Here I am. Working in the IT business for only three months, but already writing my first blog. Coming up with a subject to write about seems to be the hardest part of this conquest. Being new to SAP, and the entire IT business, it might seem a fitting subject to address. What made me choose to start working with IT? How is it to work with SAP? And, why did I choose Acorel? In this blog, I am going to elaborate on my experiences. Hopefully, I will enthuse you to follow a similar path.
Am I fit for IT? Should I quit my current job for a new adventure? What if I am not enjoying this field of work? All questions crossed my mind while making a decision that would heavily influence my future. I studied Facility Management and worked in this field for close to three years. I always enjoyed the work that I was doing, but never really felt that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. At the end of my short facility career, I worked with a few software programs. Those were mainly focused on the support of facilities but I enjoyed working on it. The puzzle of translating a certain business case into a solution was an activity that spoke to me. Unfortunately, I was not familiar with the functionalities of the software. I could only describe what I wanted to achieve, but could not make the translation. This both frustrated and intrigued me. And so the idea of starting to work with IT was born.
This of course does raise the question: Why are you working with SAP now? Why not choose another Software provider? During the research, I dug into different possibilities. I spoke to a friend, searched the internet, and had different interviews at companies. Eventually, SAP mainly interested me, due to the enormous possibilities that it offers. It is of course world’s market leader on ERP and operates in practically every business component. The traineeship besides offered a great opportunity to start learning something new and right away develop career opportunities.
Now, at the end of the year, where COVID is one of everyone’s main characters in life, I have been working with SAP for almost eight months. Many experiences have been gained, that I would like to share with you. What it feels like to start in this business and what my findings are.
I started with a study period of four months. This period characterized itself with a steep learning curve. In a short period, you are expected to learn the basics and create a good foundation to build upon. From this point, you decide what roads you take. Customer Experience has always been something that interested me. Lucky for me, Acorel was searching for a Junior Consultant. After several interviews, this appeared to be a perfect match. Acorel ticked all boxes I was looking for in an employer: Opportunity to grow, small organization, transparent, open, and most importantly a sociable organization. This is the perfect SAP Partner for me.
Acorel is a relatively small, but innovative company, focussing on the customer experience suite of SAP. The company can be described as a transparent and open company. As an employee, you are given the responsibility to develop yourself as a consultant, and you are given the space to decide upon your own path. This was exactly what I was looking for. Once I started working, I noticed the culture right away. Colleagues are open and approachable for questions and you are given help when necessary. Acorel also gave me the full opportunity to study and certify myself for different SAP products. Before you start as a consultant, you only really know what it is like, based on stories from others. It was only during the past three months that I realized what it is like to work as a consultant.
Starting to work with SAP is challenging, but fun. It is so extensive, that when you think you get the hang of something, you find out another functionality that influences what you want to achieve. Besides, getting to know SAP, you need to get to know the customer you advise. You are expected to understand business processes, whilst getting to know the technical functionalities of SAP. Double trouble.
Before my first project, I spend four months studying, mainly S/4HANA, and achieved my Sales Cloud Certification. You can imagine that, with such minor knowledge, it is hard to understand how software and processes are aligned. You only know the very basics of the software and close to nothing about a company. It requires the necessary energy to continuously ask yourself how a company works and why the system is configured as it is.
Although it can get quite overwhelming now and then, you learn very quickly. Thanks to learning on the job, the theory that is obtained can be implemented right away. As a result, theory is easier to understand. This close-up of the companies processes, makes you eventually a better consultant. As a consultant, you are not only working with the software. Besides analyzing, designing, and implementing solutions for companies, a consultant spends a lot of time with other people. A quarter of the time is not spent directly on SAP, but you are focused on activities with colleagues.
Working as a consultant also can be very versatile and requires a broad set of skills. You do need both technical and functional skills, but have the main focus on either one of those. What you do with those skills, is of great importance. You need to know how you implement what you know, to provide an adequate solution for your customer. Furthermore, you are not only designing and analyzing, but also spending time on for example creating and giving training. Working with SAP is a continuous puzzle, which requires problem-solving skills.
Never had I expected myself to be working in IT. I was biased and didn’t really know what to expect. Now, I am happy that I’ve made the decision to start a traineeship. It’s been quite a journey so far and I am still far from where I would like to be, and that’s okay. I really enjoy working in IT and believe that Acorel is the perfect environment for me to develop myself and kickstart my career.
Freek Schellekens started as Young professional for Acorel 8 months ago via Itrainee and is now working for one of our customers on SAP Cloud for Customer. Are you interested in working with Acorel? Feel free to visit the career page on our website or contact the organization.