My Local Social Sabbatical with Breakthrough Greater Philadelphia
Spring 2017 learning
I just finished my SAP Local Social Sabbatical experience and I truly believe that this is one more reason why SAP is among the 100 Best Companies to Work For. Not only for the great solutions we offer, but SAP encourages their employees to live up to its mission to help the world run better and improve people’s lives.
The Local Social Sabbatical (Local SoSa) is one of many different opportunities SAP offers to its employees as a way to give back to the community. It is unique, however, in that you must apply to be considered for the pro bono role and complete a series of interview and approvals to be selected for the program. The Local SoSA is designed for you to work with two other SAP employees at a non-profit on a specific project for a 6-week period, which include several days of full dedication. During that period, you will be “away” from your regular job activities to finished the project.
The Local SoSa I was assigned to was Breakthrough Greater Philadelphia (BTP) whose objective is to “Increase the academic opportunity for highly motivated, undeserved students and get them into college ready to succeed”. I felt very privileged having been assigned BTP as my NGO. All of Breakthrough staff work very hard and have a lot of enthusiasm to make their kids succeed; and the energy and excitement that the kids radiated when talking about the program is truly life changing.
As part of the project, my team and I were asked to provide a road map to increase Alumni engagement once they went off to college. We worked with BTP to understand their agency and their challenges and goals. We used a structured methodology that included a series of alumni interviews and surveys to find better ways to engage them. As results we provided a structure implementation plan with tactics and accelerators to implement a new alumni approach.
This experience has allowed me to walk away with take aways that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Particularly, the following take aways come to mind:
- It is good to volunteer and is more effective when you have dedicated time and specific goal to achieve.
- I appreciate my years of experience more and the possibility to share that with others.
- This is a great opportunity to work on your empathy skills.
- Working in a totally different environment will boost your motivation back at your job and will make you appreciate what you do more.
- It is great to meet and work with other colleagues who share the same motivations as you.
- Networking inside and outside your regular job, introduces you to a lot of people you wouldn’t have normally worked with.
- The achievement at the project’s end will make you realize the impact made on the lives of the people you touched.
I hope this encouraged you to take advantage of future Local SoSa’s or any other CSR programs SAP offers. I promise you will not regret it, and you will find at the end the benefits far surpass the investment. Cheers