Abington's first international intern at SAP World Headquarters

Ronak Patel, a fourth year information sciences and technology (IST) major, is the first Penn State Abington student to participate in an international internship at SAP World Headquarters -- the world's leading provider of business software -- in Walldorf, Germany. During a Skype interview conducted between the Abington campus and Heidelberg, Germany where Patel currently lives, Patel relayed information about his incredible international experience.

"I just knew interning at SAP World Headquarters in Walldorf, Germany would be the chance of a lifetime; an experience not to be missed even though it meant delaying graduation," said Patel.

Patel has been interning -- earning approximately 800 Euros per month (approximately $1,100 per month) -- since May with the Intelligence Platform and NetWeaver Solution Management team. He works on a tool which provides issue tracking and project tracking for software development teams to improve code quality and the speed of development. Patel has taken easily to the European way of working,

"I normally get to work around eightish, have breakfast, and check Office Outlook for e-mails and upcoming meetings. After that I begin to work on any task that was assigned to me. Then I go to lunch between 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. And free lunch everyday! I like working for SAP. Everyone treats you like a professional and the environment is very friendly."

Patel took advantage of his international home-away-from-home and travelled throughout Germany, as well as to Austria, Italy, Paris, Switzerland, London and Prague. He plans to visit Amsterdam, Sweden, Norway, Ireland and Spain before he heads home in December.

According to Penn State Abington's Assistant Director of Career Development Karen Carli, Patel has been an excellent international ambassador for the campus.

"They are so impressed with Ronak and their relationship with our campus," said Carli, "that they want to set up a team internship project with our IST students! It is very exciting. They are looking for a group of three to four IST students to work on a team-based project for three to four months. We are projecting the internship for summer 2011."

With his six month internship about to end next month, Patel had this to say about his international experience: "Overall the internship was amazing. I definitely gained experience and learned a lot from my supervisor and colleagues. The thing I liked most is that everyone is willing to help out. I would highly recommend an international internship. My advice to interested students is to start planning early. It really takes some time to get all the paperwork in order. And, of course--travel!"

To learn more about what's needed for an international internship at SAP World Headquarters contact Karen Carli at [email protected] or 215-881-7511. Dolores Arevelo, coordinator of international affairs may be reached at [email protected] or 215-881-7541 or visit the international affairs Web page at http://www.abington.psu.edu/psasite/fs/academics/international-opps.html online.