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New grad wants to make the best of an SAP offer

I've been following your posts for quite some time and have a question of my own. You generally advise new grads to explore all avenues before moving to SAP. But in my case, SAP chose me! I graduated last year with a masters in electrical engineering and was offered a position in a small consulting firm for ABAP and Oracle development.

For some unknown reason I've been put on a team project as a functional SD consultant. I would like to know where...

to go from here. What career move can I make to make the best of this situation?

It's hard to resist answering a question from someone who has taken the time to read my previous answers so carefully. You are right: I generally advise college graduates to stay open to all the options out there, and not just hone in on SAP. But here you are as a functional SD consultant. That's not such a bad place to be.

What you want to do, however, is to look ahead to becoming an SAP CRM consultant. I feel comfortable recommending this for two reasons: one, because SAP CRM is growing within the current consulting market, and two, because the skills involved in CRM functional work seem to be here to stay. Take, for example, work configuring and deploying mobile and handheld devices within an SAP environment. Is there any doubt that this work is only going to increase in the years to come? Of course, right now you're in SD, not CRM, but there are many logical connections between SD work and CRM work, as well as some functionality overlap.

For now, learn as much as you can about SD, and do the best you can to obtain great project references and build good relationships with managers and mentors. Let them know of your interest in SAP CRM, and see if you can qualify for some training in that area. If not, save your money and put yourself through CRM training at the academy on your own dime. This may not lead to a project opportunity right away, but your managers will be impressed by your initiative, and you'll be putting in place the most important aspect to career success in the 21st century: continued investment in self-education.

This was last published in March 2005

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