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It's that time of year again! As summer fast approaches and students finish up their schoolwork, families begin to make plans for the summer. Whether it's traveling, attending camp, or working a summer job, high school students enjoy filling the summer months with a variety of fun activities. For high schoolers passionate about technology, SAP provides an exciting opportunity to explore their interests and learn about the newest technologies that industry professionals use every day to make our world run better and improve people's lives.

Each year, SAP’s Center of Expertise (CoE) in North America hosts high school students at its Newtown Square campus outside of Philadelphia to participate in a weeklong Summer Orientation. The program provides students who are interested in computer science with the opportunity to learn about SAP technologies through hands-on activities while receiving educational and career guidance from professionals in the field. SAP experts lead daily, interactive sessions that cover a variety of exciting topics, from coding and data analytics to SAP cloud and IoT platforms. Over the course of the week, students use their technical skills and newly acquired knowledge to resolve real-world scenarios using SAP technologies.

The 2016 Summer Orientation kicked off with a brief introduction to the history, mission, and vision of SAP presented by Balaji Rao Gaddam, VP and Chief Solutions Architect of CoE NA Manufacturing. Students learned about SAP solutions and services that the CoE provides for many of the world's largest multinational corporations, such as Apple, Nike, and PayPal. In addition to discussing the business and technical aspects of working in the tech industry, Balaji also encouraged the students to "cultivate their curiosity, remain diligent in their pursuits, and be competitive but also collaborative with their peers as they continue their education and begin to make important career choices."

For the primary project of the week, students were tasked with creating and proposing a deliverable solution for a mock SAP customer. In this scenario, the customer was a large energy corporation that was losing money due to repair costs and operation downtime from overheating turbine bearings. The students worked in teams to collect vital data points, such as real-time temperature and RPM, to display in a front-end user interface application that enables the customer to monitor turbine performance. At the end of the week, each team showcased their successful solution to their peers and CoE team members.

SAP wants to be involved along the way to provide students the guidance necessary to make informed decisions about their futures. What better way to achieve this than to provide students access to the cutting-edge technologies created by SAP to drive innovation and the future of digital business transformation. These exciting activities make the CoE's High School Summer Orientation a unique opportunity for students passionate about computer science to explore their interests before they graduate and embark on the next stage of their educational journies.

All of the students enjoyed their time at SAP, describing the week as both fun and informative. See for yourself what some of them had to say.
“The program was really insightful, not only into corporate life but also into the technologies that power really large companies. I didn’t previously have any coding background, but this program helped expand my scope.” – Felicia Yan, North Penn High

“This orientation was definitely both an educational and fun experience. During my week at SAP, I was able to work in an innovative, technologically immersive environment and be mentored by knowledgeable employees and peers…. I learned a lot about how the Raspberry Pi, Python code, and HANA Database/IDE all intertwined to create a successful application that solved a realistic business problem. Opportunities such as this inspire me to keep coding and help me realize my college/career interests. I really recommend other students to participate in this amazing opportunity!” – Hannah Nguyen, PA Leadership Charter School University Scholars Program

“Thank you for the opportunity to be exposed to the working environment in SAP through the Summer Orientation program. I was able to consolidate all my previous experience and put it into one single real-world application that was challenging and enjoyable at the same time. Additionally, the daily presentations with interesting, contemporary technical topics were educational and helped me learn more about what areas I am most interested in. My only regret is that the program couldn’t be longer.” – Justin Huang, Conestoga High

A few exceptional students from the orientation are invited back each year to participate in the prestigious CoE High School STEM Innovators program.

High school students interested in attending the 2018 CoE Summer Orientation should send a copy of their cover letter, resume, and most recent high school transcript to Megan Rech ( Reference letters are also welcome, but not required. Ideal candidates will have a strong interest in STEM and a desire to pursue further study and/or a career in a STEM-related field.

Applications will be accepted from April 20 - May 14. Students accepted to the program will be notified of the decision by May 18. The orientation will run from July 23 - 27.

For high school students in the Bay Area of California interested in applying to a similar program, check out SAP's Cloud Group Summer Orientation held for the first time this year at SAP's San Ramon office.