Thursday, 27 November 2008

The beginning of the second week

On Monday we woke up early after a pleasant sleep. Last weekend was so much fun! But now it was time for some work. We ate a little breakfast and got dressed up. After the basic routines we headed again to the SAP Offices. There we met Max and Sheena. Sheena Ramphal took us to building 5 and showed us our desks and the place to work.

It was a nice office with plenty of deskspace. So we got our desks and got a little time to discuss about our interesting project before Max and the Idean group came. After a nice discussion with Max we had a lot more information about what they are expecting us to do and agreed about the details. Then everyone was happy and we headed back to the building 1 to have a lunch. It was a nice place to eat either inside or outside. We ate and got back home.

On Tuesday, we worked at the Colbyn Guest Lodge. We realized that it was just too much for our budget here in RSA, to travel to Woodmead five days a week, and so we now on try to minimize the trips to the SAP offices. We worked with the project plan, and prepared ourselves for Wednesday, when we visited the SAP Research Center to meet with some students.

On Wednesday, we planned to visit the SAP Research Centre in the Technology Park in Pretoria. Unfortunately, we first went to the Meraka Institute in CSIR research area, where we were though warmly welcomed. In a minute, we found out that we were in the wrong place without our drivers, and the nice lady had just thought that we were part of the SAFIPA project group. After the misunderstandings, we phoned Danie Kok, who was kind enough to pick us up with Elmarie and drive us to the right location.

After everyone had found their way, we joined a group of students who work at the research centre, and along the day we listened to a lot of presentations about the research topics they are researching for their Ph.D. We had lunch and continued with the presentations, and after the day was completed, we had a little discussion how we could co-operate in the future. After a long day, Max offered us something to eat, and then we headed back to Colbyn to gather our thoughts of the day.

The first picture of us with Max. From the left:
Hanna, Juuso, Katariina, Janne, Max, Jussi and Anniina

Today we went to visit the CIDA Campus in the centre of Johannesburg. The CIDA ICT Academy is a university, which gets funding from companies, such as SAP, Cisco Systems Networks, Sun Microsystems, T-Systems, CompTIA, DEG and so on. The students have usually very rural backgrounds, where the parents haven’t had the opportunity to support their children financially. CIDA takes around 200 new students to study the programmes every year.

The CIDA ICT Academy gives the students basic IT knowledge during the first year. After that the students choose their specialisation for the next two years. The options are the SAP training, the Cisco training and the Java training. The students get the Bachelor’s degree after that.

First we gathered in a meeting room with Max, the Senior Manager Marketing Nesan Chetty, ICT Academy Manager Khulu Ntuli, a former student who now works in the marketing section of CIDA and a couple of 3rd year students. They showed us a video of CIDA, Max showed them a video from the User Group Meeting, which was held in August 2008 and then we had our presentation about our project, our school and Finland generally. We find CIDA a great concept, that can help lots of people and also slowly reduce the unemployment number in South Africa by increasing the skills and knowledge of young people. We hope that CIDA gets more support and recognizability.

We met some SAP students at the CIDA campus

After the meeting we got toured around the campus and after that we went to have a lunch in an Italian restaurant. The food was good, which we could expect after all the other places we’ve eaten in already. Then we went back to the campus and met some students, who study the SAP programme. We had a great discussion. They answered our questions about SAP, their future plans and studying generally. The atmosphere was very welcoming and warm and the students were great. They were really curious about Finland, so we of course showed them some pictures. We might see them again on Saturday, when they are having the CIDA Sports Day, but we’ll see. Now we’re just waiting anxiously for tomorrow, because we’re going to visit Soweto


Zama-ncamane said...

It was great meeting all of you and hope you got what you were hoping to achieve. Is it possible for us to communicate with students who are studying SAP? So we can share our experiences and learn more about the SAP environment.


SAP Student from CIDA Ict Academy

Hanna said...

You can e-mail me: