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SAP Jobs at Clarkston: SAP Retail and Manager Career Q&A with Raj

Raj Vaughn-Patel is a manager and the SAP retail lead at Clarkston Consulting. He shares his SAP career journey, starting through Clarkston’s Bootcamp program and now serving as the PM role for an SAP implementation for one of our apparel & footwear clients. Read his Q&A below to gain insight into what an SAP career with Clarkston is like!

Raj’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?)

Clarkston has a track record of providing brilliant client service to our stewards, and our SAP practice is no exception to that. For me, the most rewarding part about being a member of our SAP team is getting to work with so many people, with varying levels of experience, who are committed to the success of any project. Backed by a strong SAP community internally, you will never feel like you are out on an island when delivering complex SAP solutions to our clients.

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

I joined Clarkston through our Bootcamp program for new college hires, and I honestly didn’t really know much about SAP. When I joined my first SAP project, I quickly learned that my role afforded me the opportunity to learn how to balance strategy and execution, which is exactly what I was looking for as I started my career. Over time, my roles and projects have changed, but I have consistently found that I can continue to bounce between strategy and execution to ensure that our clients are getting the best value out of their SAP projects. This is what keeps me challenged, engaged, and motivated every day at Clarkston.

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

To someone new to the SAP space looking to grow their skillset and further their career, my biggest piece of advice would be to surround yourself with people who have more SAP knowledge and experience who are willing to coach/mentor you. Of course, you will still need to put in the work to go through training material, documentation, and be willing to operate outside your comfort zone, but having others around who have been through the same learnings and challenges that you will face makes the growth process so much easier and faster than trying to go out and do it on your own.

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

I don’t think there is a “typical” SAP career path. For me, it was a combination of interest, challenge, and a little bit of circumstance. When I was starting my career, I wasn’t quite sure what it was that I wanted to do exactly, but I knew that I wanted something that would challenge me and be rewarding. SAP project work turned out to fit both criteria at the highest degree. Learning SAP on my first project while working with some of the most experienced and knowledgeable stewards in the firm was both challenging and rewarding. Delivering a complex solution for the client on a fast timeline was also both challenging and rewarding. As I progressed along my career, it just felt right to continue to pursue work in the SAP space to continue to tackle the tough challenges and have the rewarding experience of a delivering at the highest caliber for our clients.

Clarkston Career Story

How long have you been with Clarkston?

I joined Clarkston in in July 2018, so I am approaching 5 years with the firm.

What is your role at Clarkston?

My role at Clarkston is manager and SAP Retail Community Lead.

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

Recently, I’ve been honing my project management and planning skills as I’ve taken on the PM role for an SAP implementation for one of our apparel & footwear clients.

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

“Brilliant Client Service” is definitely my favorite; it is at the core of everything we do and is what, personally, keeps me going every day.

Curious about an SAP career at Clarkston?