This interview is part of the City of Philadelphia’s Most Diverse Tech Hub initiative. Campus Philly is featuring the “Philly stories” of Black and Brown tech founders, entrepreneurs, and young professionals who are making an impact in the region, demonstrating why the Philadelphia region IS the most diverse tech hub.
Jessica Wescott currently leads a team of Associate Technical Quality Managers as part of the North America Services Delivery Academy at SAP America. She is responsible for their overall growth and development through comprehensive trainings, certifications, and defined career paths. Her goal is to empower her team to “Think BIG and Dream BIG!”
In addition to her responsibilities, Jessica serves as a mentor to the Autism at Work Program, and is an Ambassador to both the Diversity and Inclusion Organization and Corporate Social Responsibility Organization at SAP.
Jessica has a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and a Master’s degree in Business Administration. She is the founder of Planting to Feed Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit committed to helping eliminate hunger. She is also active in her community and a member of the Wesley College Alumni Association Board of Directors. You can connect with Jessica on LinkedIn!
Check out our interview with Jessica Wescott, Services Delivery Manager at SAP below:
Tell us about your “Philly story.” How are you connected to the Philadelphia region, and what is it about the region that you love most?
Born and bred! My entire family is from Philly and the surrounding area. I grew up in Bryn Mawr, and my mom worked for the college, so I like to say I grew up on Bryn Mawr College’s campus. I went through the Lower Merion public school system and my high school Harriton (go Rams!) really helped to form the person I am today. I love everything about Philly and the surrounding area—it’s where my roots are and where I have so many memories. From visiting the Philadelphia Zoo frequently as a kid, to now exploring the city as an adult.
You’re a “mathematician by trade, philanthropist at heart.” How have math, and philanthropy, played a role in your tech career?
Without my math education, I wouldn’t be in tech. During my undergraduate studies I got a little taste of the programming life. At the time I didn’t consider myself a techy or interested in tech at all, but I’m so grateful for the opportunity to lean in. I also work for the best company in the region, SAP, which allows me to bring my philanthropist side into work. Between Spring into Service, Month of Service, and overall Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities, I get to fill my cup while enjoying what I do.
What’s the most rewarding part of working for a company like SAP?
The people—hands down. I have such a great community within SAP. People that genuinely care about me, my goals, and my future. I consider myself lucky to have met some really amazing people and friends where I work.
What’s a typical day like at SAP (if there is one)?
There isn’t one, but that’s what makes it amazing for me. I am always being challenged, always in a space to adapt, and always have opportunities to stretch and grow.
What inspired you to create your non-profit organization, Planting To Feed, and how has your background in tech helped you to launch, grow, and expand your company?
Being completely broke after college was my first inspiration. I had a part-time job, but groceries were/are expensive. I had this thought that I couldn’t be the only person with a job who struggles with purchasing groceries. So I started to grow food for myself, and eventually for my community. When growing P2F, I utilized a lot of the skill I was learning from my customer success experience; some failures and some successes. The same hunger and energy I brought to my role as a Technical Quality Manager, I took with me to Planting to Feed.
Check out Planting to Feed on LinkedIn to learn more!
If you were to give ONE piece of career advice to an aspiring tech professional in college right now, what would it be?
Trust the process. It’s okay to fail. As my mother has told me my whole life “In any ‘failure’, pick your head up, and rest your shoulders back. You got this.”
Are you interested in starting a career in the tech industry? SAP has internship opportunities listed on their site! What started as an internship for Jessica turned into the opportunity of a lifetime.