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Ilona's Story

At SAP, we believe that when you bring everything you are, you can become everything you want.

In our work, we act along our team values - Trust, Reliability, Openness, Humor. They help us keep together and respect each other, which is not always that easy.

Ilona Schulz

I grew up in Poznań and studied International Trade at the University of Economics. A couple of years later I also graduated in Logistics. After my studies I started working for a German retailer. I was their second employee in Poland. After twelve years in purchasing and IT operations I decided to change my career path and spent a couple of years at a Procurement and Supply Chain Management Consulting company, which is now a part of KPMG. One of the projects I was staffed on was for SAP in Walldorf and so here began my story with SAP.

I liked the global aspect of working at and for SAP because I was always interested in other cultures and languages. After the project was over and I returned to Poland, I decided to apply online for a project management position in SAP for the retail team. Two flights later I got the job.

After my first team was affected by a reorganization, I worked with few other teams in both classic, as well as agile, project management roles. I learned a lot about the methodologies, both via trainings and as always – learning by doing.

One of the best things about SAP is that it is so big, that there are many chances to find a topic that is interesting to you. Sometimes it’s because you meet somebody who is inspiring you. Other times it’s because you read or listen to something interesting. Or see a poster on your way to canteen (it worked for me). One day I clicked on a link in a newsletter to an article about usability. And that was love from the first sight.

As a person coming from a non-IT world, I am more a user than a developer. It was easy for me to put on end-user’s shoes and see the internal tools or applications with their eyes. Now, being a Researcher in a User Experience team in Intelligence Enterprise Solutions, I have the chance to listen to the users and share their feedback with the project teams. It is a great feeling to be able to help them to improve their products. I am a kind person who likes to be useful. I like the feeling that my work matters to other people. And I do believe that what I am doing helps them doing their jobs better.

I have been with SAP for 12 years now. As a non-IT person, it has not always been easy for me to find a position which suited me the best. Especially since the moment my son was born, he needed a lot of care and attention due to sickness. I was able to change to part-time. From the beginning I was, and still am, very thankful that my managers showed a lot of understanding and empathy for the situation. It was also the case when I decided to work from home (long before the pandemic) to take more care of my son. That helped me to keep my work and at the same time spend as much time as needed with my son.

It took me a long time to find a topic I could say I am to 100% committed to at SAP. But for me, the most important thing is that I found it. I wish everybody had such great team. In our work, we act along our team values - Trust, Reliability, Openness, Humor. They help us keep together and respect each other, which is not always that easy. Thinking about our core SAP values, I like the “Tell it like it is” value the most. This is in line with how I work and how I am. 

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