I absolutely loved my placement year at SAP! The company is in a really exciting & innovative industry which makes working for them really interesting – I was able to get involved in a really good mix of tasks from digital campaigns, social media management, events & more! There was also a group of around 30 interns throughout the business which meant you had a connection with each department – that came in very handy – and also meant the social side of working was really fun!
I was really lucky to have a large team of around 20 people, and all of them were so welcoming from the start. They were all willing to help me if I didn’t understand any of the work, and really pushed for me to develop the skills that I thought would help me in my future careers. Even those who weren’t directly in my team were always friendly and support me throughout my time at SAP – making it a lovely atmosphere to work in.
My manager was continuously supportive of me throughout the year, and offered me guidance when I needed it. He pushed me to do things I wouldn’t normally get involved in and that build my confidence dramatically and gave me great exposure within the business. The senior managers in my team and our director were also extremely support and welcoming towards me, and made sure that I was involved it as many activities as was possible.
Every day was slightly different in terms of my workload but I was busy throughout. Some periods would be quieter than others, but then the next week or month I would be really busy to make up for it. It was a good level of ‘busy’ as it kept you occupied all day and you always had things to do but you weren’t overly pressured or stressed.
During my placement year I was definitely given a lot of responsibility. Within a couple of months I was designing a stand for an event, co-coordinating the speakers, working with the sales team and hiring the furniture for the stand – all on my own! I was given a lot of tasks that would not get done if I didn’t do them, which was nerve-wracking but so exciting as we were given so much responsibility.
SAP have a vast amount of online training that you can take part in, along with webinars, events & internal workshops that can help develop your skills & enhance your knowledge. One example is whilst being on placement I was able to participate in a great deal of meetings & presentations to peers, universities & customers that will undoubtedly help me in my studies and in my career.
The atmosphere within the office was great! Everyone from different levels of the business was welcoming, and the office was a relaxed but we all still had a great work ethic. We had quarterly networking & drinks sessions with senior management which was great to get a break from day to day tasks and also meant we could interact with other people in the business in a relaxed environment.
The placement year was set up really well. Our first two weeks were spent in 'inductions' where we had presentations from each department, that explained what they did and how they contributed to SAP's overall strategy. We had a handover period of two months (this is now one month) with the interns we were replacing. I personally found this really useful as it meant we could learn directly from them and pick their brains if we didn't understand anything and we were too nervous to ask anyone else. There was a project teams of interns set up to go into universities to lead workshops, and also run the recruitment of the next year of interns - meaning we got a well rounded experience.
SAP was really good at letting us train & develop. They had an online 'university' full of online tutorials on a vast range of areas from presentation skills, marketing knowledge, product information, and SAP's overall strategy. I was able to go to externally run workshops to aid my development, and as long as you have strong reasoning behind why you feel you should attend these courses they are more than happy to let you attend!
I would definitely consider working for SAP once I graduate. They have taken on a number of graduates in my marketing team, and when I left they hired one of the interns I had taken over from. So there are opportunities around in most departments but not an actual graduate scheme. If you want to work within Sales or Pre-Sales they offer Academy's for those which look really great.
There were just over 30 interns in my intake so the social scene was really good! We had a lot of house parties, and we out for peoples birthdays, and just for sociable drinks after work if it had been a long week! There are other young people in the office too who are graduates or early 20's which is also good. My team was quite big so as a marketing team we went for team lunches once or twice and had a couple of nights out together - which definitely helped to make you fit in! We would usually go to either Windsor, Richmond, Clapham Junction or Central London.
I lived with family friends in Surrey and drove in whilst on placement to save money, however I know a lot of interns rented houses in Egham/Twickenham/Kingston as they lived far away. The rent was quiet expensive, and the cost of living was typical London prices, but it wasn't too bad! If we went out on student nights there were usually drinks deals, and if you lived in a intern house because we got a free lunch at work (which was massive) you could get away with buying a small snack for dinner!
As mentioned before, we usually went out in Richmond, Central or Clapham. The SAP office is in Feltham but there is not much there apart from a Wetherspoons, so we went elsewhere. It didn't take too long to get to so we didn't mind traveling to get to a place with more going on.
SAP has a football and netball team that run weekly so that was a great opportunity to meet people outside of the office and also let of some steam!