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When S-A-P leads to J-O-B
It’s one thing to be skilled at studying concepts and earning good grades. It’s another to actually use those concepts on the job.
Kristine Clements ’10 MSA ’12 learned how to do both early on. Her ability to apply technical training in software such as SAP software and Excel helped her navigate an internship into a full-time position at Boston Scientific (BSC).
“Although there were already a lot of great processes in place, I brought new ways to use technology,” she recalls of the summer internship following sophomore year. “Using Excel, for example, things that took hours could be done in minutes.”
The internship continued part-time during the academic year and the following summer. Working on issues such as fixed asset verification process, reconciliations, journal entries, unclaimed property, and cost center management, Clements found that lessons from an Accounting Information Systems course gave her a leg up in the office. A key component was the widely used SAP enterprise resource planning software.
“I didn’t just learn concepts, I used the system to flowchart a company process and examine its interaction with other systems,” she says. “Everything clicked because my coursework helped me understand the SAP system and what it could do, and the internship provided a place to put that knowledge to work.”
Her technical expertise proved impressive. After graduation, Clements was hired for a full-time analyst position at Boston Scientific. She is charged with performing audits of internal Boston Scientific processes and departments around the globe.
“When you combine the Bentley name with the required hands-on technology training (Excel, PowerPoint, SAP, Peachtree, ACL) employers and recruiters become very interested.”
Since joining BSC, Clements comes to campus to tap Bentley talent. The company specifically recruits for its rotational program, a two-year training ground for new college graduates that includes positions in a range of finance functions. “It helps you experience the company culture and figure out what areas of finance intrigue you,” she explains.
“The variety of courses throughout my four years helped me decide what I enjoyed doing and what I didn’t want to do. When I was job hunting, I knew what I wanted and employers noticed. They were excited, and more importantly, I was excited about a career I could picture doing for the next 40 years.”
Bentley incorporated SAP into the curriculum more than a decade ago (for the masters in Accounting and the full-time MBA). Since fall 2011, SAP’s ERP software has also been integrated into the required junior-year business processes and systems course.
President Larson, along with guest experts, joined Bloomberg’s Carol Massar and Cory Johnson, to talk about how college and universities are preparing graduates to navigate diverse environments.