If you are reading this blog post, you are likely to be one of those in generation Y out there who still linger on the post-graduation blues and feel confused about the “master-plan” for future. Or maybe you are in college, but looking for an opportunity to get hands-on experience, yes, actual experience, and prepare yourself before the real battle comes. Or possibly you are my beloved blog’s follower and simply would love to spend some time reading through the newest post (thank you then 🙂 )
I feel you folks, as in the next two months I will be back to your “fresh grad” team, after finishing my study and my 1-year-internship at SAP. Am I nervous? Admittedly, I am. But am I excited? Yes, definitely yes! I can’t wait to start building the very initial steps of my dream. And actually, without SAP, I must have still been stuck on the puzzles of career plan.
My walking road to office every day
I am Trang, I am a 24 year-old fresh graduate, and I am here to share with you 5 reasons why I think SAP is the perfect starting point for us – the millennials.
1. SAP accepts you for exactly who you are.
… as long as you are willing to learn and contribute! I came to Germany for my master program in American Studies with some background in economics from undergraduate. I love researching, but simultaneously, I am also naturally deeply in love with anything beautiful; either word, image or motion picture. That is why I ended up becoming an occasional filmmaker, even without any professional training. I applied to become a communication intern in Service Portfolio Management (SPM) team, of which the job description was all about video production and design. It sounded really tempting, I love it; however, I also needed to be realistic and analyzed my drawbacks. Using different editing software previously, I had zero skill in Adobe Creative Suite. I knew very little about designing. And my German was just one step away from nothing.
A photograph I took after the interview. Well.
“But I can learn!” – I talked to my future manager, determinedly. He slightly knitted his browns.
“And you said you can draw, right?” – asked he.
“Yes, well, I can doodle I guess.” – I stumbled.
Even though the interview went smoothly, my chance was relatively small, or at least I thought so.
But much to my surprise, I received the phone call two weeks after that, informing I had been accepted! Yes, you never know if you don’t try!
2. Be prepared to study hard
A lot. Seriously. On the second day of my internship, I was required to join a manager-level meeting, to “get know how everybody at SAP is doing”. Obviously I did not understand a single thing what people discussed, not to mention being a tiny Asian intern among experienced colleagues and managers. Nevertheless, everyone was really nice and supportive; they all wished me the best for my upcoming time at SAP. I gave homework for myself: to go through the services catalogue and read whatever I could find to thoroughly understand our team’s responsibilities and my own tasks.
Never sneak in your company on Saturday? Here is what you get. Your OWN couch!
Thereafter, I managed to be familiar with Adobe Creative Suite. Hours of watching YouTube tutorials, countless times of trial and error, and gradually I could see how things are connected to each other. Most of the time you will have to struggle by yourself since it is the only way to gain the lesson. Fortunately, you will not be alone because your manager and teammates are always there and ready to help. As time passes by, when you look back, you will be amazed at how much you have learned throughout the way.
3. Boundless creativity
Got a new idea? Don’t be shy, say it out loud, and it may feature in the next product! At SAP, your opinion is listened and considered, no matter how crazy or silly it may sound. When being assigned to design the monthly SPM newsletter, I initially used the normal approach of adopting stock photos and layout with traditional colors like corporate “blue” or “golden yellow”. It might look nice, but by no means stand out.
“How about…a little bit more colorful, and change all these real photos into drawing images?” – I suggested, hesitantly.
“Why not ?” – My manager was so excited. Unbelievable!!
Daydreamers gonna love this
So we changed. After several drafts with myriad adjustments and feedbacks coming back and forth, the first “new blood” design was released. The result could not be better; it was so well-received that we decided to release bi-weekly instead of monthly as planned, and even created the totally new layout of our JAM group.
It never hurts to ask, and don’t be afraid to go off the beaten path. At SAP, even if you are only an intern, you can still make a difference.
4. C-O-O-L is a four-letter word
Do you think you are cool? You are in the right place!
But what if you think you are not? Even so, SAP is still a place for you. Who does not want to be surrounded by cool people?
Love UFO? No problem, there is always a person who loves UFO.
Sometimes I wonder why I enjoy working at SAP that much. My little corner in office with the gorgeous sunset view, free lunch, or all the huge parties that lasted until 2 in the morning? Possibly, they are all tempting indeed. However, it is the humans of SAP that motivates me every single working day. Everyone, or at least with all the people I have a chance to work with or talk to, are really cool. Just listening to people talking about their new project, you can feel the dynamic flow of energy and enthusiasm. People not only work hard, but also truly enjoy their life. I remembered how my second interview with a manager had turned into a discussion about photography as soon as we found out about this same interest.
Considering THIS view from your work desk?
There are groups for occasional photographers, bikers, tennis players, vegetarians, and many many many more which I haven’t known yet. You will feel welcomed and belonged, and one day you will realize that you have actually been much cooler than you used to be.
5. Network, network, and network
Your SAP teammates do not necessarily stay at the same building, the same city, or even the same country with you. They can be literally anywhere around the world! It is really fun to see how my team produces a video. We had the script edited by a British colleague, some footages filmed in France or even India, a virtual meeting set up with another colleague in the Netherlands. My Russian manager and I – a Vietnamese intern, would do the editing and an Italian composer in America would be in charge of the music, while the final product would be sent to America. Complicated as it may sound; everything in fact works smoothly. It is amazing, isn’t it?
Filming on Christmas time
“It is all about the people”. The people you will get to know at SAP, they can be your colleagues, your mentor, or even friends for life. You may or may not continue working here, but these relationships are real and indispensable. Be honest, be respectful, maintain your network, and opportunities will surely be on the way!
As you have been patient enough to read until these very last lines of this post, I guess I have at least struck a chord with you 🙂 So what you are waiting for? Stand up, wash your face with cold water, write your best cover letter ever, attach your CV, and press the APPLY button! The game is on, and you will make it, you will!
And just in case you want to see something … hmmm … more visual, more interactive, then here comes my little video 🙂 The last video project I made as an intern at SAP 😀 Happy watching!