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APJ: A Fascinating Time Working in Technology, Singapore

Nanyang Technological University (NTU)’s CareerTrack magazine 2015.
This in-house magazine introduce job opportunities and internships to all Nanyang Technological University (NTU) students. 2 of our ex-interns with our Research & Innovation team were featured.

A Fascinating Time Working in Technology

I had a fruitful three month internship with SAP based at the SAP@Create office. My responsibilities consisted of daily tasks and event organisation such as administrating the daily operations of SAP Community Network (SCN) as the only moderator sitting in the Asia Pacific region. I was also in charge of executing content translation for foundation building of SCN in the Greater China region to better serve local developers in China. The other main part of my internship was organising the first InnoJam in Singapore, which is a global event. I participated in all the communications with the external parties as well as collaborated with the internal teams in SAP like the University Alliances team.

With interesting and meaningful projects, every single day proved to be fun, challenging and refreshing. The most valuable experience gained would be being exposed to a global team based in different locations, such as Palo Alto and Berlin. As a team, we co-operated and communicated through tele-forums regardless of locations and time zones. The experience of working in a diverse team gave me a deeper understanding of respect, communication and teamwork.

I had a wonderful mentor in my manager. He gave me the autonomy and trust to decide the way I’d like to work and he was always supportive and gave me constant guidance. In addition, SAP provides various training and learning sessions for every employee and interns based on their interests and expertise. During the three months I attended CodeJam, Design Thinking Workshop and Marketing Knowledge, which not only enhanced my professional skills, but also broadened my knowledge on the areas I am interested in.

I still remember my first day in SAP when our senior colleagues told us, “Young people, work hard and play hard!” Indeed, I had great fun during the internship. Wonderful work environment, friendly fellow colleagues and exciting projects made my three months spent in SAP extremely enriching. The most interesting part would be the “happy hours” I spent with colleagues. Everyone in the office was approachable and helpful and it felt like a big family.

This was my first ever internship and reallife working experience. All I expected was to get to know the industry and learn from professional researchers and developers but I gained more than that.

Zhao Xinzhu
Business & Computing, Class of 2015

My internship at SAP was one of the most invaluable and enriching experiences I’ve had. Being an avid technophile, I was first drawn to SAP by the nature of projects offered, which happened to fall under Machine Learning – a research area that I am highly interested in. What really heightened my eagerness to intern with SAP, however, was my experience of interviewing with them. My interviewers were extremely welcoming, and provided me with valuable insight into the nature of work, as well as the culture of the organisation. The passion exhibited by them really inspired me to come on board as well. I was convinced that SAP would serve to be the perfect platform to work with the brightest of minds in a setting that offers the right balance of fun and challenge.

As exciting and enriching work-life may be, the shift from a relatively protected university setting to a real workspace was somewhat daunting. As the compulsively nocturnal and disorganised person that I had become after two years of university, the most pressing challenge was to adjust to a fixed routine, and specifically one that required me to wake up early in the morning! There were often times, especially at the start of the internship, when I felt that the learning curve for various aspects of work was fairly steep. It suddenly felt like my actions and initiatives had a greater impact than ever before.

However, rather than being intimidated by this, I decided to make the most out of this situation and worked hard at doing my work well, while at the same time, having fun. The support of my manager, supervisor and other people at SAP really helped in easing this process. In hindsight, these challenges were what helped me evolve the most as a personality, and have helped me with my courses, co-curricular activities as well as personal relationships even after the internship ended.

I thoroughly enjoyed the five months that I spent at SAP and I gained much from this experience beyond what I had learnt in school. My work helped me enhance my technical skills, and at the same time, also developed my acumen to look at real-world problems from a business standpoint. It was very stimulating to understand SAP’s balanced approach towards innovation – which includes keeping alive the spirit of the research, yet, at the same time, being results-driven.

It was my first taste of practical, results driven research, and I really liked it. I gained a wide range of technical skills, especially in the field of Machine Learning. The work experience also helped me inculcate the spirit of “doing things the smarter way”, which was the motto of my supervisor. It also honed my business acumen and helped me develop a solid understanding of developing solutions that are innovative, yet feasible. Being a part of an organisation with a strong global impact is certainly a rewarding experience.

Equally important were my interactions with the people at SAP, which will continue to inspire me for a long time to come. The people at SAP were really approachable and ever-ready to help, which really boosted the learning process. I also made some great friends who I am still in touch with. Not to forget, I also took with me, a newfound love for stimulating conversations over coffee and beer!

Akriti Vij
Computer Science, Class of 2015

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