My placement experience was one of the best that you can find. The company repetitively receives top ranking for a good reason. There is a strong focus on bringing young talent to the table and not only to have us there present but also to encourage us to be vocal and bold. I worked as a member of the regional COO office for Northern Europe, which was a very unique opportunity and role to take, greatly rewarding in my learnings and hard to find with another employer.
Especially the closest team I had the opportunity to work with, was honestly one of the best things. It was great to see that even my managers in their senior roles remained humble and very kind. I felt valued by them and they were an outstanding source of learnings, support and genuine inspiration - exceeding my expectations well beyond in the resourcefulness and willingness to encourage me on my journey in both personal and professional development as a part of my placement experience at SAP.
There is a full onboarding experience designed from the placement team here at SAP which gives you the edge right from the beginning. And also the placement students from the previous year overlap with you for a full month to onboard you thoughtfully and support you where you need, which is great. And after the first month, you always have your manager to go to. Personally, my manager was extremely supportive and I could ask him anything. No question was a dumb question (except for a few, haha)!
There would be spikes in the workload as you can imagine, that is for sure - but at least it isn't easy to get bored. There is always an open topic, shifting priority, an urgent task or idea worth pursuing in your agenda and you want to gain as much experience as you can, have some fun and see what you are capable of. At the end of the day, it's always up to you what you want to do and how well you do it. I believe that every project snowballs into something bigger further along your career path and I enjoy to see the results, so I kept myself busy throughout the placement year.
During my 13 months at SAP, I had the opportunity to co-organize events abroad, participate in large customer-facing conferences and even shadow the CEO team on one occasion. I was also invited to join a panel discussion on the stage to speak about my placement experience to other students. Other days, I would simply support the team in operations of the business while following the regional COO to his calls. With time and experience, I gained more confidence and also transformed into running regional brand-new educational initiatives, sales forecasting parts of the business and other critical projects. Great learning, good fun.
I study business management. Being able to have hands-on experience at the top management level and hold responsibility for regional projects at scale with a real investment took me from drawing board and ideas to realization and project management. In my opinion, along with experience, you gain levels of maturity and awareness for details that you could have unintentionally ignored back at university and allows you to become even more confident with real responsibility being given to you / proactively taken.
The placement was well organized. We would receive information ahead of our onboarding with enough time to get ready and arrive with a full agenda with topics, speakers, activities and all that we could look forward to. And once onboard, the placement team would regularly reach out to us and offer us opportunities to participate in activities and projects beyond our daily responsibilities that we held within the team that we worked as part of.
We had a full learning platform available with SAP learnings - and there is more content than one could consume in a year. Along with other subscriptions that we could join for free, there is also an internal mentoring program which we could take part in. On top of that, the placement team would share with us some materials for career planning (a couple of pages) and encouraged us to write down our goals for the placement year. That helped me as well in discussion with my manager afterwards to establish my responsibilities and projects I would contribute to.
Above 25 days holiday
It is very much appealing to me to consider SAP in my career path. There are great programs available after the placement year - such as the sales academy which we can apply for. I have had a great experience throughout my placement. And I have always been all about efficiency and how to make things work better and SAP with its' mission ("SAP helps the world run better and improves peoples'") seems to be a perfect fit for me.
In the area I worked in (Feltham), I paid around £450 in my monthly rent. It would take one hour to get to London city centre - still reasonably close, but without the rush and traffic which suited me perfectly as I prefer to live closer to nature and don't like the crowds. I would say that the cost of socialising was the same as everywhere else - some places more expensive than other and vice versa.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
16th September 2020