University Alliances (UA) spotlights Susan Pfeifer, an Assistant Professor at Valley City State University as the second professor in the UA Professor Spotlight Series. The goal of this Series is to exchange insights with UA professors from around the world and share their experiences with the University Alliances Community (UAC).
Tell us a bit about yourself.
We live just outside of Valley City, North Dakota, a town of approximately 7,000 people. I’m an Assistant Professor and serve as the SAP Faculty Coordinator and CIS Program Coordinator in the Division of Business and Information Technology at Valley City State University. I teach undergraduate programs in a traditional face-to-face format as well as online including our new fully online major in Business Process Integration Management (BPIM).
I grew up on a family farm near Tower City, North Dakota (20 miles from my current home). My husband and I decided to move back to this area seven years ago and we enjoy living on an old farmstead with our three sons. My hobbies include running, biking, gardening, playing piano, and fishing with my family.
Share a bit about your SAP and UAC history.
My career began in Eagan, Minnesota where I was a computer programmer and worked in industry for over ten years. During that time I participated in a SAP implementation and led additional enhancements as a functional analyst leading teams of business users, managers, and developers. I thoroughly enjoyed my career and realized that few college students understand the opportunities that exist in analyzing business challenges and finding ways to solve them using technology.
When the opportunity arose to move back to North Dakota, I was pleased to find such a good fit – teaching students the importance of business and technology professionals working together. I have been at Valley City State University for seven years and this year we celebrate five years with the SAP University Alliances program. I became SAP Certified in 2010 and teach several courses incorporating SAP curriculum including student certification courses. The SAP UAC is set as my browser homepage so I visit it daily!
What do you like most about the University Alliances Community on the new Jive platform? How does this help/improve your regular UAC activities?
I regularly watch for announcements and upcoming events in the University Alliances program. The new platform makes it much easier to read the latest news without navigating deep into the website. I can get a quick overview and then come back when I have more time to read the details. In class, I also use videos and customer success stories that are more easily accessible with the new links. SAP commercials are favorites!
How can or do your students benefit from the UAC?
Students can greatly benefit from the Career Resource Center and learn about new career opportunities. I regularly discuss career opportunities with students and we discuss openings that arise. They especially enjoy learning about companies that we have visited on field trips or met at the Minnesota Chapter of Americas’ SAP Users’ Group (ASUG) meetings since 2008. Getting a glimpse into real organizations is a great motivator to learn!