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I loved my placement at SAP. The company has a big focus on giving you the opportunity to pursue what you want to. This includes working in other departments and roles alongside your own if you want to. As a student who was not sure what I'd like to do after graduating, this was invaluable and really helped me see what different roles were available to me.
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From my very first day, everyone in my team and in the steering committee made a huge effort to make me feel welcome. It helped me settle into the company and my role so much faster. They made me feel like what I was doing really mattered and commended me appropriately when I was working as I should be. More than that, they made me feel like I was important to the team for what I brought as a person. I felt like I was valued as a friend in the team, not just an employee.
When I joined I was assigned a mentor. My mentor initially was watching me a lot to make sure I understood what I needed to do and completed the jobs I had. As I became more comfortable my mentor eased off just the right amount so that I could work more independently. Despite this, my mentor was always available and happy to help whenever I needed it. This availability also extended to my manager and the members of the steering committee.
I was quite busy each day. Obviously, the amount of work increased slowly at the beginning while completing my training. Once training was done, it started to increase. It was never too much work, but enough that I always had something to do. Some days were definitely busier than others but that was at my own discretion. I quite like to stay busy so often looked for opportunities to do more in the company and in my role.
In the same light, you could be less busy than I was daily if you only do the tasks related directly to your role.
SAP gives you the flexibility to do as much or as little as you would like alongside your core role.
In my core role, there was always a responsibility to support the customer and respond to their requests as soon as possible.
Aside from this, I worked on a project in which I was given a very broad task and then left to my own devices to bring forward and develop. As such, I'd say I was given a lot of responsibility but I never felt like I could not ask for help if I needed it.
During this placement, I developed many skills both old and new. A lot fo this was down to my manager who worked with me to create a personal development plan and devised ways I could develop skills I wanted to focus on either through tasks directly related to my role or additional tasks.
The office always had something happening which helped to keep things interesting. Equally, there was no pressure to stay at your desk all day. You could roam the office whenever you wanted providing you were keeping up with your work. Everyone was friendly and you could talk to anyone regardless of their role or area within the company.
The placement is very well structured with a brilliant two-week onboarding to get you up to scratch with the basics of how SAP operates and to introduce to you people you will be seeing a lot of.
After onboarding, the steering committee continues to keep you updated with what is happening and when, how you can get involved and what you will get out of it. Also new projects you can work out are released periodically and communicated clearly to you so you can work on them if you want to.
The personal development plan is a brilliant system and helps you focus on the skills you would like to develop and get training in areas you would like to.
Equally the company gives you access to many online learning platforms such as Lynda.com, PluralSight and LinkedIn Learning all free of charge. This means you can learn new programming languages, spoken languages or skills in graphic design. The company does not limit you on this.
You get two days a month you can allocate solely to personal development without having to worry about you normal day to day job.
They are big, but SAP does not offer grad schemes specifically. They keep you in the talent pool and have you on file if you apply again for a graduate role. This might not sound good but you already have a foot in the door so have an advantage in your application. On top of that, you already know how SAP operates so can settle in again much more easily. It's not an issue that they do not offer you a grad scheme.
There is a great social scene between interns. My cohort was huge, around 70 interns so socials were big and good fun. Despite being split across two offices, I still made many great friends who I still talk to and plan to meet with once corona allows. There were regular socials to different bars and restaurants.
Areas surrounding Feltham and Maidenhead vary in costliness a lot. Places like Richmond and Twickenham were quite expensive but trips here we easily balanced with socials in Reading and Clapham which were cheaper. In the same vein, cost of living also varies a lot in the same places.
Since I was based mainly in the Maidenhead office, I lived in Reading. Since Reading is a student town the nightlife was good and reliable with many student nights and pubs closeby.
SAP offers loads of opportunities to complete activities outside of work including fundraising and community support.