8 Young African Professionals Creating Unique Paths to Success

(This article is a tribute to the 8 young professionals across 3 African countries that SAP was honored to support via our AFRIKA KOMMT! program.) 

Eight months of growth and development capture only a bit of all that has shaped your journey. The full story starts way earlier, and is actually only one chapter in a book which you might grab off your bookshelf one day. A book that outlines your journey and success and will leave you with good memories, a proud heart and a humble chin for all that you have accomplished. As you reach for this book in the future, let us assume that in the moment you have heard about AFRIKA KOMMT! you could not have imagined where you might be end of June 2020 … but here is a glimpse into the story. 

Remember the fully-packed Onboarding event in November 2019 when it was Day 2 of your time with SAP? Back then, you were asked to think about a book title which might describe, looking forward, your time with SAP.

“I found home: My path to success”,

“The open road”,

“8 months on campus: a tale of running simple” or

“Networking like a Pro”

You might observe that these book titles imply in some way different stages of what your cohort of fellows had on your minds at this time. For some, SAP was already something to come home to, for others it was still an open road. And for some, it created the impression that the Onboarding event was quite successful.

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From that stage on you have amazingly exhibited how to find your place in your department, trying to understand SAP, the structures and most importantly your role in such a big and complex company. In doing so, you have shaped the next chapter of your book. New characters have joined you as your buddies, your managers and team members. Your vastly expanding network within SAP, the AFRIKA KOMMT! program in SAP and all of your work outside of SAP has equipped you with the skills, tools and resources which has helped you to develop and shape the hero of your story even further – YOU!

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Networking events, Executive exchanges, Coffee Corner sessions, an event in the AppHaus Heidelberg for SAPGen, contributions for our Education NewsCast or the SAP Diversity Days capture a part of what you have experienced and successfully supported your development during the past eight months.

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And then there was a world pandemic! Working from home since March has even more encouraged your growth potential and has definitely showcased your ability to be agile, flexible and ready to handle a forced turning point of the current chapter.

You might ask now how the book titles have developed over time. We have also been curious about that and asked you during our reflection workshop to consider again what you have come up with since November last year.

“Riding the waves of new experiences”,

“Yes, I can” or

“I found home”

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These book titles definitely suggest that a lot has happened and all kind of experiences have shaped your mindset, strengths, attitudes and professional skills. In the middle of June we celebrated the success of this chapter alongside your buddies, managers and further companions.

The Next Chapter

As the world has consistently shown us, we do not fully know what the future will bring; however, that does not stop us from looking forward to a better, brighter future. During our Celebration event you shared your next chapter activities and actions you will continue to work on. We are all excited to what comes after AFRIKA KOMMT!, may it be with SAP in Walldorf, in your home country or at one of our subsidiaries in Africa. We wish you all the best, success, meaningful experiences, insightful learnings, supportive companions who see your power, ambition and mindset. We are sure your next book will be a bestseller as well.

All the best,

Chiara & Ilka