Career Corner Blog Posts
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Each year, the Concur Bellevue headquarters opens its doors to more than 100 interns who are part of SAP’s global Internship Experience Project, known as SAP iXp. Throughout the 10-week internship program, interns drive campaigns that hit the bottom line and help develop some of our latest technologies and products. We like to think of our intenrs as as “disrupterns,” challenging us to innovate and better serve the next-generation of consumers.

SAP iXp kicks off the program with its annual North America Summit, a two-day conference joining more than 250 interns in roles within SAP Product and Innovation, Hipmunk, TripIt, SAP Ariba and Concur. Throughout the summer, they continue to partake in extracurricular learning opportunities and build connections within the business.

In their third week on the job, we asked a few of Concur Bellevue HQ’s interns to share lessons learned thus far. Here’s are their reflections:

Charlie Watters
Market Development Intern, Concur
University of Washington, Senior
Communication Major
Fun Fact: I lived in Singapore for the first four years of my life.


Starting Off Right

I had no idea what to expect heading into the first day of my SAP iXp internship. This was my first time in a corporate workplace, and my long-anticipated entrance to “The Real World.” With more than 100 interns starting on the same day, the lobby of the Concur Bellevue headquarters was buzzing with energy and nervous anticipation. We couldn’t wait to see what our first day had in store for us.

The day went by in a flash. We met other interns, learned more about Concur, tried (and failed) to understand the SAP login process, and were introduced to our teams. Before I knew it, I was back on the bus home with my first day behind me. I was relieved but overwhelmed. I realized it was going to take a lot of work to feel fully comfortable in my new position, and a lot of determination to make every second of this internship meaningful. Although I felt confident in my ability to succeed, the summer ahead of me was daunting.

Two days later, my perspective was refreshed at the North America SAP iXp Summit, a two-day conference held in Seattle. The Summit kicked-off with breakfast, a warm welcome from the iXp team and an introduction to leadership within SAP. Throughout the day we listened to panels and presentations, had group brainstorm sessions and worked in teams to build guitars for the Boys and Girls Club.

Lessons Learned

Leading up to Summit, I had been expecting two days full of tedious “leadership” activities and presentations. However, it took a different approach.

"We weren’t just learning about how to be leaders, we were engaging with and practicing leadership in practical ways."

After going through workshops on emotional intelligence, design thinking, networking and nonlinear career stories, I walked away feeling like I had been prepared to make the most of my time at Concur.

Since the Summit, I’ve reflected back on the advice and tips we received. It’s surprising how much of it I’ve internalized and use on a daily basis. From intentionally making connections and looking for creative ways to make an impact, to the smaller things like asking for help when I need it, I’m constantly putting the concepts I learned into practice.

I’m constantly pushing myself to go the extra mile on projects and have attempted to implement my Summit takeaways in every aspect of my internship. This set the tone for my summer, and made my experience better than anything I could have anticipated.

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Amanda Schmitz
Field Marketing Intern, Concur
University of Washington, Senior
How I Found Concur: A few of my friends had interned in various departments in Concur, and suggested that I look into it.
Fun Fact: I’ve been to 39 states and lived in 6.
Outside of the Office: Running/hiking, art/design/music, eating at least 4x the normal serving of ice cream


Finding myself at Concur

Almost two years ago, I stumbled upon a company that focused on travel, expense and invoice. Entering my sophomore year of college, I hadn’t even taken a lower-division accounting class, so the terms “Accounts Payable,” “machine learning” and “automation” were all a foreign language to me. However, through a little bit of research and networking, I came to the firm conclusion that I wanted to intern at Concur.

A year-long internship and 47 school credits later, I again stood in the Bellevue office returning for a second summer. While I may have been questioning why I was up earlier than 10 AM, I was excited to be back, though apprehensive about how I would grow and push myself in my second internship at Concur.

I had been here for a year, and my growth and understanding of the business world had developed immensely, but could I really continue on that same trajectory?

Three weeks later, I can, without a doubt, confirm that my growth at Concur has not stagnated. It’s beautiful to see the developments at Concur, too. A year ago, the SAP acquisition was still relatively fresh and uncertain. However, from my first day attending the North America SAP iXp Summit, I could see how the relationship between the businesses has truly begun to bloom.

"Suddenly, I realized the work I’ve been a part of at Concur is serving a much greater purpose."

From hearing executives speak on leadership, to building guitars for the Boys and Girls Club (Team Twenty-Thrive for the win), to learning about the applications of design thinking and meeting fellow iXp interns from across North America, it hit me: My personal growth at Concur and SAP was far from plateauing.

Two weeks later, I’m drowning in meetings, spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations. I’m unquestionably overwhelmed, but undoubtedly learning. From working with cross-functional teams and companies, to teaching myself Tableau and Salesforce (thanks, YouTube), my work feels small at the moment, but I am reminded that I am contributing to a bigger picture, and I am making an impact, even if it isn’t immediately apparent.

The opportunities here are boundless. There’s always a new skill to learn, a new market to research, a new problem to solve and a new person to meet. Two years after beginning my Concur adventure, I’ve moved on from learning what the term “Accounts Payable” means to being well-versed in business buzz words – and I can’t wait to see where this summer takes me.

A bingo game that my table-mates and I played during the iXp Summit: I’ve clearly expanded my vocabulary.

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Angus Elder
University of Washington, Senior
Product Management and Strategy Intern, Concur
Fun facts: I love running, jogging and trail running.
Cheese and podcast enthusiast… (can you tell I am a millennial?).

On SAP iXp North America Summit:

What comes to your mind when you think of the words “conference” and “summit”? If you’re like me, you’ll probably think of icebreakers, PowerPoint decks, networking and hotel food. These thoughts were all racing through my mind as I headed to the SAP iXp North America Summit on June 14. While I did eat, network, and viewed plenty of PowerPoint presentations, the iXp Summit blew me away. Mostly, it got me excited for what I know is going to be an impactful summer.

"Two things stood out to me about the Summit: The momentum is building at SAP, and this energy is primarily fueled by an environment that is people-centric."

The SAP iXp program has developed exponentially fast. Entering my second summer at Concur, I have watched leaders step up and set the tone for the program, and managers become active supporters of early talent. Most importantly, I have seen the iXp interns act as change agents for this massive organization.

While iXp is increasing in size like most tech programs, its focus on quality and the individual has truly allowed it to develop into something unique. The growth in the iXp program is congruent with SAP’s transformation into an agile, innovative tech company.  Walking away from the Summit, a new set of ideas were racing through my head, and none had to do with icebreakers or PowerPoint.

Tips from my journey  

 My journey with Concur and SAP iXp started last year over a coffee chat with one of my mentors. She had been an intern at Concur a few summers ago, and while she talked about how Concur and SAP revolutionize business expense management, she shockingly didn’t get my attention until she started talking about the people. It’s this compassionate culture that made my first internship here a success and brought me back for round two.

I started off in Client Management which is the endpoint in the sales pipeline. From there, I sidestepped into strategy and then took another step into understanding the actual product this year as a Product Management and Strategy Intern. This experience has sculpted my leadership style, my field of study and most importantly my professional identity. Oddly, a lot of my realizations as an intern seem to be nuggets of common sense.

In high school, I became a fiercely competitive student and athlete, this followed me to college as well as to my internship last year. This mentality does not fly at innovative and diverse workplaces like SAP and Concur. Yes, as an intern we all want the recognition and a full-time offer. However, being competitive in the workplace narrows the scope and limits your impact. Thus, it actually slows down development. This year I have made it a point to mentor, connect with and help as many people as possible. In doing so, I have already received more gratification in my first three weeks than I did all last summer. My simple piece of advice: Collaborate, don’t compete.

My next nugget is a personal imperative that I am currently dealing with: Ambiguity. This is something I thought I could handle. I mean, I made it this far in my career -- I watched a TEDTalk or two, I should be fine, right? Ambiguity will always be in my life and what makes me so unnerved by it is:

1) Making decisions without the facts.

2) Knowing that some of your decisions will be wrong.

3) Trusting yourself and your abilities.

Once I recognized the root cause of why I struggle with ambiguity, I began to deal with my response to it. My advice is to break apart any problem you face into areas you can work on, and then go from there.

I’m excited to continue to challenge myself on a new team, learn about the end-to-end strategy of the business and meet great people. From happy hours to not-so-happy late-night hours, working on technical problems and my experience at Concur and SAP has been one full of development, humor and support.