Returning Interns to SAP Labs Ireland – Interview
By James Prendergast
Rory Assandey – HANA Design and Application team
- When did you start your internship with SAP?
I started my internship in June 2013 for a period of four months in the Citywest building in Dublin, within the CoE.
- How did you get your internship?
DCU had internships as a part of my course (Enterprise Computing) for third years and after looking into the career portal and using Glassdoor as a tool to investigate further into the company, employee reviews on management, salaries and growth opportunities etc., I saw SAP had similar interests to mine. As part of my internship, I had to write a report at the end outlining what I learned during my time at SAP. I also had a college representative visit SAP offices to interview my manager and myself to see how I was doing.
- Did you have to back to your studies after your internships?
As the internship was a percentage of my 3rd year grades, I went back for my final year at DCU to get my degree in Enterprise Computing.
- What role did you have during your internship and what were your responsibilities?
During my first month at SAP, I had taken the following training courses; SAPTEC, ABAP Silver, ORACLE and ADM315 (some of which included sitting exams and earning a certificate). In the second month, I delivered several Early Watch checks and one BPPO as part of a coached delivery effort where the intern groups are given on demand support from experienced full time colleagues as they deliver their first few services on real customer systems. Towards the end of my internship, SAP put together an InnoJam event. This event involved group work over a 30 hour (overnight) period where the expectation is for each team to come up with a working proof of concept to fit whatever criteria was set & agreed upon at the beginning.During the internship, our group was not assigned to any CoE teams. I did however get many opportunities to meet colleagues from various work streams by getting involved in the SAP football team and other events of that kind – this is something I would highly recommend current & future interns to do as it allows you to build a network of contacts and better understand how other departments function. This is beneficial if you see yourself returning to SAP as a full time employee and want to know where you would fit best within the organisation.
- Did you feel valued as an intern?
I did feel valued while I was an intern at SAP; for example, when we were doing training I noticed the teaching assistants investing a lot of time and having a hands-on approach when delivering the material to make sure everyone had the best chance of grasping the concepts. It is also important to note that the training provided to the interns hold its value when they graduate regardless of where they eventually start their career and this is another indication of how SAP values the internship program and invests in the success of the participants.
- Are you in the same line of business? If not, where are you now and what are your responsibilities?
Now I’m part of the new HANA design and application team which is a branch of the bigger HANA core team in Dublin. I was assigned to the HANA team when I started working for SAP and I really enjoyed it. Soon after ramping up, I took it upon myself to learn HANA performance topics (data modelling, ABAP, security etc.) which lead to me being part of the design and application team. This is another good sign of the flexibility in the management style as I have experienced it – the employee has every opportunity to be proactive, steer their own learning and career path in the direction that they wish to go once they are in sync with the team and add value to wider team.I have been part of the HANA team for almost two years. My responsibilities include service delivery (both on premise and remote), support of mission critical engagements from the HANA deployment room, training delivery (both to colleagues internally and to customers externally through on premise workshops) and the management of training material in specific topics as content owner (HANA data modelling).
Can you give any advice for current SAP interns or graduates?
Push yourself to network with other people outside of your team and intern group – this is extremely important. I can say that this made my time here a lot easier – both during my internship and when I returned as a full time employee. I was able to meet a lot of new people when I joined SAP football, got involved in voluntary projects (as part of the 8 hours of company time afforded to all SAP employees to dedicate towards an available cause).Take these opportunities when they come as the internship is essentially a long-term interview (both for you to see if you like SAP and for SAP to see if you are a good fit) and one of the most important strengths required to work here is the ability to interact well with others. Also, to be effective as a support engineer, it is so important to realise that you cannot have all the answers but you should know where to find it.Finally, as an intern you have some control over what tasks you are assigned so if you do some research or networking and come to the conclusion that there is something in particular that you wish to know more about or get involved in, you should certainly bring this up with your buddy of manager because there is a good chance that something can be arranged. I found SAP was very accepting for me to explore other areas of SAP.
Would you recommend this internship to your friends or family?
I would recommend this internship to my friends and family – provided that they have the same interests and goals that lead me to apply, train and eventually work here: a technical yet client facing role with the opportunity to travel and to learn in software products that are used worldwide by the largest organisations. So, essentially ensuring that the skill set you acquire is always in high demand anywhere in the world you might end up. In my time at SAP, I felt it had a relaxed environment and also felt valued by my other colleagues and management which is probably the most important ingredient towards attaining job satisfaction.
Any additional comments you would like to make?
To make the most out of the experience at SAP, you need to be realistic:
- Network so that you have a strong circle of contacts
- Take control of your development plan so you have a say in what tasks you get involved in or what teams you work with
- Appreciate the flexibility provided with flexi time, casual dress etc. as these small perks make a big difference when you are working full time
- Provide honest feedback on your experiences here so that future applicants can make an informed decision
Glassdoor is a great way to share your experiences on office atmosphere, interviews etc. It is also a good reference when you are applying for your next job or preparing for your next interview whether that will be at SAP after you graduate or elsewhere.