A former skeleton racer, a soap opera actress and marathon runner all have one thing in common: They each picked SAP as the place to launch their careers. It’s been said to “never judge a book by its cover,” likewise, you can never judge a person’s abilities by their title. We know this too well in the field of recruiting. Every year, the students we hire worldwide surprise us with their diverse talents and ambitions.
Such as the first-generation college student whom at the last minute chose to attend college and later worked relentlessly through dozens of internship rejections to finally land an offer. Or the digital creative merging their journalism career with a role to create corporate learning videos.
We hear our interns’ stories on taking risks to follow their career goals, on working part-time jobs throughout the school year to make ends meet, on challenging themselves to lean a bit deeper into the unknown.
Interns check-in to their first-day iXp orientation at the SAP and SAP Concur Prague office
The power of now
“If not now, when?” asked Davidson Young, UX Design Intern at Palo Alto, while sharing his personal journey with fellow interns at an iXp U.S. Summit Persuasive Storytelling breakout session.
The annual U.S. Summit was held in San Francisco on June 13–15. Around 300 interns attended the two-day conference to hear from SAP business leaders on subjects that include the future of work, D&I, emerging technology, SAP Leonardo and more.
“Now is really important to me because now means right now,” Young continued. “But to me, now also means two years ago.” Two years ago, Young was in HR doing executive coaching. After interviewing a UX designer and hearing about the role, he had an “ah huh” moment and bought a book about UX design that same day.
In 2018, SAP has hired around 2,700 interns worldwide. More than 600 of these interns are a part of the iXp program. We know this is a generation that eats opportunity for breakfast. They don’t settle and they work hard for what they want.
“Now happened three months ago, when I declined a full time offer from Stanford to take this internship and that now led to this now, standing in front of you,” Young said, ending his story to a loud audience applauding his talk.
SAP iXp UX Design Intern Davidson Young networks with SAP leaders at the U.S. Summit expo hall
Opportunity, meet lifelong learning
At SAP, our message to students is: We hear you!
Our goal is to create the space for each intern to grow and discover their purpose – and take that with them to further influence their careers.
This year, we’ve hosted five Summits across our global cities that include Bangalore, Dublin, Vancouver and Prague. We picked “Unexplored Opportunities” as the 2018 Summit theme because opportunity is a key staple to the iXp program.
The program’s curriculum offers weekly learning sessions from SAP experts that include subjects like coding, presentation skills, D-shop workshops and more. Throughout the program, interns are also encouraged to build community and self-discovery through offerings like Women in Leadership events, hackathons and the iXp Experience Exchange mentorship program.
In her Future of Work U.S. Summit Keynote, SAP’s Chief Learning Officer Jenny Dearborn said: “We have to learn to unlearn and relearn.” Learning to be malleable with change is not an easy feat, but with the right mindset and network, it can be done. It’s time for all of us to lean into the unexplored opportunities.
Or, as Young reminds us, we have to ask ourselves: “If not now, when?”