I was invited by Graham Robinson , a respectable SAP Mentor, to participate in Blog it Forward Challenge (Thanks Graham!) . Although I only got engaged with Graham this year but we have shared an interesting phone conversation over my first blog. I am looking forward to meet him in person soon.
Check out this chain of blogs as well, you might know some names and able to know them better via their blogs.
My SAP Career started back in 2001 when I was working as a System Administrator for an Aviation company. The small SAP Basis team needed an additional pair of hands to help look after day-to-day SAP administration tasks and SAP Security and I was offered by my ex-SAP Basis lead to join the team. On-the-job training and a few BC courses started my Basis journey and till today.
Before doing SAP ......
My first job after school is a Multimedia programmer, the days when Computer-Based Training is a 'hot' thing. I learnt Photoshop during those days and I looked at pretty graphics and pictures daily but found it unchallenging. I moved on to join a small IT firm and did pre-sales, support and post-sales of a Point-Of-Sales system. I was 19 and was almost scared to death when I was doing a product demo with a customer that I knew a button doesn't work. (In my mind, I kept telling myself: "Don't press THAT button!"). At the end of the demo, I survived. By the way, the company no longer exists.
I moved on again and this time, I was selling Robotic modems and doing web development in a small retail shop. Internet came into the scene and the terms BBS, HTML, Netscape were as hot as equivalent to iPhone5 now. I enjoyed the customer service part very much but not so much of work satisfaction. My next position is a technical support role in an Aviation company where I got to roam around aircraft hangers, walked under a bare aircraft and pay $0 to gym to get a slim figure, regardless how much I ate. I were there supporting Novell, Lotus Notes, Cisco, LAN, in-house programs and other IT operation activities. During the seven years in this company, I had attained advance diploma in Networking, degree in Computing and met many good and humble IT people and Aviation engineers whom I am in contact till today. The days when I was cycling in a bike, going around the aircraft hangers to provide IT support to my end-users were memorable. The priviledge for a lady to enter non-commercial airbases that were not accessible by the public was an unique experience. Looking back, I have to thank this company for providing me so much learning opportunity and experience to grow as a young adult.
In 2005, I moved to beautiful Melbourne, Australia and stayed. This was a decision that again, opened up so much opportunity, learnings and friendships that I could not have possibly imagined. A decision that had changed my life totally.
In 2006, my family came to Australia to visit me. This is the first time that my parents had travelled to a Western country and everything was new to them. We visited Shire of Remembrance that is an important site for the Aussies to remember their war heros and Healesville Sanctuary to see the well-known Australian animals i.e. koala and kangaroos.
How lucky I am ......
In late 2007, I was fortunate to be given the chance to work in our Europe office in Lausanne, Switzerland for a short period of time. Over the weekend, I drove around the town and visit places of interests. One of the beautiful places that I went was Rochers De Naye, a mountain of the Swiss Alps, located at Montreux. The magnificent feeling I had when I was standing at the top is unforgetable, one of the most beautiful experience I have in my life.
Another place of interest I headed to is Olympique Parc Lausanne. In the Olympic Museum, there were many beautiful display that showed the significance of the Olympic event.
Anwsering to Graham's questions:
"Who are your role models - and why?"
From work aspect, I see my ex-upline managers as my role models. Apart from great work knowledge, they are also great leaders, solid, decisive yet caring, supportive, open and humble. Great leadership qualities that I could and would learn from.
In life, Buddha is my role model. Be compassionate, humble and be kind. Do and act right (Integrity) as a human being when it is a gift to be in a human form.
"What can we do to attract students to the IT industry?".
My first encounter of computer was in high school. I was amazed by Lotus 1-2-3 when I saw the black and green words screen did the auto-calculation if I changed the number in cell 1 and cell 2. I was keen to learn how to do it and that perhaps marked the beginning of my IT route.
Times are different now. Many young ones are already using or exploring technologies online before they even sign themselves up to an IT course. Hence, what I would 'sell' to them is the importance of IT role and responsibility in the society and how one could make a difference if they were part of a team that came up with a piece of technology, an idea that could improve one's life. Afterall, everyone wants to be great and doing something meaningful in life. So, perhaps, we could contact IT professions from Medical, Police Force, Education fields and seek their participation to share their IT stories with the young ones in high school. Make it easy for them to enjoy an IT person's journey and hopefully find it inspiring enough to join the IT force in future.
Secondly, share with them the potential opportunity and exposure in life of an IT professional. Although not eveyone could be a Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, but being an unknown IT professional could also be rewarding. It is not uncommon that many SAP or IT professionals work mobile, travel to overseas, gain respect and recognition from their peers. Potentially, they could also be an Independent Consultant and be their own boss like Graham Robinson.
- What do you enjoy most being a SAP professional?
- What will you do if you get a day off from work?