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Personal Insights

My Remote SAP Internship Experience

tl;dr:

The three most important points that helped me get started easily as a remote intern at SAP:

  • Using the mentor and mentee program to have short weekly sessions where I can ask all kinds of SAP related questions. Ask your manager for a mentor in your team and have a look at the Mentorship page in the Success Map.
  • Writing meeting minutes: having to jot down notes about something you do not understand can be quite hilarious afterwards, however, it helped me find out which parts I really do not understand so I could research them afterwards.
  • Connecting with colleagues in 1:1s: Rather than typing a long email, I might ask for a quick call instead. This is much needed personal contact, and a quick chat in the first minute(s) lightens the mood 😊

 

About me and this blog

Time flies by so quickly! It is already three months that I have been an intern at SAP. Unfortunately, I am unable to join the office at the moment – which is no issue as this position is a remote one. This experience is different to all working experiences I have had before as I have never set a foot in one of SAP’s building and never met my colleagues in person. Nevertheless, I feel integrated and am enjoying every minute of this time with SAP. I want to use this post to share my experience with you – maybe you can find something helpful here.

 

Who is this post for?

You have just started at SAP? Congratulations! This post is exactly for you. I am going to talk about how I started, and maybe some of my experiences can help you get settled in more easily. Please also feel free to share your experience in the comments.

Your start at SAP is ages ago? Enjoy the read and think back to the time when you started at SAP. If there are any important or exciting points that come to your mind, please share them with us in the comments. The new colleagues and I will appreciate it!

 

Before the start of the internship

All the necessary paperwork was handled digitally and the time between signing the contract and starting at SAP was less than a month. I was in contact with my future manager and had asked how I can prepare. I was given a list of sources and got already started with taking some openSAP courses. This helped me get traction quickly and settle into my future area of work even before the internship had officially started. It also just eased my mind, knowing that I will come prepared.

I was supposed to receive an email from HR with information to sign up to the SAP portal before receiving my SAP email access. Unfortunately, this mail never arrived. However, I was covered by backup instructions I received from my recruiter. Before my first day I still felt stressed. What is my first day going to be like? What will I have to do? I do not know anything yet! Should I have prepared more? In retrospect, this is understandable, but was unnecessary. I had the expectation that I have to start working on projects the very first day. But the first week looked very different to what I had expected.

 

First week

On the first day, I received my SAP laptop. For most of the next days, I was setting up my PC, getting to know the tools and online portals like the SAP portal, getting to know my team and buddy, watching onboarding videos, reading onboarding material, … The first week was not project focused at all, it was all about getting settled in. There was quite a bit of introductory material that I took in. This really helped me to feel at ease and explained most of the processes and tools that I would be using moving forward.

I got to introduce myself to the team I would be working with early on. It was a quick introduction during a team meeting, nowhere near perfect as I was a bit nervous, but that did not matter. The most important thing was that my colleagues and team members knew I joined and had heard my name. I took the liberty to contact some of them for a quick, personal introduction in the following days and weeks. Even if it was only a 5 minutes call online, it felt good to have had this personal touch and would make contacting them more easily in the future.

Speaking of personal touch: Since I am working remotely, it is nice to see a face when interacting with colleagues. It seems customary that we do not use our webcam during team calls, so I enjoyed seeing colleagues that had uploaded a picture. It made working together more human to me, so I uploaded a picture of mine right away, too. And while I was on that, I filled in my people profile as well – in case someone drops by and wants to know something about me.

After completing most of the onboarding tasks, which took up to three days, I was mainly focused on getting started with the prescribed learning. I had gotten a list of courses to complete and sources to study. Later, I found additional interesting learnings via the SAP Learning Hub or the Success Map Learning. When I felt I wanted or needed to learn more about SAP, the role of Product Management or a soft skill, I could look there for an in-depth course or a quick introduction.

Throughout the onboarding process, I got to learn about the Jam pages. They are a great tool to keep up with certain topics as you can get notifications about new content. Here and there you can sign up for a newsletter. Hearing regularly about my topics of interest and keeping up with SAP news helped me find out about the status of projects, SAP or SAP’s culture. This is a great tool for me to stay updated, so now whenever I wonder around in the SAP online world, if there is a button to subscribe to a newsletter, I click it.

 

Following weeks up to now

Next to the learning assignments, my manager added me to team and project meetings early on. My task was to take the meeting minutes. Even though I understood close to nothing sometimes, having to write down the most important points helped me to quickly find structure amongst all those topics. After my manager had corrected my notes, which were sometimes quite off, I used the SAP search or SAPedia search to learn about abbreviations, SAP terminology or new topics.

In the beginning I was holding back a bit contacting my colleagues directly via calls. I am glad they sometimes rather connect via call instead of writing long emails. This helped me get connected more easily and feeling integrated, and now I am trying to be more forward with this approach as well – the personal contact motivates, especially when working from home! Additionally, I like to use the first minute(s) for a quick chit-chat, which is often fun 😊

My manager assigned a team colleague as my mentor. Additionally, I was searching for a team-external mentor in the mentoring portal (Success Map). In quick, weekly meetings, I could ask all my SAP related questions – some of them just to get me setup, some of them regarding specific topics or tasks and some to understand the high-level world of SAP. This is probably the single most helpful element in getting started at SAP for me. I receive so much enablement and advice, I am so glad that this exists!

Just a few weeks back I watched the global SAP Q1 All Hands meeting. This was exciting! The SAP board presented the financial numbers of Q1, summed up where we are right now and took part in a Q&A. There are many more All Hands meetings, e.g. for the board area that I am in. Such meetings helped me to get started with the high-level view of SAP, understanding where my team is positioned and why we are doing what we are doing. Knowing that gives me a much greater motivation, as I am not just doing something, but I am working for a bigger picture.

Finally, I want to mention the SAP talks – a monthly 1:1 with my manager. During the first weeks, my manager defined the goals of this internship with me. Every month we are checking back if I am on track, if I have any issues, if there is anything I need. At first, I was quite nervous, it felt like a test: “Have I come as far as I should?”. I am still nervous, but now I see is more as an “enablement session”. It motivates me the see what I have achieved in the past month and what is still open to be tackled. On top of that I receive encouragement to pursue the goals and feel well taken care of.

 

Summing up

I am grateful for all the help that I am receiving to have such a great and pleasant start at SAP. Even though I must work from home, I am fully integrated and am having a great internship experience. The three most important elements that helped me the most to settle in are my mentors, writing meeting minutes and connecting with colleagues 1:1.

I hope you will also have a great time at SAP. I would be happy if you could share your experience with us! Looking forward to your comments 😊

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