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I complete the last problem on my math exam letting out a sigh of relief. I drop my pencil, graphite still hot from nearly three hours of writing, and look up at the board. Five seconds left on the timer. As I watch the seconds count down, my pencil comes crashing on to my desk littered with eraser shavings. The timer goes off. I am done with my sophomore year at UCLA, and in a few hours, I will be flying from Los Angeles to Chicago to start a new learning experience with SAP.

As an SAP iXp Marketing Intern at SAP Fieldglass’s downtown Chicago office, I spent the summer pulling data using VBA, conducting data analysis using R, performing data migration, updating content archives, and assisting the marketing team on numerous projects. However, reflecting on my internship, it’s clear to me this internship was far more than just work.

From social events like a boat cruise, Top Golf, and a Chicago Cubs game, to networking sessions, learning series with SAP experts, and company ice cream breaks in between—this experience exceeded my expectations. I never thought the 9–5 workday would come with a great balance of work and play, and I never expected to have such a comprehensive learning experience in just 10 weeks.

A great internship is not one that just aligns with your major or buffs your resume. A great internship is one you enjoy every single minute of—one that makes you excited to come to work in the morning. With that, here are some takeaways from my personal experience:

 

Meaningful networking

I met 30 smart, interesting and unique interns. More so, I became good friends with many of them and learned about their backgrounds and opinions. Diversity made the office interesting, and our differences made our time together engaging.

Welcoming environment

I completed meaningful work, saw marketing projects from start to finish and had a tangible impact on the company. One of the projects I’ll continue to remember is when I organized and migrated our marketing files to a new cloud storage provider. This project meant people trusted me with sensitive information, and it meant I was responsible for the entire team’s success.

Exploring my career

I worked cross-functionally, working with employees from different departments across SAP Fieldglass, ranging from Human Resources to Strategic Consulting. From these interactions, I gained insights on fields I would have otherwise never had exposure to. This opened my eyes to different aspects of the business and helped me understand what I am interested in and what I am not so interested in.

Caring office culture

I had a wonderful recruiter who constantly made sure the intern experience was nothing short of outstanding. She scheduled numerous intern events and always made herself available for questions. She was there from start to finish and made the internship feel like an experience rather than just work.

 

A summer internship is no doubt about working hard and contributing to a company, but let us not forget that an internship is also about you—the intern, the student, the young business professional.

When you consider where you want to spend your next summer, think about where you will gain the most useful knowledge, the most practical business experience, and the most valuable connections. SAP Fieldglass exceeded those expectations, and in turn, has made this one of my most productive and fulfilling summers yet. It was truly an honor to be an intern here, and I cannot speak highly enough about SAP Fieldglass’s people, its culture, and most importantly, its snack bar.

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