Post-match presentation! — Final presentations from 4 sub-teams of SAP Social Sabbatical Ho Chi Minh City and the closing ceremony!

In a game of cricket, usually there is a post-match presentation where pleasantries are exchanged between teams, best players are recognized and captains speak their minds on what went well and what could have been better! And speeches usually end looking forward to the next match!

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Like all good things must com to an end, our SAP Social Sabbatical in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam comes to a close today. Individual sub-teams had their presentations with their respective customers on Thursday. Evi and I, working on the G.A.P Institute project, presented our set of findings and recommendations for each of the 8 scope items to Mr Hieu, Chief Executive Officer of G.A.P Institute and Mr. Anh, Chief Academic Officer of G.A.P Institute. Together, we have also defined a roadmap for implementation on the recommendations going forward. Some of the short-term recommendations have already been implemented. We from SAP would like to see G.A.P Institute have tremendous success ahead and meet it’s objective to be the one-stop career building hub for Vietnamese youth. We intend to stay connected and even would like to come back and meet the GAPpies after 2 years! What followed next on Thursday was an emotional round of farewell from the dear GAPpies. The experience we had at G.A.P and the interactions with all the employees and founders over the last one month has definitely carved out a special place in my heart for them and this will be etched in memory forever! What a fantastic team and what a pleasant environment to work in! This team has all the potential to realize the ambitious dream it has and seeing that unfold will make us feel prouder.

Friday, 28th April, was the D-Day for us the SAP Social Sabbatical Ho Chi Minh City team, as all the Team Mekong sub-teams and the respective client organizations’ representatives assembled at the Muong Thanh Hotel, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City for the final presentation on the Social Sabbatical projects. What followed was an exciting round of 4 presentations from the 4 sub-teams: Saigon Children’s Charity, Teach for Vietnam, G.A.P Institute and Xanh Shop. The SAP consultants spoke about the activities and results from the projects and representatives from the client organizations pitched in to highlight the achievements from the SAP team and also touched upon how the results will be impacting their organizations in the long run. There was a sense of impact, life-defining moments, tell it like it is, keep the promise, build bridges not silos, stay curious and embrace differences in all the presentations. The achievements would not have been realized with out the customer teams and SAP teams working together. Above all, there was a sense of happiness all around (with an overdose of “pink” representing happiness for some :-))…happiness for being here…for done that….happiness for having us here…happiness for touching so many lives and improving people’s lives so that we can together make the world better! I was truly touched by our G.A.P Institute CEO Mr. Hieu’s quotation of Yoko Ono:

“A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality!”

— that’s what SAP-G.A.P team together tried to achieve over the last one month.

Here are some impressions from our final project presentation.

Excerpts from our G.A.P Institute project presentation….our learnings….group photo of SAP team and customer teams; Evi and myself after the presentation for the G.A.P team…and then the “pink” brigade took over spreading happiness all around :-)

The most defining moment for me during the presentation was when we were about to start and then…taking us by a pleasant surprise the entire G.A.P team walked in. We knew that the Chief Executive Officer and the Chief Academic Officer would be there but to see the entire team there was such a great feeling. Thank you guys for making it and you guys are the real champions, without you this project would not have been possible. Thank you Mr. Hieu, Mr. Anh, Ms. Chau, Mr Huy, Ms. My, Ms. Thao, Ms. Trang, Ms. Nhi, Mr. Tong, Ms. Ly …and all the other GAPpies. You guys rock! And Mr. Tong, yes…we will play football when I come back to Vietnam next! It’s a promise :-)

Some lovely moments with the G.A.P team after the final presentation

I was overwhelmed by emotions on receiving the personal gift from the G.A.P family. I am sure Evi also had the same feeling. This has to be one of the best gifts I ever received from anyone. Thank you G.A.P! Thank you Vietnam! What a fabulous feeling!

Yes…true friendship never ends…and will never end. Thank you! Images of the personal gift from the G.A.P family! Really appreciate their thoughts and the personal touch they put in with this gift. This has truly touched my heart! Love you G.A.P team!

The rest of Friday and early Saturday was spent preparing for our travel back home. It was also time to bid goodbye to each other as colleagues started on the way to the airport from the hotel one by one. But not before most of us had caught one last sumptuous team dinner and a couple of drinks together.

SAP Social Sabbatical team having the last team dinner together at Mama’s Kitchen on the last night of the Social Sabbatical followed by a trip to the Skybar lounge..

It has been truly one of the best months in my life. Experiencing a new country, new culture, making new friends, picking up new skills and knowledge, putting to use existing skills and strengths for the benefit of a different organization, amplifying self-belief,..and above all staying happy and smiling and seeing others around also doing the same — — can’t believe this was just one month! Time seems to have just flown by and in the process etched this month permanently in memory forever.

By the end of the day on Friday, also realized that our SAP Social Sabbatical in Vietnam has also been covered by the press. Here are some snippets:

The series of stories doesn’t end here. Match Analysis and Match highlights coming up next! Stay tuned.