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Author's profile photo Cien Xu

Why mentorship matters in SAP Academy for Sales & Presales

The SAP Academy for Sales and Presales is one of SAP’s most prestigious and exciting programs for sales and presales young professionals. The classroom curriculum and hands-on training are designed to be rigorous and intensive to arm our future sales leaders with the skills and experience to succeed.

It can also be challenging. That is why mentoring is one of the key support systems that the Academy champions to provide early talents access to advice and guidance from experienced peers at SAP.

SAP Academy graduates share their experience with their mentor and what they’ve gained from these relationships.

Naomi Koh, Presales Specialist (Digital Supply Chain Management)

What kind of relationship do you have with your mentor?

My relationship with my mentor is honest, intentional, and respectful. We commit to checking in with each other on a regular basis and have fruitful conversations about my progress and prospects at SAP. While these sessions are generally unstructured, I would have questions or topics prepared beforehand.

In these conversations, I am vulnerable about what I need help with and my mentor offers me guidance drawn from his own experiences. He helps me make decisions that will bring me closer to achieving my goals.

How has mentorship assisted your growth and success?

I have found my mentorship at SAP to be instrumental in my growth in many ways. By receiving wisdom from someone who has walked a similar path as the one I am on, I am able to better anticipate and prepare for the challenges ahead. With a mentor, I am also able to benchmark the things I have done and clearly identify what has worked and what hasn’t.

Becoming the best version of ourselves would require continuous learning, often facilitated by perspectives other than our own. We would need feedback from someone who knows us well – and a mentor is just that. How they would help us would consider who we are and our unique strengths and weaknesses.

My mentorship at SAP has also been very much a support system for me, providing me with encouragement to take risks and believe in myself.

Gustavo Castro, CX Solution Advisor   

I have been able to get involved in regional or global projects that are aligned to my career plan. I have developed new skills, learned frameworks to make better decisions and overall get a different perspective on how to face uncertainty and my challenges.

Akshi Mohla, Senior Business Development Specialist                           

What kind of relationship do you have with your mentors?

SAP has provided me with a global network of mentors, each honing different aspects of my skills. For instance, I have certain mentors who focus more on my technical skills, then there are those who advise me on soft skills such as executive presence, whereas others act as overall career advisors.

How has mentorship assisted your growth and/or success?

Mentorship has enabled me to shadow the expertise of more experienced colleagues, and thus learn from their journeys. It has also helped me to look beyond my own preconceived notions of my abilities and limitations. For instance, before SAP Academy for Presales, I would have never thought of myself as a creative, out-of-the-box thinker, who could create compelling digital assets. The Academy pushed me to strengthen this muscle. As a result, today, digital assets have become an indispensable part of my professional brand. This has led me to work on some of the coolest, most strategic customer engagements across regions, LoBs and departments.

What are some things your mentors have taught that have stuck with you? What is something you have taught your mentors?

The importance of “paying it forward” is something that has stuck with me. Now, I too have a network of mentees at all career levels, both within and outside of SAP. Some of my most successful projects have been those in which I brought in my other early talent mentees. This symbiotic partnership was mutually beneficial, as they gained valuable experience and the respective project gained more creative minds.

Are you still in communication with your mentors?

I still stay in touch with my mentors, although with varied regularity. I have certain mentors that I converse with on a weekly basis or monthly, while there are others I check in with once a quarter or during pivotal career moments.

Moritz Back, SAP Customer Advisor Finance

Having a mentor at SAP is a great experience to enhance knowledge, to get advice from someone outside your direct line of work and to increase self-awareness. I meet my mentor on a regular basis to discuss work related topics like general advice, development, career planning, to understand changes within the organization as well as other topics and it’s always within a feel-good atmosphere because he is not directly linked to my daily job.

On top of the mentorship program there is also a coaching program available at SAP that I used to decide whether I want to pursue a leadership or expert role at SAP. And actually, it was my mentor who made me aware about SAP Academy in the first place before I even knew that this program existed. He then supported me throughout my Academy experience and now post-Academy.

I can really recommend everyone to look for a mentor where the chemistry among you is right which then allows you as the mentee and the mentor himself to learn from each another and thrive from this experience.

To learn more about SAP Academy for Sales and Presales, visit sap.com/sapacademy.

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