This week I had the pleasure of working with some of my colleagues in the New York area at BTECH in Queens, NY.
So - what is BTECH?
BTECH is the Business Technology Early College High School.
SAP along with BTECH and Queens County College have a partnership to work with students:
"Students will learn how to help the world run better using technology to solve everyday world problems. Our students will become expert readers, writers, and critical thinkers with the technical skills to be successful in our modern information-based global economy. Students have up to six years to earn a high school diploma and an associate degree—free of cost—from Queensborough Community College and hands-on job training and apprenticeship with SAP (an international enterprise software development company). Upon graduation, our students will have the knowledge, skills, career and technical education certifications, and work experience that will make our graduates much more competitive for employment and/or four-year colleges (taken from the BTECH website introduction)."
Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to work with the students on a mentor program. When I got the notification that we would be part of an Innovators' Con I jumped at the chance to go back to the school and see how the students were doing and to continue to interact and share my experiences with them!
So what is SAP Innovators' Con?
We had a series of workshops, that were connected with technology and innovation:
My workshop subject (along with my colleague George) was around IT and Customer Support.
This covered many aspects:
What is IT Support?
How has IT Support evolved and kept up with the changes in technology?
How IT Support is a combination of solving problems to innovation and ideas to do things better and reduce the number of problems
How machines and technology are becoming smarter, so the need to continuously keep up and change our skills become so much more important
We talked about how Support works, discussing such things as the dreaded "Elevator Music" when waiting for help on telephone calls, to how support can be about innovation and ideas.
We also discussed the various forms of support, from helping solve problems, to "service requests" and discussed the differences.
The students engaged in the subject and shared their experiences, and together came up with some great ideas of their own.
We found that as the students rotated from one workshop to another, they were able to build upon what they had learned and were able to further come up with ideas.
All of the sessions had a great overlap from one to the other, and the students were able to relate and apply what they had been learning as they went to the different workshops throughout the morning.
It was so much more than just sharing our experience - it was a fully collaborative set of sessions (3) with the students, where we were able come up with some great ideas, from integration of apps, to virtual school studies.
My own takeaway from these sessions is that we have some bright and talented young adults that are getting closer to becoming our next set of innovators and technology leaders!
After the 3 sessions we had a networking lunch. We were able to interact further with the students and also the teachers and talk about how such an event is a great way to connect technology folks of today with the technology folks of the future!
A huge thanks to the SAP team for organizing such a great "Month of Service" volunteer event.
Watch how BTECH and SAP are preparing today's students to become tomorrows leaders: