Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My Philosophy

My philosophy for VXL Training has been very simple from the beginning:

Honesty and Integrity.

Best Teachers, Best Training, Hottest Technologies.

I will tell you why these are so important to me.  I get students that have finished their master’s degrees and they are still lost on how to get a job or for that matter even on what to do.

I am constantly on the phone guiding my students on what classes to take.  I would say that about 50% of the calls I get are from students who simply do not know what they want to do and take guidance from me.  I will listen to their background and give them honest guidance.

The above is the Honesty and Integrity part.  I will give you an example here, we train in SAP FICO.  For this class there is a clear need to know Finance and Accounting.  There was a competitor company that was taking everyone and everybody for that course and it did not matter what background they had.  I would only take people with finance or accounting background for my course.  For one of the classes in which we had on the same day they had 13 students and we had 6.  This was their first class and we had been doing this for a year by this time.  It upset me tremendously that I was losing to those incompetent idiots in recruiting and I was wondering what I was doing wrong.  I checked their Advertising, it was an almost word for word copy of my ad.  I checked their infrastructure, and it was pathetic compared to ours.  The guy that was handling the calls and was the figurehead was this guy that would be chewing pan all the time and you would get near him and you could smell that sickly pan smell.

By the way, before I continue, they are now out of the training business and we are still going strong.

Now let us get into why it is so important to take only the appropriate people into a particular course.  In my class out of the 6 students 4 got placed and the other 2 were learning it, because they were implementing it at work and wanted to learn more about it.

Out of their class, one got placed and the rest I would see all the time on our floor all dejected and despondent.  A couple of them stopped by and were asking me for advice and I asked what their background was and they told me that it was Mechanical Engineering.  I asked why they took SAP FICO since they did not have the necessary background.  They told me that Prakesh (The other companies guy), told them that it did not matter what background you had, that anyone can learn SAP FICO.

Now here is the truth.

In SAP Jobs about 80% of the time you spend in discussion of process flow and discussing the theory of FICO and how either the SPA system needs to be configured and changed for the company’s needs, or how the company needs to change their process flow to configure to the Best Practices that SAP has designed.  The other 20% of the time you spend on a computer making those changes.  There is no way someone without the theory knowledge can succeed in a job like FICO.

So yes, I am absolutely honest and will tell you exactly what I know to be true.  If I lose a student because I do not feel they can succeed in a course, which is OK for me.  My end goal is to get my students a job, if I feel I cannot do that I will either tell you the honest truth and we will follow caveat emptor (Let the Buyer Be Aware), or I will guide them to join a more appropriate course based on their background.

In my second philosophy, I constantly strive to get the very best teachers for our training.  If I am not the very best at something or at least near the top, then I will not teach it.  In Detroit, I will give you an example, there is a company that is fantastic at teaching PMP, I have had teachers offer to teach it for me, but I will simply not do it, for the sole fact that the other company is so good at what they do, it would be an injustice to the students if I were to teach it.

So I can almost guarantee that if I am teaching something you can pretty much guarantee yourself that we will be the top in our field or very close to the top.