Students hail Absoft’s commitment to training

Students often face work placements fearing they will spend their time doing little more than filing – at SAP software leader Absoft the reality is an in-depth, hands-on experience designed to help them hit the ground running in the job market.

Robert Gordon University management degree students Fiona Buchan and Dawn Atherton are working directly with clients, with the support and guidance of senior staff within the business, and are already taking responsibility for delivering results for their mentors and for customers.

One of the largest and longest-established independent SAP consultancies in the UK, Absoft supplies a complete range of services to SAP users from strategic consultancy, technical and functional implementation to development services, training and support.

The breadth of that service was a key influencer in the 20-year-olds’ decision to take up year long placements with the Aberdeen company.

Fiona, of Newmachar, is working in the SAP support centre – handling and resolving requests from clients – while Dawn, of Alford, is with the team delivering SAP human resources and payroll services including implementation, development and support.

“I was quite nervous to begin with – being on the front line, taking calls from customers and working with the experts who are looking after us was quite daunting at first,” says Fiona, who attended Dyce Academy.

“The whole process has actually been much easier to understand and work with, because everyone here is a specialist at what they do – we are learning from the best in the business.

“That gives you loads of confidence as you develop new skills, and I’m getting a lot out of seeing a query through, from logging it into the system right through to the customer being satisfied.”

SAP is the world’s leading business software package, used by organisations to support key processes such as supply chain and customer relationship management, logistics, sales and distribution, as well as finance and HR functions.

Fiona and Dawn have the chance to travel to client bases during their time at Absoft, reflecting the UK-wide and international travel opportunities common in a career as an SAP consultant.

Dawn, a former pupil of AlfordAcademy, says: “The placement has given me a chance to develop real skills in SAP, and in an area that I am interested in which is human resources.

“Working out how to tailor a solution directly to the client’s needs has already seen me learn things which I would not have had the opportunity to learn in a classroom situation, or even in a first role within a company.”

Only a few months after arriving as absolute beginners, Dawn and Fiona agree Absoft has become a strong potential employer for them when they complete their education.

“The training, practical experience and mentoring which we’ve been given has been great, it really instils confidence in you, and encourages you to work hard and achieve,” said Dawn.

“Absoft is really committed to training and sponsored Fiona and I to attend a week-long course at the SAP Academy in London.  The course was really useful and also gave us the chance to meet other trainees from all over the UK.”

Audrey Bowker, human resources director at Absoft, says: “We’re delighted with the real contribution that Fiona and Dawn are making. As a consultancy, our people really are our business and we invest heavily in future talent. Every year, we welcome placement students from business-related and computing courses at RGU and Aberdeen University, many of whom have joined Absoft after graduation.”