My Internship at SAP America
When Keely Riel ’18 was just a sophomore business student she attended the Dolan Lecture featuring CEO of SAP, Bill McDermott. Little did she know that this lecture would have a significant impact on her future.
During the Dolan Lecture McDermott talked about his book, Winners Dream: A Journey from Corner Store to Corner Office, which explores how he rose from the bottom to become a CEO of a multinational software corporation. According to Riel, McDermott’s lecture resonated with her so much so that she approached the former dean of the Dolan School, Don Gibson, PhD, for McDermott’s contact information.
Riel then wrote an email to McDermott in hopes of achieving an informational interview. From that email Riel established communication with McDermott, and then the following year, SAP’s human resources department. After a series of interviews she was offered a summer internship at SAP on the Global Internal Corporate Audit team.
From June to August Riel resided in Newtown Square, PA at SAP US headquarters and was assigned to several global audit projects that focused on SAP’s Strategy, Business Segments, and Sales organization. She performed process reviews, analyses, internal audits, and research to assess the overall business and give recommendations to improve results.
One particular project Riel enjoyed was initiating the operationalization of Agile Methodology into SAP’s Corporate Audit execution. From her research she presented her findings at knowledge sharing sessions for the Strategy, Sales, and Services team as well as SAP offices worldwide through Skype.
“This internship has been an incredible experience,” said Riel. “It has given me a high-level view of the entire company and I’ve been fortunate to work with senior leadership on significant projects. Everyone that I’ve met at SAP has shown genuine interest in my future”
Though challenging, Riel explained that she has really enjoyed being on a team and contributing to the success of the company. She had the opportunity to create high-level presentations for SAP’s leadership team and interacted frequently with C-level executives globally. Riel even worked on a project for Kate Mangini Murphy ’86, auditor on the Corporate Strategy, Sales, and Services team.
To meet other interns during her internship, and learn about the work they were doing in other departments at SAP, Riel hosted an intern lunch.
“My biggest piece of advice for fellow students is to network and meet as many people as possible,” said Riel. “A lot of students don’t understand how important networking is. I only met one person at my internship who applied online to get the job – it’s really important to talk to people.”
This semester Riel is continuing her internship with SAP remotely from Fairfield to finish projects she started over the summer. She appreciates everything the Dolan School has done for her.
“The Dolan School is so great at connecting people. I’ve had the chance to meet business leaders at the Dean’s Lectures and Business Club events, in addition to networking with board members at similar events,” said Riel.