This is the first blog post of the SAP Internship Experience Project (IXP). My name is Chase Stockwell, I am from East Bellevue, Washington and I work on SAP Concur’s Data Science Research and Development team as an Analytics Intern.
I take slow steps up the stairs, my business shoes clanging loudly against the hardwood floor of the Westin Hotel in Bellevue, Washington. I am about to enter SAP Internship Experience Day, a day set out to be fun and professional. I hastily put on my nametag and proceed to get my headshot taken, only to be interrupted by the photographer, pointing out the splotch of toothpaste on the side of my lips. Must’ve been the nerves, I conclude.
I scoop up some breakfast, find some fellow interns, and we chat and eat breakfast.
All of a sudden, a swift hush falls over the crowd as the day’s emcee, Dustin Wiese, Vice President of Talent Acquisition Programs & Planning, gets on the stage, takes a breath, and belts into the microphone “Wellllllcome to Intern Day!” With enthusiasm never-before-seen at 8:30 AM, he lists out the agenda for the day and we immerse ourselves in the activities of the morning. Among the highlights were inquisitive interjections from the audience, laughter radiating off the seminar room’s walls, and unplanned networking with full-time employees while waiting in line for snacks.
The Multigeneration Panel taught us about different generations’ communication preferences, so we can maximize how we communicate. In the Internship Alumni Panel, we were able to hear from three former interns who accepted full-time offers from the company. This was one of my favorite parts of the day because the panelists sympathized with our struggles, fears and goals as they had been in our shoes not one year earlier. Through their willingness to learn and apply themselves, each of the panelists were able to receive a coveted full-time offer, something us interns can’t help fantasize about between SAP tutorial videos.
After a pleasant lunch, we had a choice of selecting two of three offered break-out sessions to attend to learn about the company and each other. My favorite was learning about different communication styles and knowing how to use this to an advantage. I was reminded that I am an energetic person that does not necessarily think before I speak. This means when I interact with a very pragmatic person who needs planning to thrive, it can lead to natural clashes. And after spending two weeks sharing a room with my Type A brother before we both head off to school in the fall, I can attest this claim as truth.
The last activity of the day was a group Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activity putting what we had learned about communication into practice. In randomly selected teams, we not only had to build a child’s bike from its box, but uniquely design it and create a supplemental advertisement that we would present to everyone in the room. With awesome cooperation and a competitive spirit, my team took home second place with our Snack-On-The-Go bicycle, complete with a plate of vegetables nestled in its basket.
Keeping the chatter and excitement afloat, we crossed the Skybridge into the Lucky Strike Bowling Alley for our internship happy hour. The last time I bowled at this place, I had just turned thirteen years old, so coming back to such a familiar setting eight years later with all new friends made for a distinctly unique and hilarious experience. I left Lincoln Square with my brain, stomach, and outlook on this internship completely full and an uncontainable excitement of what is to come. Now, walking around my floor with newfound intern friends around the corner, I feel like I’m around people I can relate this experience to. A gigantic shout-out to SAP for putting the SAP Internship Experience Day on, I hope to see it next year from the seat of the Internship Alumni Panel!