In mid-2018 I saw an advertisement. It read, “Intern at SAP Headquarters in Germany”.
As an IT student, I had often heard my lecturers and tutors reference the company when talking about the history of IT and its future. On top of this, the program offered a 6-month exchange at the Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences. It had been a personal goal of mine entering university, to go on exchange and undertake an internship.
So, I applied. What’s the harm, right?
I didn’t expect my application to go any further than that but then I got an email. I was through to the next round. So began the next few months of shuffling through my units eligible for exchange, the interview, and the countless visits to the lovely people at the exchange office who kindly answered all of my questions. Trust me, there were a lot of questions.
It was a big commitment. A year away from my family and friends, and moving to a new country was a big step for me. I left for Karlsruhe, Germany in March 2019. I arrived at possibly the worst time of the year. It was cold and dreary; I was a fish out of water. Not to mention. So. Much. German. Paperwork.
But things got better. I got to know more people at the university, I got into a rhythm of things. The weather warmed and the days got longer. We would go to the castle grounds and play a German drinking game called Flunkyball to enjoy each other’s company and enjoy the good weather.
The unofficial Karlsruhe Flunkyball team. June 2019
We would go on day trips to Cologne and Strasbourg, France and cook dinner together in our dorm. It was a great experience. I had the chance to travel to countries that have been on my bucket list forever, alone and with friends. It was a great chance to challenge myself and live outside my comfort zone.
Then came the even more exciting part. My internship at SAP. For those of you who aren’t familiar with SAP, they are a software company that was founded ages ago, and their longevity is a testament to their progressive and forward-thinking company mindset.
After 6 months of being in Germany, I began my internship at SAP. I currently work in a great team of students in the developer’s workshop. Coming from a Business and IT background, I was worried I wouldn’t fit in, but I am fortunate to be placed in a department which functions a lot like a start-up. We jump in where we can support, and we initiate projects ourselves we see value in.
I’m currently about halfway through my internship here and loving it. I’ve met some amazing people and have had the opportunity to participate in great projects and events. Not to mention the free lunch at the cafeteria!
Despite missing Brisbane, the experience has been amazing. I am fortunate enough to have this opportunity and I don’t take my position lightly. I am extremely lucky to have a great support system, so I never truly felt alone.
At the SAP Campus Walldorf. October 2019
See you back in Brisbane!