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School of Business Students Learn SAP Software to Expand Job Horizons

BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – OCT. 23, 2013 – Luis Rodriguez is among the first students in the School of Business at The University of Texas at Brownsville to receive a certificate in the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software system from SAP, a German multinational software corporation.

An international business major, Rodriguez is learning about the customs brokerage business both in the classroom and on the job. On the job, he is learning from his mother, who has built up a successful brokerage business importing U.S. goods into Mexico.

Luis Rodriguez and Blanca Rodriguez have achieved their first SAP certificate.Luis Rodriguez and Blanca Rodriguez have achieved their first SAP certificate.

“This is the area of business that interests me, and I hope to someday take over my mom’s business,” said Rodriguez, a graduate of Saint Joseph Academy who will earn his Bachelor of Business Administration in May 2014. “The classes I’ve been taking that include the SAP components are really valuable, definitely giving me an advantage that will benefit the family business.”

In the spring of 2012, the School of Business became a partner in SAP University Alliances, joining a number of other universities teaching SAP software’s many applications.

“Just as in all fields, technology has made a significant impact on business, facilitating the wheels of commerce to run smoothly and efficiently,” said Dr. Kevin Cruthirds, Associate Professor of Management. “Our students must be well-equipped, understanding not only theories and methodologies, but also the practical application of the tools of business – and that includes technology.”

Cruthirds said SAP is the most-used worldwide commercial ERP software system.

“We want our business students to graduate with hands-on experience using this technology,” Cruthirds said. “This enables our business graduates to be better qualified for career opportunities – and prospective employers will definitely take notice when they see SAP certificates listed on a student’s résumé.”

Blanca Rodriguez also achieved one certificate in SAP in a class over the summer.

“At first I wanted to pull my hair out, but in the end it all came together,” said Rodriguez, who is an international business and management major. “Now I understand its advantages, and I really like how the program is hands-on and collaborative.”

Rodriguez knew she was interested in business when she entered UTB after graduation from Porter High School in 2010. Now she has narrowed down her focus, and is considering pursuing the Master of Healthcare Administration after she receives her Bachelor of Business Administration in May 2014.

“For a period, my little brother was suffering from a serious medical condition, and during this time I spent considerable time interacting with healthcare personnel,” Rodriguez said. “I saw the business side of health care and the importance of having that part of healthcare run effectively and efficiently.”

Professor Kevin Cruthirds answers a student's question on a SAP training module during his Operations Management class. Dr. Kevin Cruthirds works with senior business management major Maria Perez on a SAP training module during his Operations Management class.

Rodriguez worked with SAP applications in two of her summer classes, Supply Chain Management and Production Operations Management. She and her classmates used SAP to create the beginning step of most business processes, a purchase requisition. They carried this requisition through the required steps toward finished goods manufacturing and subsequent distribution.

Students become eligible for student certificates in courses where SAP is incorporated into at least 30 percent of the course content. This semester, SAP software is integrated into the curriculums of four business classes. The School of Business is in the process of introducing other SAP applications in additional courses.

“This will provide students with a broader view of not only SAP application, but Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems in general,” Cruthirds said. “Students who earn these certificates in different business courses will have gained insight into what transpires behind the scenes of companies’ operations and internal systems. This is another way we are preparing our students for meaningful and successful careers in their chosen business fields.”

For more information about the School of Business, contact Laura Hernandez at 956-882-5804 or


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