The word impact is tossed around a lot these days. In the business world, impact comes in many shapes and forms and is both quantitative and qualitative.
SAP’s Internship Experience Project (SAP iXp) recently won the coveted Brandon Hall Group Gold award for excellence in Talent Acquisition. Brandon Hall Group is a HCM research and advisory firm that provides insights around key performance areas, including Learning and Development, Talent Management, Leadership Development, Talent Acquisition and Workforce Management.
This award not only represents the hard work the SAP iXp team put forth to implement a summer and year-round internship program in 10 cities around the world. It also represents the impact SAP iXp interns perpetuate at SAP and in their communities.
Let’s break down this “impact” we speak of.
SAP iXp welcomes interns in cohort groups. Interns kick off the program attending a regional two-day Summit which introduces them to SAP’s products. At the Summit, they hear from SAP executives on progressing their careers and gain deeper understanding on the pulse of SAP. This sparks their initial community building. They organically meet fellow iXp interns with various diverse roles from other business units within SAP.
CSR also plays a large role in fostering deeper communities not only within the iXp cohort, but also with local organizations helping the greater good. So far in 2017, iXp interns have:
- Donated 25 guitars to the Rainier Vista Boys and Girls Club in Seattle
- Raised $370 to United Way of King County’s Fuel your Future initiative
- Donated around $500 worth of items to the Ronald McDonald House
- Led a school supplies drive to Brentwood Elementary in Palo Alto
These are just a few of the CSR activities interns have participated in.
The program offers a holistic learning approach mixing hands-on project work on their day-to-day teams, with extracurricular offerings. These activities range from learning sessions with subject matter experts to intern appreciation lunches and sporting event outings.
The interns’ energy around the office gives longtime employees a fresh breath of air. We can step back and see things through their eyes. They are after all the future-generation of consumers who are changing the course of business each day.
Being curious and having a knack for lifelong learning are key characteristics of an iXp intern. They come in fully charged ready to disrupt our ecosystems and pitch their ideas. Where the iXp team comes in handy is providing them the context to grow further as leaders in their careers.
This context is all about development–whether it’s developing presentation skills or building their personal brand, the program is a cushion to their first professional experiences—where failure is accepted and taking risks is encouraged.
Success in business requires attributes like empathy and emotional intelligence. We ensure our interns are fully-equipped to become our next-generation of managers and leaders with hard and soft skills. We also like to spark some competition with a regional iXp Hackathon, where they can form their own teams, get creative and win some goodies creating new, innovative business ideas.
SAP North America was recently named one of Fortune’s Best Workplaces for Women. Thus far in 2017, iXp has hired 38% women interns. The program hosts a regional Women’s Leadership event (for women only), introducing our young interns to SAP executives. At the event, our longtime technology veterans and women in leadership roles share their personal stories on challenges they’ve faced and accomplishments.
This opportunity allows them to learn from women who have formerly stood in their shoes—new to the workforce and perhaps uncertain of what challenges they’d face. After their internships, they go on to shape the future values of SAP and pass the torch future generations.
“I’m proud to work for a company that recognizes diversity, and also recognizes there is still more progress to be made. You could feel the solidarity in the room. It was cool to see parts of myself in these inspiring female role models.” (Read full article here.)
At the end of the program, interns present a project they worked on in front of a panel of SAP leaders. This is their chance to take everything they’ve learned and show off their stellar work.
SAP iXp’s new accolade is exciting, but the long-term impact interns have on our business andwithin their communities are what really get us jumping out of our seats. We can think of one very good quote to wrap up this sentiment:
Meet the iXp interns and team in our latest video.