My Experience as an SAP STAR Intern in Australia & New Zealand: Rotations
If you are wondering what an SAP STAR intern does, you are at the right place! My name is Sohan Pujar and I am based in Melbourne, Australia. I have worked with SAP as a Student Training and Rotation (STAR) intern from 2021 – 2022. This blog is the first part of a two-part blog series. In this blog, I hope to share with you my personal experience in the SAP STAR program rotations.
It is important to note that all experiences shared in this blog pertains to the SAP STAR Program in Australia & New Zealand and are also my personal experiences. Other locations could have its SAP STAR Program structured differently and other STAR interns could have a different experience.
What is the SAP STAR Program?
To be eligible for the STAR program, you must:
- Have a minimum of two years remaining in your degree
- Be a permanent resident or citizen of Australia or New Zealand
The SAP STAR Program are for students to gain work experience while studying. The program is structured so the student can rotate across various teams within the business every six months (duration can be extended if approval is granted). This program facilitates for students to understand roles applicable to their interests.
The SAP lines of business are:
- Industry & Customer Advisory (ICA) otherwise known as ‘Presales’
- Customer Success Services (CSS)
Personally, I rotated within the Innovation team (ICA), Business Technology Platform team (ICA), Enterprise Markets team (Sales) and the Analytics & Insights team (CSS) across my two years.
As I commenced my onboarding with SAP, I was introduced to senior leaders in the business who would talk to the critical nature of SAP software and some of SAP’s well-known customers. After, I was provided with office tours, company-wide kick-off calls which usually discusses the company’s strategy for the year while completing logistical tasks such as attaining a work laptop, a security access pass to the office, etc. Additionally, I was occupied with understanding the various internal tools and processes such as submitting extra day timesheets, accessing e-learnings, claiming travel expenses, booking certifications, etc. I was also completing numerous mandatory e-learning modules ranging from compliance to data privacy and security.
Some of the key highlights of onboarding included receiving free lunch and an off-site excursion to bowling and laser-tag (if you are lucky!)
First rotation: Innovation Team (ICA)
The Innovation team reimagines the way SAP software is used. They facilitate design thinking workshops to discover unconventional creative ways of solving problems through the application of SAP software. They build customer demonstrations and show the ‘art of the possible.’ They usually maintain a walk-in space known as the ‘D-shop’ which hosts the creative customer demonstrations. Lastly, they also present on topical concepts and ideas.
During my first rotation in the Innovation Team, I worked with another STAR intern in developing a presentation on the topic of ‘Supercharging customer relationships with Gen-Z’. Unfortunately, the event was cancelled due to the pandemic, but nonetheless was a great learning opportunity.
I later was involved in creating demonstrations for customers and revamping the D-shop space. One of the tasks included bringing to life an SAP solution named as the ‘SAP Vaccine Collaboration Hub’ which was used in Okinawa City, Japan. One of the most powerful methods of understanding a solution is by physically interacting with it. As most software is demonstrated digitally, I took on the challenge of creating a physical demonstration for the customers to interact with. I 3D printed ships, trucks, distribution centers, hospitals, etc. with a script for the demonstration so customers have a tangible interactive experience.
Finally, I assisted in creating sustainability-related videos to assist the sales teams in understanding the sustainability solution portfolio of SAP and how to pitch them adequately to customers.
Second rotation: Business Technology Platform Team (ICA)
The SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) is the underlying core platform in which SAP and non-SAP solutions and extensions are built and integrated on. The team are experts in various solutions on SAP BTP and demonstrate its capabilities to customers, assuring them the capabilities exist in the platform to solve the customers’ business challenges. The team also responds to tenders and requests for proposals and information, answering hundreds of technical capability questions to win a deal.
During my rotation in the Business Technology Platform team, I learnt of several SAP solutions existing on the SAP Business Technology Platform which include SAP Build Apps (formerly known as SAP Appgyver) and SAP Analytics Cloud. Having studied these solutions, I was able to deliver a demonstration to the SAP partner ecosystem on SAP Build Apps.
Similar to my rotation in the Innovation team, I was creating videos for customers. I also had the opportunity to shadow SAP colleagues when they attended customer meetings. This gave me broader exposure to customer-facing work and an insight into how these meetings were conducted. Furthermore, I assisted in hosting a design thinking workshop for our global thought-leadership team consisting of senior colleagues from Germany, Singapore, Austria, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. It was a great opportunity to create international networks.
Lastly, I was involved in presenting a Low Code / No Code Session with SAP Build Apps at an event known as SAP Tech Hub. This opportunity allowed me to present and network with customers, partners and other SAP employees across Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra. It was great experience to travel for work while meeting numerous colleagues face-to-face. It certainly was one of the highlights of my experience interning with SAP.
Third rotation: Growth Markets – Enterprise Team (Sales)
The Growth Markets – Enterprise Team sell SAP software to new customers who do not have any existing SAP footprint in their landscape. They also tend to focus on selling to enterprise-level customers as opposed to small-to-medium customer bases which is the responsibility of the Midmarket Team within SAP. Thus, most of my work within the team involved scouting for new opportunities through a process called ‘demand generation.’ Demand generation includes email campaigns, cold-calling and collaborating with marketing in hosting informational workshops ad events.
During this rotation, I completed numerous cold-calls and sent hundreds of emails to new customers. It was exhilarating to learn the process of cold-calling senior management and C-level executives while communicating the correct message in a succinct manner. I was exposed to the entire SAP solution portfolio, and it was a great to understand in-depth most of the SAP solutions which are sold.
I also had the chance to attend an off-site hosted at Q-Station in Sydney, Australia. The off-site’s purpose was for the broader team to reconnect from various Australian and New Zealand cities and ensure a successful year ahead in meeting the teams’ sales targets.
Fourth rotation: Analytics & Insights Team (CSS)
The Analytics & Insights team implement SAP data and analytics solutions into the customer landscape. This occurs after the software license is sold in the form of consulting. The Analytics & Insights team will receive an existing simplistic demonstration of the software’s capability to showcase that specific requirements are met, which is also known as a ‘proof-of-concept’. This is usually constructed and presented to the customer by the Industry & Customer Advisory (ICA) team. The Analytics & Insights team receives the proof-of-concept from a handover process with the Industry & Customer Advisory team and later implements it holistically within the customer’s landscape.
From my experience, this is one of the more technical teams where coding knowledge is looked upon favorably. I had the privilege of directly being involved on an SAP customer project with a clear role in which the team and the customer depended on me for its execution. It was an exciting experience to have an integral sole responsibility on the success of the project. Additionally, I had the opportunity to meet senior management of the customer and actively participate on the cadence calls.
I was further involved in enabling and training the Analytics & Insights consultants globally on an SAP solution known as SAP Data Warehouse Cloud. I had created several training tutorials which were demonstrated and run in the form of a workshop with all attendees.
Lastly, I also created an SAP Analytics Cloud visualization on the skills and capabilities of the Australia & New Zealand Analytics & Insights team. This allowed my manager to pair the incoming projects with team members who possessed the corresponding required skills to execute the project successfully. It also allowed my manager to assess the diversity and inclusion of the team ensuring the team was well-rounded.
I hope these blogs have provided a thorough insight into the SAP STAR internship and have assisted you in determining if it piques your interest.
Please see my second blog on the SAP STAR Program’s extra-curricular opportunities to learn more about the SAP STAR Program here.
I highly encourage you to apply to the SAP STAR internship and encourage you to reach out to current SAP STAR interns via Linkedin if you have questions about the program. Please feel free to also reach out to myself.
If you are early in your career journey and interested in a career with SAP but do not meet the requirements, please check if the SAP academy or a stand-alone internship is an eligible pathway.
Please see more information regarding the broader teams listed above by visiting the SAP STAR website: https://www.sap.com/australia/about/careers/students-graduates/vocational-training/australia-and-new-zealand.html