Gumption Portraits 038 min

Rising Star Academy: kickstarting your SAP career

What if you could build your SAP foundations, get to know your new colleagues and work on those crucial soft skills, all in just 7 intense weeks? The Rising Star Academy does just that. Alumni of the first two editions have joined our ranks and boy, are they happy to be here! We asked them to spill the beans on how this programme is set apart from others, and what it has meant for them. Let’s dig in!

An intensive programme

For 7 weeks, we take 20 young professionals under our wing to teach them the basics of SAP and what it means to be a consultant. Not just another online course, the Rising Star Academy takes place in a hotel where participants get to know each other and our company. A perfect opportunity to inject some team spirit. Jorgé Hermans, who joined us as part of the class of 2021, has fond memories of the final week of the programme. All participants must pass an exam to claim their SAP-certificate. During week 7, they all stuck together, working on their individual projects, but with a common goal. “It was hard work, but being in the same space with the same goal really brought us together.”

Jeroen Bosman, alumnus of the class of 2021, puts it this way: “I didn’t want to be another number in a big corporation. Following an intensive programme ensures you don’t have to figure everything out by yourself. It was a great start.”

Learning the ropes

Do you know all the ins and outs of SAP by the end of the programme? Of course not. You could work in SAP for years and still discover something new. What participants do learn however is the basic framework and what is possible with SAP. It helps them to figure out issues, solutions and possibilities on the job. They know where to look for information when they need it.

Jonas Bert was an experienced end-user of sales flows, but the Rising Star Academy gave him the opportunity to get to know other modules in SAP. “It gave me a broad view of how a client's system works. That way, I can pinpoint problems much quicker and get to solving them right away.”

Attention to soft skills and self-improvement

Being an SAP consultant consists of more than just computer work. “A large part of the job is gathering around a table, working together and getting things done,” according to Jonas. That’s why soft skills are an important part of the curriculum. How do you make a presentation, conduct a sales call, or help a customer? Our graduates learned it all.

On top of these more general soft skills, participants also get the chance to work on their own specific skills and pain points. Want to learn more about procrastination? How about interacting with customers? We take our time to hone these soft skills, as they are as important to the job as knowing your way around SAP.

Landing a job at TheValueChain

The best part of this academy? Participants are being taught by our own employees who have years of experience on the job. Michael Van Den Langenbergh has been an SAP consultant with TheValueChain for 5 years and shares what he knows with our Rising Stars. “We decide on the scope from our own experience, and teach different flows a consultant will inevitably need.” Great for the programme, but it’s also an example of giving our team chances to expand on their responsibilities and to experiment.

The most important question is of course: does it pay off? We’ll let Laurens de Baenst, SAP Consultant and alumnus of the class of 2019, answer that. "Joining the Rising Star Academy was a gamble, but I landed a job in an amazing company. The way TheValueChain treats its people and gives them chances, combined with the team spirit and how I improved myself and my skill set during the academy: the gamble could not have paid off any better."

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