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Author's profile photo Jan Knapp-Holldorf

Sharing my journey to working at SAP starting with the IT-Camps4Youngsters

When I was young, there were two things I was interested in most: Sports and video games.

So, when my parents asked me if I wanted to participate in an IT-Camp where I could learn new things to do with my computer besides playing video games, of course I wanted to go there. Without exactly knowing what I was going to learn, I was really looking forward to the start of the camp – interested in anything having to do with computers and ready to have a great time. And I was not disappointed.

During my first IT-Camp, organized by the Young Thinkers and SAP University Alliances team, not only did I create my first PowerPoint presentation and build my first HTML website from scratch in one week, but I was also overwhelmed by so many other impressions I got to receive. For instance, “little me” felt like a professional being in an awesome SAP building and getting delicious food in the canteen. Moreover, I really enjoyed the lunch breaks because I was able to do all kinds of sports with the other kids participating in the IT-Camp. At the end of an eventful week, everyone’s parents came to the camp and watched us present our project. I remember feeling so proud while doing so, even if I maybe was a little nervous because there were so many people in the room watching me.

After having an amazing first IT-Camp week, I continued to visit other camps and that quickly became one of my holiday highlights. Apart from having lots of fun while learning new things, the IT-Camps also became a platform to meet participants who had become friends over the duration of a previous course.

From Participant to Trainer

When I turned 16, my parents told me about an IT-Camp course, where you can program your own robot – let´s be honest, how cool is that – and that the team were also looking for trainers to teach the course. After first visiting the course as a participant, I found myself in the junior coach role one year later, ready to pass on the knowledge I gained in the last years. While it was a strange feeling in the beginning – some of the participants were even older than me – I think I really grew into that role, learning key skills like taking responsibility and presenting in front of other people. I am more than glad I was exposed to these tasks from early on, so when I needed these skills in my last year of school, and also later at university and work, I was feeling much more comfortable than I otherwise would have.

After finishing school, I started studying computer science in more of a “traditional” way at a university. Fortunately, I could continue being a trainer at the IT-Camps during my semester breaks. While preparing a course in the office, I was told that the team was now looking for a working student and that if I was interested, I could apply for the role. I must admit I was insecure at first, unsure whether I could handle university and being a working student, but I just felt like it was too good of an opportunity to not at least try. Looking back, it was one of the best decisions I made in life, and I am beyond grateful I was given the opportunity to start as a working student at SAP.

My work at SAP today

Fast forwarding two and a half years to today: I am still a working student at SAP University Alliances, still supporting the IT-Camps – not only as a trainer, but also as a part of the organization team now, while also taking responsibilities outside of the IT-Camps. Most importantly, I am still having a lot of fun performing these tasks and never stop learning new things.

My journey would not have been possible without all the great people around me here at SAP, but I especially want to thank Claudia Fürst, who guided me from being a kid in the IT-Camps up to today, and also Andrea, who enabled me to continue my journey with the IT-Camps on top of my working student responsibilities.

I am very happy and grateful for everything I was able to experience here at SAP & the IT Camps – and I am really looking forward to what’s yet to come!

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      Author's profile photo Claudia Fuerst
      Claudia Fuerst

      A big thank you for sharing your inspiring story, Jan Knapp-Holldorf.
      I admit that I had to smile at the wording "when I was young" 😉
      We've actually known each other for so long and you're doing such a great job for the IT Camps and the University Alliances team that I can understand it feels like a long time span. I am so glad to be part of your journey.
      Your reliability, kindness, your readiness and willingness to help are just some of your great skills on top of your excellent work in the team and beyond.
      I hope that we will also succeed to keep you within the SAP family once you finished your studies. It takes inspiring people like you that SAP needs for a successful future!