SAP InnoJam. SAP InnoJam is a 36 hour coding event where teams stay up all night coding using SAP software to come up with a solution to healthcare issues today. This event was incredible I was on a team with people from all over the world with one thing in common: a passion for coding. My team really embraced that I was a student thirsty for knowledge and were more than willing to teach me how to code some of the front/back end development for our solution.

     In addition, how many college students can say they got to listen to Bill McDermott and Hasso Plattner speak at their first ever SAP conference or meet Bernd Leukert on the TechEd Showroom floor and even have a 1 on 1 networking session with Deloitte? I’m sure not many and I am so fortunate to have had these experiences through SAP University Alliances.

      Overall, the opportunities that SAP University Alliances provides students is more valuable than anything you can learn solely in the classroom. The combination of the classroom knowledge and industry professionals creates endless opportunities for students to network and learn. Thank you SAP University Alliances for all you do for us students, we appreciate you!

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