A placement year is such a critical time amidst one's professional and personal development. My experience with SAP has surely been a unique and unimaginable one. From the structure of the program allowing you to explore other roles of interest and further expand your skillset, to the wide network of professionals who were open to mentoring the interns, I have definitely benefited from this year.
Although working in a large enterprise like SAP opens up a lot of opportunities, a challenge was definitely working in a global team. I loved meeting new people from different walks of life, however it was difficult creating solid relationships with people I only talk through Skype with. There was a mixture of attitudes towards interns but many teammates were open to see what value we could add and our fresh ideas. It is important to be patient with yourself and know the next 13 months will allow you to gain more experience in the areas you want to grow in.
This varies from role to role, however my team was very autonomous. We attempted 1-2-1s every two weeks, however the lack of face to face contact made it hard to open up during times of difficulty. However, there are always friendly employees around, who will happily mentor you with certain conversations and the placement committee is very attentive to their interns.
Very busy! Communications is a mixture of being proactive in planning promotional campaigns, internal and external content and being opportunistic by reacting to current events in the news. With the 70:30 split, where we are encouraged to seek out experience in other departments, there is always something new to discover and learn about. You are in a reasonable control over your hours - whether you ask for more work (because there's always something to do) or whether this involves having a conversation with your manager there is too much. Very good placement if you're looking for a challenge and squeezing the most out of 13 months.
A great thing about SAP is that most employees will treat you like a professional from the offset and will push and challenge you to understand how things work in the corporate world. You are expected to be prepared, proactive and professional in everything you do. With how widespread SAP's reach is in their processes, it was easy to find something else to get involved in.
With how large SAP is, there is always something for you to get involved in. In turn, your experiences will be so varied and by the end of the 13 months, you will find it so hard to articulate your skillset in a 2-page CV! You get what you put in with this placement because there are always opportunities to get involved in to do, someone to talk to and something to improve. Having a large cohort of interns on the placement with you has helped us all connect and keep in mind life during and after our placement and degrees.
The Feltham office is amazing! With such a large intern cohort, it was very helpful having most of us based in one office to increase the social aspect of the placement year because you need to be able to look forward to the place you work 5 days out of the week! With everyone's departments in particular floors, it was really reassuring having your own space to call a 2nd home for 13 months. The building is also very modern and decorated with SAP everywhere, so you feel a part of the SAP family.
Very organised - even though there were more than enough of us interns to handle! The placement committee is always trying to provide us with opportunities to improve our skills and connect us with people from a wide range of roles in the business. The handover period in the beginning of placement really helped us adjust into our roles and set expectations for the year to come.
There are always always trainings going on - whether it's compulsory enablement trainings to soft/hard skills development closely related to your role to guitar lessons! Even when things get fully booked, there is always something popping up in your emails next. The only issue is if you had the time to complete them all.
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
If you know you want to get into the software industry SAP is definitely for you - and for a range of roles. Although there is not a graduate program, they are very open in keeping in touch for possible opportunities like Sales and Presales Academy. Looking at partners is also an opportunity.
SAP host a 2-week onboarding period at the start of placement and the committee always have intern orientated opportunities to get everyone acquainted - particularly the boat party! Because the offices are in particular locations, everyone is forced to stay close to each other so it's been very easy to have a friend just around the corner in and out of work.
If you know in advance living in/near London will be expensive, you have to just adjust expectations and be smart with money. There are always ways to work around financial challenges - like house sharing, non-drinking orientated socials, etc... However it is undoubtedly more expensive in maintenance costs than other places. The office does help having subsidised breakfasts and a coffee shop downstairs - not to mention the occasional free sweets and treats dotted around the office when there's an event!
Nightlife in Greater London (where most of the interns lived) wasn't very exciting - however it didn't stop us from enjoying ourselves when wanting drinks in Richmond or Clapham on a Thursday night! On the weekends, Central London wasn't a challenge to get to and back from either. Just expect to not be able to find a wild night out down the road to easily grab a 10 minute cab ride from like at uni.
Yes! Greater London is a really unique and refreshing place to live. You have the royal parks along the Thames of you like a bit of nature, Twickenham stadium for the rugby fans/local sports teams and Central London is just a hop away if you want to experience the thrill of the city. My weekends were spent with endless restaurants, museums and shows, which filled my time - but emptied my bank account!
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Design, Internet/e-Commerce/New Media, Journalism, Market Research, Marketing, Media, Public Relations, Voluntary
9th April 2020