After a few rounds of online interviews, I officially joined SAP and became one of the participants in the first batch of Women's Tech Academy as a Support Associate.
You might not be familiar with this WTA program so let me introduce it real quick. Women's Tech Academy is a 3-year career development program that aims to foster the next generation of top Support Engineer Consultants through a comprehensive curriculum on SAP skills and products endorsed by global certifications. This program emphasizes embracing female power by recruiting capable female professionals. Apart from the curriculum, the participants will also be assigned to real projects in global assignments not limited to the GC or APJ regions.
We have about 20 participants in this cohort and most of us are fresh graduates with backgrounds in computer science or similar engineering fields. However, only a few of us have experience with the SAP system before. Therefore, it was super awesome to be able to get together with all these amazing females and learn the SAP system thru an 8-week Bootcamp. Time flies by like crazy. Now here I am after 2 months since I joined SAP. Why don't we go back a bit more and see what happened in the past weeks?
SO...Here is my experience.
On day one, we had the chance to meet with Alex Xiao, the head of the Center of Expertise Great China. He warmly greeted and welcomed us to SAP and briefly talked about the initiatives and objectives of this program and shared expectations for us, which was very inspiring.
First, our training sessions are very well-organized with a variety of workshops and hands-on practice.
Our training is not only focused on technical skills, but also the communication skills and other fun activities. For example, we had Report Writing training and PE (Premium Engagement) Delivery Methodology. The Colors of Personalities workshop was definitely one of the highlights of our training. We got to do a survey to know more about the similarities and differences in our personalities thru many interesting activities and debates. Eventually, I felt a lot closer to all the other members of the team.
Four Colors of Personalities
Apart from the joyful part, the curriculum is also packed with challenging classic topics like SAP BTP services, SAP NetWeaver Fundamentals, Workload Analysis, ABAP Introduction, SAP HANA DB, SAP Fiori, as well as the latest hot topics like machine learning and cloud platform solution. Most of the classes were conducted online due to the current pandemic situation in Shanghai. But it does not make the experience any less fun. Trying to learn new systems in a weeks-long period was meant to be a challenge. It was not easy to quantify how much I grasp in these eight weeks but I feel like I have learned a lot in this brief period and feel excited to put some of the knowledge into action.
The first step on the certification journey
After an intense training session for 6 weeks, we were assigned a task - self-study and get certified for SAP Extension Suite for SAP Business Technology Platform. This is when I found all the materials and learning journeys provided by SAP are so helpful because it is usually inevitable to encounter random issues when self-teaching. However, the struggle has been manageable, the BTP E-learning websites provide you with all the tools you need from start to end.
My Study Notes
Each year, every employee in SAP China gets two quotas of free SAP Certification examinations, which means if you use them right, you can get two certifications each year free of charge.
Towards the end of the training Bootcamp, we were given some free time to work on the certification. Luckily, I passed my exam and got my first SAP certification, which felt very rewarding. If you are also preparing for an examination, here are some tips that I think might be useful:
always take notes when encountering complicated technical topics
pay attention to the exercises and try to follow along with a trial account
try to mark down some important numbers about the systems, they might get tested
So what is next?
So far I have only talked about the Bootcamp itself. However, there is one very important factor - the amazing mentors we have.
Initially, the organizers of our program, Vivi and Bella, sat us down with them with a simple conversation about our skill sets and interests. I just can't speak highly enough of the mentors and instructors.
And through all the training sessions, we all sort of have an idea of what topics interest us the most and we were able to communicate our interests to the team managers thru Bella. After a few rounds of decisions and we all settled down with our ideal team and look forward to our future journey with SAP.
I really think SAP is like a warm family as well as a fun campus. There have been all sorts of events and talents. Being able to meet all the amazing people so far has been wonderful. The other members of the teams are just as smart, fun, and creative with diverse backgrounds. I felt so fortunate to have them as an invaluable support system to share thoughts and work through them together whenever I felt overwhelmed. So I am more than grateful for the opportunity here and I believe the best is yet to come!