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Tim from The Netherlands started with SAP as an intern and soon became a Total Rewards Partner. Tim didn’t fit the typical profile for a Total Rewards Partner, so how did he get his role?

When did you start working at SAP?

I started working at SAP in April 2016 as a HR Graduate Intern and in September that year became a HR Project Associate.

How did you become a Total Rewards Partner?

The role of Total Rewards Partner for Nordics and The Netherlands was posted as a senior job, but I got in touch with the hiring manager and we started talking. I was bold and applied for the job, even though it would be out of my league. I had some interviews and the manager was confident enough to take a chance on me.

What qualifications did you need for your current job?

The role was originally posted as a senior role mainly because of the complexity of the job; acting as the intersection between HR, Finance and employees. I must consider the needs and demands of all stakeholders, with a scope of 8 countries. This means you must be analytical, pragmatic, social and political to get the right people on your side, and you must be able to cope with the responsibility of providing the best-in-class employee benefits for over 1,400 SAP colleagues.

What do you think the key skills people need to work in this area?

You must learn the systems/tools we are working with, so you need to have a bit of “technical feeling”. More important is that you are critical towards the process. The very moment that we are taking our processes for granted, this is the moment we will stop being innovative and stop trying to become more effective. Next to that, you need to be socially intelligent. With that I mean that you must be able to get people on your side, know who to involve and how to approach others.

What does your career at SAP mean to you?

SAP has given me the opportunity to kick start my career. I did not fit the ideal profile description and lacked the desired years of experience. Yet still, SAP believed in me and gave me the freedom and trust to take on this adventure. I am well aware this required courage by my manager and SAP and this makes me humble and grateful every day. It also motivates me to give my very best back to the company.

What does success look like to you?

This may seem odd for someone that is partly responsible for the rollout of bonus plans and a pay-for-performance culture, but solely achieving goals is not success for me. It is the journey that lies behind achieving your goals. At SAP, we stretch targets to challenge you to stretch yourself. When you can stretch yourself to your fullest potential, this is when you can say you are being successful at work. The actual end-result of success is then very personal and different for anyone.

If you could go back in time and give your 18-year-old-self one piece of career advice what would it be?

Stay very close to yourself. There is no need to change because people want you to. Eventually, you will end up in an organization where you can bring everything you are and become everything you want.

To see where Life at SAP could take you, click here.

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