When she did not proceed beyond the first round of SAP interviews in 2013, Maria Agnes Caido-Francisco had to find an inner strength that was even deeper than she was accustomed to.
"For almost two years after that," she says, "I was in and out of employment and so I even had to make ends meet by giving tutorial classes. But my source of strength has always been my children, who were in college at that time. They knew I was going through difficult times on a very meager income. I had to make a very difficult choice one day when my son came to me and said he wanted to stop for a semester as a little sacrifice, giving way for his elder sister to graduate. It was so painful to accept but I thought that could work, so I said OK.
In July 2015 I read a social media post about a job opening at SAP Philippines. I had to connect to three people before I finally got the interview. This time I was successful and I finally began my career at SAP on 27 July. I am part of a large sales organization covering the ANZ market, specializing in Human Capital Management for SAP SuccessFactors. I am a digital demand executive. In my view, we play a very important role in the sales cycle. Our job has some combination of the business development skill sets; identifying and strategically assessing an opportunity to create long-term value and then executing the path to pursue that value to win. All this makes it varied and complex, yet exciting at the same time."
"My gratitude to SAP was amplified in my second year here," says the woman who is known as Ann to her colleagues. "I had a premature baby girl, Althea Narelle, who was born at 32 weeks after a very complex and emergency C-section delivery on August 2017. I had a life-threatening condition called placenta accreta, which is basically severe blood loss after delivery. That almost cost me my life. In addition, doctors also found a 23-centimeter tumor in my right ovary.
My baby had a separate condition too. Althea had cyanosis, or very low oxygen levels. She had no heartbeat at first, plus an unidentified mass all over her abdomen. At the ICU she needed several lab tests and was finally diagnosed with a type 3 sacrococcygeal teratoma, which is an unusual tumor on the tailbone. The pediatric surgeon advised us to have the surgery done as soon as possible because the teratoma could quickly extend to other parts of her body. Every day in the hospital was like a roller-coaster of good and bad news between my development and the baby’s.
A biopsy showed that my tumor was malignant and Althea was judged to have a low chance of survival. But fate was good, she showed little improvements and she kept fighting. Her bravery strengthened our faith and our spirit to keep going, hopeful that she could make it. However, with limited hospital coverage from our health insurance, we could not afford to pay the huge hospital bill. This is where SAP culture showed tremendous help.
My teams in Manila, spearheaded by my manager, initiated a fundraising appeal which a teammate set up through a funding site. The response was swift and overwhelming.
The financial help that came quickly from the SAP family all over Asia, Japan, Australia, and even Czechoslovakia was truly unimaginable. Thanks to their generosity and instant action, we were able to send my Althea into surgery, when she was just fourteen days old. She survived the four-hour operation and a subsequent biopsy proved that her tumor was benign. What we initially thought was medically and financially impossible turned out so well and she surmounted every hurdle.
The incredible monetary and moral support from SAP, as well as everyone’s prayers for Althea, left me and my family in awe up to this day. This is true love; love that I may never get from any other company. Had I not been working for SAP, I have no idea what would have happened to Althea.
With regard to my own health crisis, I was advised to undergo further surgery to gauge the severity of the tumor and what effect it would have on my other organs. I had the surgery done after three months and specimens were taken and tested. The results came back after a week and I was told I was free of cancer and that I needed no further treatment at all, just a regular tumor marker test to be done on schedule together with my baby.
So, to my dearest SAP family near or far, there is no way for me to fully express my gratitude for your prayers, your faith and your contributions. Your generosity provided the financial and moral support needed to help save Althea. Thank you once again for your benevolence. My family will always be grateful for your kind hearts."
"Happy 30th, SAP APJ! Continue to grow vertically, upwards and onwards."