I couldn't wish for a better placement year experience. Before the application I didn't know much about the company and the role I have applied for, but it turned out to be just right for me. People in SAP are very helpful and I have enjoyed and learned from my day-to-day responsibilities.
From the very beginning of onboarding I was treated as a part of the team and the company. If I had any questions the teammates were always happy to help. Even after months in the position you still get words of appreciation when helping someone to resolve their problem or help them.
Previous interns have done the comprehensive handover for us: we had our notes and instructions on weekly cadences and responsibilities. After that, I had weekly 1 to 1 meetings both with my direct manager and the manager of the team, where I could raise any concerns or ask anything. Also, we were located next to each other in the office so should something come up I always had someone to assist me.
This very much depended on the time of the year - usually it would get a lot more busy closer to ends of the quarter. The workload was right for me - and as I understood more I would automatize/speed up some of the weekly tasks which freed up some time for me. 95% of the time I didn't need to work overtime if I didn't want to do so myself.
I felt like a fully contributing member of the team: responsibilities included supporting business partners in the team, assisting sales teams, updating variety of reports to be reviewed by senior management and MD, being aligned to certain lines of businesses and assisting them in their forecast/performance review calls, handling lots of confidential data etc.
I feel like applying for graduate schemes in my 3rd year will be much less stressful for me now that I have gone through placement application process. I received lots of hands-on real world business experience which will definitely be helpful for my dissertation. Overall, I would say that I have learnt more during the placement than in my first 2 years of university.
Very friendly and supportive with lots of banter going on constantly. I remember that I noticed this already during the assessment centre, and it was true during the whole year. There were also quite a few of internal events where you had the opportunity to get to know people you work with better.
During the onboading you receive general training during first 2 weeks. There you get to know the company better, get used to terminology, see the specifics of the business and familiarize yourself with new environment. You spend next two weeks mostly with your previous intern and the team shadowing them and learning from then. After that I had weekly 1-2-1 meetings with my teammates as well as update meetings with steering committee and the intern community.
Apart from learning from the daily responsibilities, I had a monthly development meeting with my direct manager, where I would basically sum up what I have done during the last month and what I wanted to do in my next month. This really helped in structurizing my experience and making sure that I kept the big picture in mind. My manager was happy to give his advice and introduce me to people in the business. The company also provided access to a number of online learning platforms, including internal learning portal, LinkedIn Learning and Pluralsight.
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
I am now in the process of interviewing for a similar role in a different department within SAP for my third year at university (it is a part-time position in which I can work remotely). SAP will definitely be one of the main options I will look for a graduate position.
I have made friends with quite a few interns and had good relationships with people I worked with closely. I'm not too much into constantly going out but I know that quite a few interns have done that weekly and you would have every opportunity to do so if that's your thing.
I lived in Hayes which is an area next to Feltham - so living costs weren't bad for me and I managed to save and invest a significant amount of my earnings. I do not spend much on going out but that's quite cheap if you do that in Feltham - although people probably would prefer to go to Central London to do so.
Again, for nightlife people would usually travel to Central London and go out there - in terms of nightlife you would find anything you want there. I went to a few events and had fun there, but we never went out in Feltham.
I have done a lot of online learning in my downtimes. The 70/30 split is one of the main selling points of the programme and you have the opportunity to join projects outside of your team in a completely different department. Some of these opportunities are advertised centrally, some are more informal. Speaking for myself, I was busy enough and have enjoyed my role so most of those weren't of interest for me, but there were definitely opportunities to arrange my time according to my interests.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Administration/Secretarial, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Management, Information Technology, Market Research
9th April 2020