During the academic year 2020-2021, I did a Computer Science placement with a company called SAP in their London office.
SAP creates products and services related to enterprise application software, database, analytics, intelligent technologies, and experience management. These creations are to help businesses manage their day to day operations.
My team at SAP
My team was in one of SAP’s subdivisions; namely IT Client Services, which overall aims to contribute towards delivering the best technological experience for employees as well as innovating to add business value.
My role at SAP
My role as an Information Systems Associate is to support the local UK IT Team in achieving these aims. Tasks to achieve these aims can range from developing applications which automate the processes the team follows, to assisting the team in their plans on how the experience of both digital and physical technology experience within the office could be improved.
Work at SAP
For the first couple of weeks of the placement, I focused on various onboarding and training sessions. I learnt about the different divisions of the company such as sales, presales, operations, marketing, and finance. This made me gain a deeper understanding of how SAP develops and sells business software. It covered the lifecycle of a business deal and how each of these divisions contribute to the aims of engaging with customers, managing demand and deals within a pipeline and handling transactions.
I joined several daily technical meetings with other IT colleagues from the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region. I also had a couple of 1-to-1 mentoring calls with my manager to set initial development goals and discuss my projects I’ll be working on for the year. My reflection from this initial phase of the placement was that my role was going to be quite mixed and will involve both technical and non-technical tasks. This confirmed my expectations for the placement that I would work towards having all-round skills.
My projects at SAP
- Visitor badge system: in this project I designed a fully functional system for visitors to fill out their details upon visiting the office buildings and created a system such that it was able to generate a printable badge, and a dashboard report for analysis of the visitors’ data.
- Developing a range of user interfaces to simplify IT processes. This project involved converting paperwork such as forms to a digital version. I used a range of software tools to implement this such as Microsoft PowerApps and SharePoint. I also implemented my own idea of an application which can be used for team meetings. This idea came about when I noticed that our weekly team calls were becoming inefficient, lacking structure and organisation. I presented the completed application to my team who appreciated my active approach and found the app to be useful.
- Creating monthly IT newsletters to UK employees and selective countries within the EMEA region with an audience of 3000+ employees.
- Installing, configuring, and maintaining video conferencing technology in the office meeting rooms.
SAP offers online certifications for employees and I decided to take a design thinking for business model innovation certification. Design Thinking is a creative problem-solving approach which enables you to solve customer individual challenges, like defining new strategies, organizations, processes and of course defining new customer individual IT solutions. In doing so, I further strengthened my theoretical knowledge of user interface design and how to apply this to develop a business model.
My placement year experience at SAP
My overall experience of this Computer Science placement year was positive and extremely insightful. I’ve taken part in broad range of projects. This means that I’ve been able to develop and apply existing soft skills and technical skills. From giving formal demos to executive staff members to programming with a range of software languages and working with hardware, this variety of projects decreased the effect of the pandemic and working from home and I believe that I have a lot to take away from this experience. I have realised the importance of collaboration and maintaining effective communication with project member in meeting deadlines. Since coming back to university, I’ve felt more motivated and eager to learn.