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Unique career training leads to lucrative jobs

The best paying jobs that come out of the business school go to students who have taken Saint Vincent’s SAP Business One internship program, according to Robert Markley, Jr., business administration instructor.

44 percent of all 122 students who have taken Saint Vincent’s SAP Business One received internships since it began in 2008 and 34 received permanent jobs, according to a YouTube video from SAP Business One.

SAP (Systems, Applications and Products in Data Processing) is a company that makes software for other companies to use, and refers to itself as a “world leader in enterprise applications” on its website.

Business One is a software product made by SAP aimed to help small businesses.

Saint Vincent is unique since it is the only school in North and South America that trains students to use Business One, said Markley, who leads workshops in the Business One program.

Jill Cline, junior business economics and marketing double major and finance minor, is part of the Business One program. She has been offered three internships, accepting a consulting internship located in Arizona from the company Pioneer.

“[Interested students] need to be prepared to move away to a new city, but it’s a great opportunity to experience new things,” Cline said.

She cited how an SAP conference letting her visit California for the first time was one such experience.

Taking the program requires a reasonable amount of work outside of the classroom, she said, but added that the collaboration in the class leads to closeness between peers.

She also said that joining the program would “set yourself up nicely for the future.”

Of the nine seniors currently in the program, seven accepted internships in Arizona, California, New Jersey or Utah, according to information provided by Markley. This information also shows that, of the fourteen juniors in the program, thirteen have accepted internships, in Pittsburgh, California, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Texas, New Jersey or London.

Courtney Baum, director of the career center, works with Markley in this program.

Baum said the students are extremely marketable to employers nationally and internationally.

“No other program on campus can pretty much guarantee an internship,” she said.

According to Baum, these internships are paid. Also, if the student does well in their internship, Baum said they probably will be offered at least one full-time job before they graduate.

Baum added that students acquire an uncommon skillset and the chance to travel or receive positions that let them work from home.

A flyer provided by Markley indicated the following as job and internship titles obtained by students who took part in the program: quality assurance engineer, project analyst, marketing manager, consultant, technology analyst and support and implementation.

The SAP program is not a major or a minor. Rising juniors must be selected to participate in the program, and will train throughout their entire junior year. Markley explained that typically 20 academically strong students are chosen who have strong communication skills.

He pointed out that SAP needs people with technical training that computer science majors would have. The target market for the program, he said, is students who want to work in consulting or do a job working with a fair amount of people.

Markley said that a consultant is someone who works with a company to set up or program software a company needs, since most of it is complicated.

SAP recognizes their software’s complexities, he said, so they partner with schools to train students who can eventually become consultants.

“They can’t sell software if companies can’t install it and get it working properly,” Markley said.

Students would most likely get consulting jobs with companies that sell and implement SAP products to other companies, he said. He explained that these companies are like car dealerships, except instead of providing cars made by, say, Toyota, they provide software made by SAP.

All in all, Markley described the program as a “win-win-win.”

“Students win by landing great internships and jobs, the school wins through the positive outcomes and publicity of the program, and the employers win by getting well-trained consultants,” Markley said.

Baum said that the only improvement to the program she could think of would be increased awareness.

“There are many students at our institution that would be a great fit,” she said, “but may not understand how it works or think they are qualified.”

An information session about this program will be held Feb. 28 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in Luparello Lecture Hall in Dupré. Business and computer science majors are invited to attend. Another information session occurred Feb. 21 at noon.

Cline said that, while awareness is growing, it is difficult to understand what the program is like without taking it. However, she mentioned that talking to students who have received internships or jobs is extremely helpful.

As it turns out, these are the type of people that will lead the information sessions, according to Markley.

“I don’t do any of the talking,” he said. “I let the students tell the story.”

Baum concluded by requesting that students please attend the information sessions and commented that it is exciting for the college to be “so highly recognized for such a prestigious career field, all over the world.”

“The program continues to grow,” Baum said, “and as employers hear about our students, more and more reach out.


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