My placement year at SAP has been amazing! The placement program is a very well established scheme which has offered a lot of support and allowed me to meet so many new people. My experience has been hugely valuable and I will return to university with a lot more knowledge and exposure to corporate life, as well as being a lot more equipped to enter the workforce when I graduate.
SAP has a very supportive and collaborative culture and I have always been treated as a full time team member - no making teas and coffees for your team at SAP! My team allows me to express my opinion and I am given a high level of responsibility on tasks. Additionally, when I produce high results on these tasks, this leads to me being given more responsibility, which shows that my team value the work that I do.
I have been given a lot of guidance and support during my year at SAP. I have been encouraged to keep a tracker of all the activities I have been involved in this year to show my progress and highlight the skills i have developed from the projects i have worked on. 1:1 time with my manager allows me to maintain a healthy relationship with them and although these meetings are not often, it does give me time to highlight areas I want to work on further, reflect on the successes i have made, and see what else I can get involved in.
Overall, a day in the life for me at SAP is very busy. The MD Office can be quite demanding in terms of the number of projects I am working on, as well as being exposed to very senior people in the business, so work can often have a short turn around time. I love my role because although it is busy, it has meant that i have been involved in a wide range of activities and learnt from everything I do, as well as improving my time management skills.
My role as MD Office Associate has exposed me to a lot of responsibility. I have been a project lead in a number of tasks, for example in my third month at SAP i organised an evening event for senior level people at SAP as well as people from the sustainability community, as part of the London Design Festival. I also organised a Kids Christmas Party in the office for 200+ kids, and I look after the logistics of a senior leadership team meeting on a weekly basis.
I have developed so many skills at SAP which I will take back to university with me, and will also support me in building my career - i could not recommend doing a placement year enough. I have gained communication skills and business etiquette skills through the exposure i have had of being in the corporate world. I have also gained a lot more confidence and belief in myself due to SAP pushing you to have a 'can do' attitude.
The office has a very positive and supportive atmosphere. The open plan layout means that it is easy to walk over to someone you need to talk to, without worrying about knocking on their door etc. As there are nearly 80 interns, this means that there are constantly like-minded people, who are constantly willing to give support and be a friendly face if you need a break from your desk. There is a really nice kitchen area, spacious desk space and numerous meeting rooms.
Very well set up. The placement program are constantly asking us interns what we want to learn and what we think they can do to provide opportunities and set projects up that will benefit us. The steer co constantly review what they have done in the past and how they can build on it in the future, to improve our experience, so i have been very impressed with the placement set up in 2019/20. Additionally, as we were faced the challenge of working from home due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the placement program have been amazing at maintaining communication and checking in with us all to ensure that we are all well.
There are a lot of online training courses available to us, which I am often encouraged by my manager and by the placement program to attend. For example, there have been opportunities to improve our Excel skills, presentation skills and communication skills throughout the year. The first two weeks of placement were on boarding weeks, which were hugely valuable as it helped us learn about the company, the office we were in, the role we were doing and the expectations that were had of us, before fully throwing us into our individual roles.
The graduate schemes which SAP offers is for those who want to go into Sales and Pre-Sales roles. As these roles are not not ones i want to go down, there is limited employment opportunities for me. However the company does offer part-time positions to some students in their final year of university, and there are direct entry opportunities within certain teams. SAP does make the fact that there are limited direct schemes available to non sales- individuals, however does give us a lot of space and opportunity to network and to build ourselves a brand.
There is a great social scene among the intern community. Thursday nights are our social nights, where we tend to go out for drinks in Clapham Junction or Richmond. I live with other SAP interns so socialise on the weekends/ other week nights with other placement students too. SAP also organised a Christmas Party which was a really fun night!
As Feltham is classed as 'Greater London', it is on the slightly cheaper side of London prices, however on the downside it takes longer to get into central London and there is less of a social scene there. Places like Richmond/ Twickenham/ Clapham Junction are more expensive (but are do-able on a placement year salary!), however have much easier and quicker access to central London, and all the social events happen there, so easier to get home.
In Feltham not a lot, however most placement students who re-located lived in Richmond or Clapham Junction which have a really great night life. They are also on a straight train line to Waterloo, where there are loads of bars/ clubs/ social activities- so overall it's a great location and always something going on. Although expensive, I have loved living in London this past year.
The SAP office in Feltham has a free gym, so i have fully utilised the free gym classes this year and have got to know so many people in the business, who i wouldn't necessarily have known otherwise. There are opportunities to attend networking events, and there is also an SAP football team. Teams often socialise together, and there are events throughout the year, like the Christmas Party which are amazing opportunities to socialise and celebrate with colleagues.