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Internship | In times of a global pandemic

  • Karen Veraa & Mohamed Alem

The internship is the most fascinating part of your studies. In one straight line to that highly desired piece of paper that opens the door to new opportunities. Often a fantastic period, in which the student can put all the knowledge he has gained into practice. But what if the circumstances suddenly change, and nothing is really certain anymore?

Two final-year Applied Informatics students (specialization SAP) from AP Hogeschool in Antwerp are currently doing their graduation internship at Flexso. Despite the Corona crisis, they are working their way up to their ultimate goal: a successful internship and a diploma. 

For his internship, Mohamed researched what SAP iRPA (intelligent Robotic Process Automation) implies, how it works and what is possible with it in an HR context. One of the use cases was the automation of data migration from legacy systems to SAP SuccessFacors. This automation was possible via SAP iRPA. Mohamed was also responsible for an end-to-end development of a conversational (chatbot) RPA solution as Proof of Concept, together with one of our customers.

Karen created an end-to-end application in which, on one side, the evaluations and various teams of the Herakles hockey federation (sponsored by Flexso) are managed via an intuitive app, and on the other side, a data model in which the data from the trainer application, the member platform and the hockey club are visualised in a dashboard. During this internship, she was introduced to several SAP solutions, such as Fiori, CDS, ABAP RESTful Programming Model, SAP BW/4HANA and SAP Analytics Cloud.

Both Karen and Mohamed are 100% committed to their internship. Every day they were present at our office, where they could immediately turn to their more experienced colleagues for questions. Every week there was a follow-up meeting with the internship supervisor, which allowed them to react fast in case of obstacles. There was also room for fun: pleasant chats at the coffee machine, lunch together during the afternoon.

"At Flexso, I can talk to anyone for a question or just a talk. I'm social, so I think it's great that everyone here is so accessible."
Karen Veraa

And then there was Corona

Initially, the internships were stopped due to health and insurance issues. When it turned out that it was possible for both Flexso and the trainees to continue their internship remotely, the school gave permission for this. 

Mohamed had just finished his first case when the news came in about the termination of his internship. Suddenly, certain presentations and transfer had to be done via Microsoft Teams. Fortunately, he can now continue with his internship and everyone is doing their utmost to help, albeit remotely

Something that Karen also confirms. Where at the beginning of her internship she could contact anyone to ask questions, this now goes through Teams and other platforms. But both are of the opinion: "We continue to work well together and everyone adapts very quickly. Our internship remains the same, as do our objectives. And those pleasant chats? They are still there, but now digitally."

"Muhammad Ali's famous quote - Don't count the days, make the days count - matches my internship perfectly. Before Corona, as well as during."
Mohamed Alem

Good communication is key

Although the school had first decided to stop the internship completely, we could continue after a few days, but from home. The school provides clear and transparent information to the students on a very regular basis. Flexso is very flexible (flexsoble) and communicates very clearly about the state of affairs, both to the students and to the school. The students can complete their course, and the guidance continues via digital platforms.

And does it work, working from home?

Karen and Mohamed made a amusing video about their 'unusual' internship. After all, is it possible to work at a distance as a trainee? Definitely, and it even has its advantages.

 

 

We keep looking for interns!

Are you inspired and would you like to do an internship at Flexso? Then we would love to hear from you.

Flexso wants to encourage everyone who follows an internship in these unusual times. Curious about other internships? Read the story of Dries and Keith at Flexso Digital!

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