By: Nick Cecil, VP of Business Development for Oil & Gas and Chemicals.
Returning to the civilian population is often a challenging task for veterans. Not all of them make it—someone who has been in combat hasn’t learned a supply chain skillset, for example. They struggle to find what type of job is out there for them.
That’s why St. Michael’s Learning Academy trains veterans to get their TERP10 SAP Certifications. The certification gives those veterans a kick start to their post-military career.
Last year I met Christine Aboud from St. Michael’s Learning Academy, after she presented on the SAP certification program at an industry event. After learning about what St. Michael’s does, I wanted to help.
St. Michael’s asked if Vesta could help review some of the course curriculum and support the interview process for the potential candidates. Denise Powell and I supported the initial review of curriculum and made recommendations on how to incorporate more advanced training into the program. Additionally, I traveled to Fort Hood with another coworker and Army veteran, Nevin Gamble, to interview veterans applying to the program.
These interviews were educational in nature. We’d sit down with the program administrators afterwards to go over what went right, what could have been done better, and give suggestions on how to continue preparing the veterans for job interviews.
Related: Military Veterans Find Career Success, Culture Fit at Vesta Partners
Finding that First SAP Job
Getting the TERP10 certification is a first step in building a new life for St. Michael’s graduates. After that, it becomes about marketing their newly-acquired skillset to employers.
I have started working with several of the veterans to help them prepare for interviews, provide input on their resumes, and help improve their LinkedIn profiles. I help the veterans get acclimated to the job search process by having them send me a resume and a LinkedIn request, which I follow up with feedback.
At an ASUG event in June, I helped conduct job interviews at a job fair for the St. Michael’s graduates and again provided constructive feedback. I also stress the important of post-interview follow-up—reaching out to companies and taking the bull by the horns.
Keeping Skills Fresh
The SAP ecosystem is always changing with new products and new technologies driving businesses. It’s important for St. Michael’s alumni to stay up-to-date on these changes, because they are sure to come up at prospective companies.
With that in mind, I went back to Fort Hood in July to give a presentation to the future SAP professionals. I discussed my own background of coming from a life as a diesel mechanic in underground mining to an SAP career. If I can make that transition, surely a military veteran with strong process discipline and leadership skills can do the same.
My presentation also covered where SAP is heading in the future—giving a quick look at topics such as SAP S/4HANA, Internet of Things, Asset Intelligence Network, predictive maintenance, Design Thinking, and user experience. Vesta Partners provided lunch, then I conducted more interviews in the afternoon.
Since that workshop, I have received a number of resumes from veterans looking to return to the civilian workforce. I have identified several for future Junior Consultant roles at Vesta Partners when the opportunity arises.
Additionally, I have discussed the St. Michael’s program with many of Vesta’s clients who have military recruitment programs. If I can’t find them a job at Vesta, I still want them to find success somewhere in the SAP ecosystem. These veterans have made great sacrifices and we owe them some support.
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