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Former Member

First, A Thank You

I would like to start by saying thank you to GVSU Seidman College of Business Management Department for making this trip possible. It was an overwhelming experience and I learned so much. It was great to be a member of SAP University Alliances as well! Walking into this conference I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I have a lot of work and studying ahead of me to get to where I need to be but being at this conference showed me what is really important as well as the path that I should take. In August I passed SAP TERP10 Certification and was trying to find where I would fit in within the SAP Community. This conference opened my mind to so many different options it was overwhelming.

Attending the Data Viz Challenge for Doctors Without Borders

     On Tuesday our group of six students from GVSU were planning on attending The Data Viz Challenge for Charity. We heard that it had to do with an Non-Profit Organization called Doctors without Borders. During that day three of us that were not scanning badges decided to listen to the session at 2 pm to get a feel for what we were about to compete in. Listening to Megan McGuire speak about Doctors without Boarders really hit me hard. I have been volunteering my entire life working with younger children and leading my relay for life team.

     While Megan explained the organizations problems you could see that type of passion she had for this organization. When she said that the organizations data runs off of excel, I about lost it. This organization is trying to do their best to make sure people around the country are able to receive medical care. Excel is great for a number of things but not for analyzing big data.

     Once we walked into the DataViz Challenge I knew that we were here for a purpose. That what we were about to do would make such an impact in the world and for this organization. As a GVSU Senior I was overwhelmed and intimidated by the SAP Mentors as well as Lumira Experts that were dispersed in each group. When we gathered into groups and started to collaborate about how we wanted to interpret this data,  I felt overwhelmed with this difficult task because there were plenty of holes in the data as well as not having a data dictionary and mainly for my lack of experience. We then broke our group up into two parts and tackled a question each. I worked with a few SAP University Alliances Students and SAP Mentors.

     I was out of my comfort zone because I have never used Lumira before nor have I worked on a project such as this one without step by step instructions. It was an amazing experience and within the few hours I gain a lot of insight. Our group as well as others said that we could have done a better job if we had more time, but in my opinion all of the groups did a phenomenal job with what we were given.

Crowd-Sourcing Insights Using a Real Data Challenge...

     While we were finishing our presentation I had a bright idea. I go to GVSU where the ERP Interns have created a company called GBI Bicycle Inc. that is used world wide through SAP University Alliances programs. We use this company to do exercises in class for learning purposes. Now that we have Doctors without Borders data we can go home and play around with the data without a time limit. But for me that isn’t enough, if we pass out the data to ALL of the students within SAP UA the possibilities are endless. Maybe we could even try to incorporate a project into classrooms to further help Doctors without Borders.

And a Thanks to the University Alliances Program

     SAP University Alliances program is great and I fully support the program. As a marketing major I would like to advertise this program and try to expand it. It is important for SAP to train university students in order to fill their ecosystem. As I was saying earlier in this post I have a lot of learning to do and thanks to SAP UA it will be a whole lot easier. This experience was a once in a life time opportunity for a small town girl like me. I’m very blessed to have found a community that accepts me for who I am and what I bring to the table. The path I’ve taken within SAP has changed my life for the better and I cannot wait to graduate and see where this company takes me. Thank you for all of your efforts to everyone involved in SAP University Alliances. I appreciate everything you’ve done for students like me.

Megan Laughlin
Grand Valley State University

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