ASUG recently caught up with Amy Her, Associate Partner of IT/ERP Recruitment and Solutions at AscendN, to discuss her involvement in the ASUG member community, most recently as a volunteer for the ASUG New York City (NYC) Chapter.

During the conversation, Her discussed getting started in IT, highlights from a wide-ranging career, and experiences with ASUG. She also offered advice on how to become acclimated to the SAP ecosystem and its expansive vocabulary, while reflecting on how ASUG has enabled her to navigate various professional roles.

This interview was conducted via email and edited. 

Q: How did you begin your IT career?

A: If I were to pinpoint the start of my IT career, it would be my first techie job in college. I worked as a cell phone tech and did basic repairs, soldering components onto motherboards. This gradually grew into full-on network and software troubleshooting, as cell phone technology changed. My first corporate job in IT was at a consulting firm, where I supported numerous projects and systems for a major A&D company. I would say that role solidified my path in the IT world.

Q: How did you first make sense of the SAP ecosystem and its jargon?

A: I am still in the process of making sense of it all! It’s hard to keep up with all the acronyms and how often they change. In all seriousness, though, it’s an ongoing learning process. In my professional experience, I’ve only scratched the surface of what SAP can offer. However, being involved with ASUG has provided me with valuable insights and given me a broader picture of SAP's capabilities. It's like peeling back layers of an onion: the deeper you go, the more complexity there is.

Q: What would you describe as the proudest moment of your career? Why?

A: It’s difficult to single out just one “proudest moment.” A recent one that stands out was when I supported someone in my network during a job transition. She was laid off from a Fortune 50 company and facing challenges finding her next opportunity. We spent weeks brainstorming, making introductions, and trying different strategies. When she eventually landed, she reached out to share the wonderful news. Being able to be part of this moment of success with her made me feel extremely proud and thrilled that she thought to reach out to me.

Q: What was an important career milestone for you?

A: Joining AscendN marked a significant shift in my professional journey, and pushed me to venture beyond my comfort zone. This transition provided many opportunities for personal and professional growth. I have acquired new skills, relationships, and perspectives as a result. Despite initial apprehensions, I took a leap, and it has been an amazing experience. It has been rewarding to work with an outstanding team, and to have shared values that drive our collective success.

Q: When did you first get involved with ASUG?

A: I started as an ASUG Volunteer about two years ago, now going on three, for the ASUG NYC Chapter. Before then, I had not heard of ASUG. I wish I had known about it sooner.

Q: How has ASUG helped your career?

A: ASUG has provided numerous educational opportunities to explore topics beyond my day-to-day routine. Additionally, it’s connected me with incredible members of the community who have not only expanded my knowledge but also become an invaluable support network.

Q: How would you say that have you positively impacted ASUG and its members?

A: That’s a question best suited for polling the community, I think. I hope that I’ve had a positive impact. In every meeting, I strive for inclusivity and help facilitate connections among members. My greatest satisfaction stems from making meaningful connections and introductions to bringing people together.

Q: What is your current involvement in ASUG?

A: I am a volunteer for the ASUG NYC Chapter, alongside three amazing peers and a top-notch ASUG Chapter Coordinator, all of whom make it easy and fun to be a part of this community. I also try to attend other chapters that are nearby to keep growing my personal network and community.

Q: You recently recommended Daring Greatly by Brené Brown to members of ASUG Women Connect. It’s a compelling book, encouraging readers to embrace vulnerability as a powerful catalyst for personal transformation. How have you benefited from this approach?

A: It’s been a while since I read the book. If I recall correctly, Brown opens with Theodore Roosevelt’s quote about “The Man in the Arena,” from his Citizenship in a Republic speech. This has deeply resonated with me in encouraging the bravery it takes to step into the “arena.” If left to my own devices, I would likely choose a known and comfortable environment, but growth doesn’t happen in your comfort zone.

Brown also addresses vulnerability and the importance of integrating it into our lives. Practicing vulnerability is challenging, because you are outwardly acknowledging your insecurities and fears. The last thing anyone wants is to be perceived as incompetent, which only fuels imposter syndrome. So, there’s a delicate balance in seeking out a supportive community where one can openly share vulnerabilities without fear of judgment. This is why I am excited that ASUG is reigniting Women Connect to provide a space to be open, so we can brainstorm ways to challenge and change the current standard.

Q: What advice would you give to younger people entering the SAP ecosystem? 

A: My advice would be to explore SAP and gain as much diverse experience as you can. Once you find the space that you enjoy or that you excel in, start to specialize and dig in. Also, find a community like ASUG where you can meet folks who you can tap as mentors, sponsors, and peers to collaborate with. Be willing to learn, and never stop learning.

For more insights into our ASUG Member community, read our member spotlight on Dr. Staci Baker, Director & SAP Technology Consultant at PwC.

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