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SAP Jobs at Clarkston: SAP Project Manager Career Q&A with Melissa

Melissa Taylor is a project manager at Clarkston Consulting. She shares her SAP career journey below! Read her Q&A to gain insight into what an SAP career with Clarkston is like!

Melissa’s SAP Experience

How does Clarkston help you pursue an SAP career of excellence and job fulfillment? (ie. What is your favorite part about working at Clarkston?)

The people at Clarkston make the job worthwhile. Clarkston hires excellent consultants, and I’ve had the honor and opportunity to learn the most from my brilliant colleagues at Clarkston. The culture at Clarkston is always thought-driven, structured, and growth-focused. It is energizing and inspiring to be in a community of thought leaders who can communicate at an executive level.

Why did you join Clarkston as an SAP consultant, and why have you stayed?  

I joined Clarkston because I wanted the opportunity to work on some of the largest and most challenging projects.  Tough and challenging problems require intense critical thinking and hard work but they are a rewarding experience.  Clarkston has a great track record with the world’s leading companies across the life sciences, consumer products and retail industries. I am proud to represent Clarkston when working with leading executives on projects.

What advice would you give to someone hoping to grow their SAP skillset and career? (ie. What has worked well for you?)

Clarkston offers no shortage of professional development opportunities to grow your SAP skillset.  From training programs to challenging projects, you will build excellent communication skills, develop leadership skills, and learn how to apply a thoughtful, structured approach to problem solving. Clarkston offers new hire orientation and lots of development opportunities to help you grow your career. In addition, Clarkston offers ongoing mentorship and feedback (both formal and informal) that provide excellent opportunities for you to learn the ways that you can improve.

What made you pursue a career in SAP? (ie. What was your career path like? Is there a typical SAP career path?)

SAP consulting offers numerous opportunities for personal growth and development. As an SAP consultant, I get to attend training, conferences, and team building opportunities that positively improve my scope of knowledge.  In addition, career growth prospects are numerous. I love to address my client’s challenges and formulate a creative solution.  Given the opportunity to be innovative, I am able to expand my skills and knowledge. I feel proud when my projects are a success and I have contributed positively toward the success of my clients.

Clarkston Career Story

How long have you been with Clarkston?

I joined Clarkston in January 2015.  I have been with Clarkston almost nine years.

What is your role at Clarkston?

I am a project manager for many different kinds of projects and clients. Currently, I am the project manager for a cutting edge life sciences company focused on developing a personalized cancer vaccine. Directly or indirectly, many people have been touched by cancer and being the project manager for this project, I feel like I’m partly responsible for improving the outcome for many cancer patients.

Tell us about a new skill you’ve developed recently.

Recently, I’ve became adept at using a project management software application called Atlassian Jira.  Jira is a software application developed by the Australian software company Atlassian that allows teams to track issues, manage projects, and automate workflows.

If you had to choose, which of Clarkston’s core values do you feel resonates with you the most?

Clarkston’s Teamwork core value resonates with me the most.  Leading SAP teams to a successful project go live is very fulfilling for me.  Research shows that collaborative problem-solving leads to better outcomes.  People are more likely to take calculated risks that lead to innovation if they have the support of a team behind them.  Working in a team encourages personal growth, increases job satisfaction, and reduces stress.  I love seeing team members learn and grow and become more self-confident and better Clarkston stewards.

How has your work changed post-COVID?

Post covid, I have adjusted to working from home and leading/attending virtual meetings.  I have learned to use online communication tools such as Teams and Webex and Zoom. I have been on long-term (multiple year) projects where I have never met the people that work with in person.

Tell us about a memorable experience you’ve had while working with a client. What was your key takeaway or lesson learned from that project?

My first project at Clarkston was a multi-year SAP implementation.  I made so many life-long friends at Clarkston and with my client, that I still talk to today, nine years later.  I had so much fun and learned so much that I will never forget my first consulting gig.

In your experience, what qualities make someone a good consultant?

It’s simple. A good consultant does exactly what they said they were going to do, when they said they were going to do it. This is the number one factor in my mind for building credibility and trust with my team and with my clients.

What drove you to accept Clarkston’s employment offer? 

I researched Clarkston and loved hearing what other people were saying about working for the company.  I liked the opportunity to travel to new locations and meet new people.

Curious about an SAP career at Clarkston?