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March 20, 2013
By Stephany Kirby
Information systems majors at the University of Nevada, Reno traveled to California during winter break for a learning opportunity that led to many future possibilities. Five students interested in software systems traveled with two IS faculty members to the SAP Startup Forum in Palo Alto, Calif. for a day and learned about a new data program, viewed other companies pitching ideas to SAP and networked for future jobs.
SAP, headquartered in Walldorf, Germany, with locations in more than 130 countries, is the world leader in enterprise software and software-related services. University of Nevada, Reno students were invited to attend the Forum and take a workshop to learn more about SAP HANA, a new in-memory data platform SAP has produced.
"It was interesting to see start-ups pitching themselves to SAP and SAP pitching their technology back at them," Robert Dittmer, a student from the trip, said. "The variety of industries that were represented at the forum made it fun to see how they envisioned applying HANA in their business."
Students were also able to use the forum as a networking tool for their futures. They met with business owners, making a few new professional contacts, and learned about industries they were interested in.
"I learned mostly about new developing business models that would use this kind of software and spoke to the CEO's of startup companies who were looking to become partners with SAP," Robert McKay, an information systems major, said. "I personally got a few business cards from these CEO's looking for interns and employees, and a gained a better understanding of what is desired in the market in terms of information technology for business."
Students from the University, along with students from California State University, Chico, San Francisco State University and San Jose State University, attended the event due to SAP's University Alliances program. University Alliances provides students connections with each other, customers, partners and SAP experts.
"SAP's University Alliances is trying to provide students with as much exposure as they can to their tools so when they graduate and become decision makers in their organizations, they will understand how SAP might fit within their organization," Dave Croasdell, Information Systems department chair and associate professor in the College of Business said. "We are grateful to SAP for including the University of Nevada in this opportunity."
A blog about the SAP Startup Forums, written by Alexander McLeod, program manager for the University Alliances, mentioned the student's trip to Palo Alto. McLeod's blog recently received recognition from SAP officials in Germany, gaining global recognition for the University of Nevada, Reno.
Stephany Kirby is a student writer for University Media Relations.