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Hannah Keller

Dual Student, Vocational Training Program

I may have left home behind, but I feel the same sense of belonging
at SAP.

Hannah Keller

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

As I sit in a university library in Shanghai recounting my story, I think about how far I have come, both geographically and in terms of personal growth. Two years ago, I began the dual study program in Walldorf, Germany, traveling from my home in the United States. At the time, I saw the program in international business administration and information technology as an unknown adventure. Nevertheless, I chose it over opportunities in the United States, knowing that the practical experience and support I would receive at SAP could challenge me in new and unique ways.

My experiences exceeded all expectations. Even before arriving in Germany, other students helped me to find an apartment. Peers who had spent time abroad supported me in assimilating. Once I arrived, my managers challenged me to explore new IT topics, and I continue to discover new interests.

One example: I love to pass on what I learn to others. After all, I first came in contact with SAP through the IT summer camps for children, initially as a participant and later as a teacher. Working with kids and promoting computer science education from an early age became a passion. As a student, I heard about SAP’s Young Thinkers team, which works with Snap, a graphical programming language, to teach beginning computer science concepts using a fun, rewarding approach. Even better, women in Snap classes have significantly higher participation rates than in traditional computer science education. I see this first hand, again and again, during workshops I hold at schools and at regularly scheduled events in Walldorf. I was fortunate enough to be invited to travel with the team to Berlin for an event and work on projects with hundreds of students. The way I see the children’s faces light up when they code their first loop or game reminds me of my own love of computer science and inspires me to communicate it to others.

SAP has supported me in following several different passions, and I’m grateful to have been introduced to security topics here. I spent my second internship in a security research department in Karlsruhe, an SAP location not far from Walldorf. There, advised by postdoctoral fellows who provide the newest ideas for SAP’s innovative products, I worked on cutting-edge applied cryptography research. The work being done there inspired me, so I decided to explore security topics more deeply in SAP’s cloud security next. The scrum team I joined for a few months taught me both web security and what good teamwork can be. With their help, I could add functionalities to a product, applying the theory from my university classes and mastering new skills. Security is a vital field in today’s data-driven world, and I hope to gain new perspectives and continuously learn in the years to come.

Success will never be defined by a number: a score, an income, or lines of code. Instead, I feel successful when I teach children their first tags or when my secure application withstands attacks. I have loved working with each of my teams, learning from their perspectives and expertise, while bringing in my own ideas. Working in interdisciplinary teams, understanding cultural differences, and continuously learning motivates me, and I have had the flexibility to do it all in the past two years.

I may have left home behind, but I feel the same sense of belonging at SAP with my peers and colleagues. From competing in a 10km race with an adviser from my first internship to playing table soccer with my colleagues at midnight, there has never been a dull moment. I am grateful to SAP for providing a fun, yet challenging place to work and look forward to the rest of my study abroad stay in China, studying at Tongji University and working at SAP Labs China. I can’t wait to see where this journey will lead!

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