Connected Planning Xperience (CPX) 2019 offered students and faculty the opportunity to join the Anaplan family at the world’s largest business planning conference. This was the first time the University Connect group was invited to be actively engaged in CPX, and we made the most of it! From the pre-conference hackathon to the awards ceremony on the general session stage, our group was front and center—learning the latest about Anaplan, connecting with the ecosystem, and making plans for more engagement back on campus.
Students representing California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly), Georgia Southern University, and Georgia State University took full advantage of everything CPX 2019 had to offer. All were nearing graduation or had recently graduated. Some joined the pre-conference hackathon, including our own Jaymin Patel, representing the Parker College of Business at Georgia Southern University. Jaymin’s team, the PandaPlanners, had the honor of winning 2nd place at the hackathon. Congratulations!
Throughout the event, students could be found in the general sessions hearing the latest on Anaplan strategy from the ELT and were inspired by the many inspirational customer stories. They also participated in key topic deep dives during the breakout sessions and explored the expo hall. The key phrase, “I’m a student!” was the perfect conversation starter. Those with a post-graduation job solidified took the opportunity to learn all they could about Anaplan to prepare to apply that knowledge on the job. Those still deciding on their first career step learned about opportunities across the ecosystem in a partner role, a customer project, or at Anaplan. Some even had onsite interviews!
Three Cal Poly students were completing the last piece of a headcount planning challenge (model build) with a leading Anaplan customer last week as well. The team took several Anaplan model building and methodology training courses to prepare for the project, then followed The Anaplan Way methodology to develop the solution. Their project class experience resonated with customers hearing their story, with one business leader telling me, “I want to meet these students. We are tackling the same use case now!” All students discovered that the hands-on Anaplan experience developed on campus gave them critical additional skills that, combined with a strong degree, were a powerful combination.
Jaymin Patel was also presented with the first-annual Student Anaplanner of the Year award by Frank Calderoni and Simon Tucker on stage at CPX (above). Jaymin’s story showcases the experience we expect many students to have as the University Connect program expands. He was introduced to Anaplan in a finance class on campus, completed several model builder courses to deepen his knowledge of the platform, and is now applying this knowledge as a data analyst intern at long-time Anaplan customer, Equifax.
“Our university is joining University Connect, and students are learning Anaplan,” was a conversation starter for faculty as well. Anaplan customers and partners were excited to hear that Georgia State University and Indiana University expected to join the program over the summer and had already held special Anaplan boot camp days to provide students with a hands-on Anaplan experience. As expected, our ecosystem gave a warm welcome and jumped in with offers to engage—helping the Anaplan program get off the ground on campus, bringing business challenges to the classroom, and exploring possibilities for internships and full-time early talent hiring. As the event wrapped up, one professor shared, “I can’t believe the engagement from everyone I’ve met. I have never experienced this at any industry conference I’ve been a part of.”
The University / Business Connect booth at CPX was always busy, and typically there was a line of colleagues from across the Anaplan network. This made for long days at the booth but was incredibly inspiring at the same time. Customers and partners from around the world explored how they can get engaged with current University Connect member institutions to bring projects and challenges to the classroom and get plugged into hiring opportunities. Together, we explored how Anaplan will work with their go-to partner universities to bring Anaplan to their classrooms, ensuring companies have access to bright, Anaplan-skilled early talents. Master Anaplanners stopped by to offer their encouragement and expressed their willingness to coach faculty new to Anaplan, as well as to mentor students.
Faculty and students interacted with attendees at the booth, providing everyone with an amazing opportunity to connect and build their network. One business leader said, “These students are outstanding. Find me more!” Another commented, “We’ve got projects ready for students to tackle in the classroom. Thanks for introducing me to these faculty.” And a partner shared, “Our team is ready to support University Connect members. Let’s work together to make it happen.”
More About CPX2019:
Does your company want to connect to our existing University Connect member institutions for projects and/or early talent-hiring? Are you located in a country where University Connect is not yet active? Do you have a go-to university that you’d like to be part of University Connect? Please reach out! My team is here to support you. Whether it’s connecting you with existing opportunities, providing guidance on hiring best practices, or sharing a plan for program expansion, we’re here to help.
If you would like to bring University Connect to your educational institution, reach out! My team is ready to help. We can introduce you to the platform, share examples of where Anaplan can fit into your existing curriculum, and otherwise onboard your faculty champions.
Better yet, join us for Faculty Jump Start! These free, two-day events provide hands-on experience with the Anaplan platform, give curriculum guidance for bringing Anaplan into the classroom, and explore the process and resources to onboard your university to start using Anaplan by Fall 2019. Registration opens soon; Details will be shared on the Anaplan Community and LinkedIn. Contact me for an invitation.
CPX was an amazing platform to re-introduce University Connect to the Anaplan ecosystem in a big way. I am humbled by the overwhelmingly positive response the University Connect group received. I’m grateful for the warm welcome from everyone I met at my first CPX. When we join together, there is no limit to what we can accomplish and the impact we can make!