Career success | MBA intern helps SAP sales team innovate and expand


When the world’s largest business software company, SAP, wanted to get a fresh perspective on their global sales intelligence processes they hired Michael Emerson, a UBC MBAstudent from the Robert H. Lee Graduate School, for a 3-month summer internship. Working within the Worldwide Sales Intelligence division of SAP, in Vancouver, Michael documented and improved key focus areas of the team.

As the largest business software company in the world, SAP sells thousands of software solutions targeting different industries, regions and organizations across the globe. SAP’s software products and consulting services help companies to become more productive, cost-efficient and competitive.

These solutions are grouped into different business units led by specific sales leaders across the company’s five global regions. Supporting the business is the Worldwide Sales Intelligence team, based in Vancouver, BC, who lead the creation, gathering, analyzing and dissemination of sales intelligence and operations to the senior leadership teams across the company. Their contribution is critical to effective management of the business and reaching SAP’s strategic goals.

Looking to increase the efficiency and processes of their sales intelligence, the team – led by Dean Eiwanger, Global VP and Head of Worldwide Sales Intelligence - hired Michael for a 3-month summer internship.

Landing the internship

The Worldwide Sales Intelligence team was looking for someone with strong financial skills as well as a firm understanding of technical business solutions – Michael’s skill set and prior work experience was a perfect match. As an MBA student specializing in Finance and Information Technology Management, with an undergraduate degree in Computer Science and Mathematics paired with over five years of web development experience in the finance industry (at Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking in Paris) he had the right blend of skills and experience.

Moreover, Michael was eager to apply the financial skills he enhanced during the MBA program to a role within a high tech organization. An international student from Great Britain, Michael had set his sights on SAP long before the MBA program began. Once at Sauder, he set out to learn as much as he could about the opportunities available at the Vancouver office – meeting company representatives at events hosted by Sauder’s Business Career Centre, conducting informational interviews, and connecting with human resource managers. When Michael came across the internship posting on SAP’s website, his company knowledge and connections allowed for an interview where his skills and experience made a strong impression on the interviewing team; shortly after he was offered a 3 month internship.

The Internship Contribution

While Michael contributed to multiple areas his primary focus was on creating Executive Level Summaries, developing a Priority/Capacity planning tool, contributing to a propensity analysis, and Creating process flow documentation/analysis for the SAP Solutions forecast process.

  • Creating Executive Level Summaries: Having held interviews with the Sales Intelligence team and other contributing partners to the various processes Michael articulately created Executive Level summary documents focusing on the Sales Intelligence’s core competencies and contribution areas. These summaries are primarily used to communicate the Sales Intelligence team’s priorities and contributions to varying levels within the organization. The documents are also being used as training material for new team members as it outlines the processes, deliverables, costs, benefits, and future directions for key focus areas within the Sales Intelligence team.

  • Developing a Priority/Capacity Planning tool: One of the main challenges Global teams face is where/how best to deploy their precious employee resources. The Sales Intelligence team supports many Global businesses and as such needs to be very deliberate when spending time on projects or taking on additional challenges. Michael saw this as an opportunity to leverage his deep technical knowledge and proposed a simple solution leveraging Microsoft Outlook to capture where/how the team spends its time. Not only does this save the team ~8hrs/wk it enables them to run metrics/analysis and be even more vigilant in how/where they are spending their precious time.

  • Contributing to a Propensity Model: Michael once again leveraged his deep technical knowledge and business acumen to assist in analysing how solutions are sold across multiple businesses. This information is now used by the Sales Intelligence team as an input into the solution categorization process.

  • Creating a Process Flow Document for the SAP Solutions Forecast: A key responsibility area of the team is running the Global solutions forecast process. As you can imagine forecasting across multiple products, regions, and responsibility areas can be complex and challenging for a new hire to learn. Michael was again able to leverage his technical and business skills to clearly document the process in a consumable Executive format. The Sales Intelligence team is now using this documentation to train people, saving days during the ramp up process.

Michael’s contributions have helped the Worldwide Sales Intelligence team push their innovation agenda and continue expanding their brand as the go to team for Sales Intelligence.

The team, including team Head and Global VP, Dean Eiwanger, were extremely impressed with Michael’s work. “Michael’s significant business experience, global outlook, maturity and vast amount of both soft and hard skills allowed him to exceed our expectations,” said Dean.

The internship was equally as beneficial to Michael, who commented, “I had the opportunity to expand my network and learn about opportunities and roles that I did not necessarily know existed. The internship exceeded my expectations, and I have the Sales Intelligence team to thank for that!”