SAP operates very much like a city. It’s diverse, complex, and fascinating, and things are moving all the time.
“I am originally from the Bay Area in California, specifically Oakland. Many of my family members worked in the tech industry, but I was interested in the environment – how built and natural environments impact humans – so I decided to study urban and regional planning, as well as Social Ecology at UC Irvine.
When I graduated, my first job was managing a kite shop on a pier on Huntington Beach, California. It was an amazing job. I got to sell kites to beachgoers, and every evening I’d watch the sunset dip below the ocean. It was a sunny place to work during a dark time in the economy. It was 2008, and there were few jobs for graduates. Wanting to use my degree, I packed up and moved across the country to Philadelphia to join AmeriCorps VISTA, a national volunteer program building capacity in organizations that fight poverty. I ran a ‘green jobs’ training program for people who were formally incarcerated, and did a lot of community outreach work, particularly around water.
As a result, for much of my formative career, I worked for utilities in Philadelphia and California, specializing in communicating to entire cities. In those years I learned the power of communication to create behavioral change. People often think, “I’m just one person. What I do doesn’t really make a difference.” Turning awareness into action motivates people to make the world around them a little better for everyone.
In 2014, I moved to Germany to be with my partner after years in a long-distance relationship. I got some advice from a former colleague that if I wanted to work abroad I should use my English language skills as a professional advantage. When I joined SAP’s executive communications team, I realized that even though my job was now in tech, it wasn’t much different from what I did before. SAP operates very much like a city. It’s diverse, complex, and fascinating, and things are moving all the time.
The amount of information out there can be overwhelming. My role in communications is vital because I help tune out the noise and amplify what is important. I focus on emotion and sentiment in my role, because the human brain is hardwired that way.
What I like the most about my job at SAP is that I work on a variety of projects, with really smart, creative, and kind people. I think it’s the nature of communications. People are interesting and complicated and always changing. Our work is often a reflection of that.
I think it’s cool that I get to be at SAP, especially with a non-technical background. In San Francisco, the land of tech, it seemed like tech companies were only looking for a certain type of person, fit into a certain mold. Their blind spot is a huge advantage for SAP. Companies with diverse employees with diverse backgrounds attract diverse customers. I am proud that I get to bring a totally different set of experiences to what I do here, and it’s valued by my team and the company.”