I thoroughly enjoyed my placement year at SAP, a key reason for this was that I was aligned to two managers. This gave me the opportunity to explore a lot of the organisation and meet many great people who I now consider friends. Also, the work I was doing was really enjoyable as it was quite varied, this included event management, operational work and project management.
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As I mentioned, I had two managers which meant I was a part of two teams. In both teams, I felt truly valued as I was always thanked for the work I did, plus I never felt out of place within these teams. Also, if I had done a task slightly wrong, I would always receive constructive criticisms explaining what was wrong with what I did and how I can improve in the future which was key to my development.
I could always go to either of my managers during the placement if I felt like I needed some support or guidance. They both work in busy areas of the business, but would always find time to have a chat with me. In addition to this, The Placement Steerco offered me a considerable amount of support. So, I was given a lot of support and guidance during my time at SAP, from multiple avenues.
I feel like my workload on a daily basis was quite fluid. By this I mean some days were definitely busier than others, but I could use my quieter days to be proactive and plan my time effectively in order to ensure I was never extremely stressed on a particular day. I would always have sufficient amount of work meaning I was never bored. However, at times i did feel a bit stressed by my workload but it was never a huge issue.
Even in the beginning of my placement, I was given a lot of responsibility over certain tasks. This was a little bit overwhelming to begin with, but as soon as I got settled into the company, I relished these opportunities. This aspect of my placement was great as it illustrated to me that my managers and colleagues trusted me to deliver on these projects which was a great feeling.
I believe the main skills that I have developed at SAP are considered soft skills. For example, skills such as communication, adaptability and conflict resolution. I have been able to improve these skills through watching and learning from my superiors and putting them into practice. These skills will be extremely useful throughout my career and even for my final year at University.
The office was always a great place to go to, I always found it easier to walk round to someone's desk and ask them a question instead of emailing or calling. Whenever I did this, the other person was always very helpful. As it is a large building, it was a bit daunting at first. However, when I got more settled into my role, I really enjoyed the office environment. So, the general atmosphere was kind and welcoming.
SAP have a dedicated Placement Steerco who alongside their day job, ensure we are always enjoying our placement. We regularly received training sessions which heightened our knowledge and they were always available for support throughout the year. Aside from the Steerco, my role had a great structure which is thanks to my managers, the alignment split was perfect for me.
Throughout the year, The Placement Steerco and my managers would always take a keen interest in my development. I had regular 1:1 meetings with my managers to discuss my goals and development plan. Also, my superiors were always accommodating with me if I asked to join sessions or meetings to gain insight into how they run.
I have made great connections within the company and one even researched a program I could apply for when I finish University. However, the graduate roles that are usually offered revolve around sales or marketing based roles. I am still not entirely sure what I want to do when I graduate and I am not sure if those roles suit me. So, I would say in general, if you create a good network and leave a good impression, future prospects are definitely good.
Many of the current cohort would go for drinks on a Thursday night. Where the office was there was not much to do however, not too far away on the train there were places like Clapham Junction and Richmond where there was plenty to do. Personally, I did not attend every time but, when I did I always enjoyed myself.
As it was very near London I expected the costs to be quite high. I was proved right in terms of the social element as going for drinks and other activities often cost more than other areas in the county. However, I was pleasantly surprised with my rent payments as they were very reasonable and we were close to the Office.
The Nightlife in Feltham were the office is based is not amazing. However, as I previously mentioned not far away at all was places like Richmond and Clapham Junction. In these areas, the nightlife was great, there is plenty of options and they all vary in terms of atmosphere. As I also mentioned, the price was quite expensive but compared to other areas in London, it was not that bad.
Yes, alongside many of the other interns I played football, this was organised by one of the full-time members of staff at SAP. It was really enjoyable as we played a more casual session on Monday's, but there was also opportunities to play more competitive games against other companies. I also went to the Gym in the office which was a great place to unwind after work and catch up with my friends.