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Former Member

When was the last time you had one of those spectacular days at work where you know that you did something really good, rewarding and life changing? I had one of those days yesterday when  I volunteered at “Junior Achievement – Silicon Valley Dublin”, as part of SAP’s Month of Service. What made the day incredible was that we had a chance to talk to students about careers in technology and share with them what life at SAP involves. There is just something special about that teen-age energy.  Its that time of life when anything is possible and the world is wide open. We really enjoyed the enthusiasm and energy that the students brought to the day.

A group of about 35 students from Dublin High School showed up on our campus.  These kids are part of a program called Junior Achievement, a nonprofit group that works with young people to teach them about businesses and how to succeed.

Their day on our Dublin campus started with a talk from TX Ho.  He told them about his own life story, escaping from the Communist regime in Vietnam, getting on a boat that was picked up by a US Navy ship, coming to this country, learning English, getting an education, getting married, having kids and his career.  He gave the kids some simple, strong advice “work hard, learn the value of money, contribute to everything you get involved with and remember that every experience is a stepping stone.  Don’t exist in a cocoon, connect, share and learn.

After that the kids split into 2 groups.  One group learned about Power Skills for Your Personal Brand” from Rene Siegel and Peggy Wolf.  They did an amazing job engaging the kids, doing some role playing and helping the kids to better understand who they are and how to present their strengths to succeed.

The other group of kids went on a tour – guided and coordinated by Jason Banks, Thomas McManus, Agatha Yeung, Jim Kuo, Prashant Bhartiya, Hamsa Buvaraghan, Warren Davidson, Erik Drinkwater, Brenda Scott and Lauren Maser.

The students had 3 stops. The first was at the SAP Sales Academy.  They got a tour from Simone Shulz and Louisa Morassutti.  They were told how our about newly hired associates from college are taught about the SAP products and how best to understand our customers to sell our SAP solutions.  They got a chance to talk by video to one of the Academy Account Executives in China who gave the kids her advice on life.

Next the students got a tour of the Mobile Solutions Center from Teeha Harrell.  She showed them the little tech museum she put together with a collection of computers and other equipment.  She also gave the kids her computer tips for success:

  • Always back up your drive
  • Don’t give out your password
  • Protect your brand and be careful about what you post out there on social media
  • Don’t click on links you are not sure about – it could be spam
  • And tools for scanning your computer for threats – McAfee, AVG, SOPHOS, ESET

Then the kids were introduced to Tricia Barton and Kim Champion who using her Apple Watch interacted with computer to display and move forward in her PowerPoint presentation. Tricia explained what the IT Enterprise Mobility group at SAP does.  Tricia and Kim challenged the kids on an iPhone game QuizSAP they developed to making learning fun. The kids could not stop talking about how much they enjoyed learning through the game.

On their way to lunch, the group stopped at the loT and hydroponics display. Lily Wei talked to the kids about how we are using technology to monitor and record plant growth in a soil-less environment. She showed them the data that we capture and how it helps us make decisions.

I know we made a difference yesterday.  I know that the kids were filled with new ideas about themselves, their future, their life and how they can make a difference in the world. . Each of the volunteers also really enjoyed the experience. It was an exciting day for everyone involved. Everyone sent around thank-you emails after the event. Like me, I am sure that other volunteers went home with smiles and stories to tell their families.  I can't wait for Month of Service next year.  I will be sure to sign up for this event again.

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