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“Everyone is a talent at SAP” – interview with Celine Burgle

Celine Burgle, 37, had the opportunity to move to various roles and parts of SAP’s business throughout her career: she started in the Maintenance Go-To-Market, the renewal of SAP’s software licenses assuming different roles such as operations specialist, business analyst or project manager. While leading an employee engagement project, she was introduced to the field of talent development. Today she is a senior Talent Consultant at SAP, currently focusing on launching a global development program for SAP’s early talents.

The avid traveler loves discovering the world: Celine Burgle was born in France, had lived in the UK and Ireland for several years and is currently residing in Vancouver, Canada. When she is not spending time with her family and friends, reading or cooking, you might spot her hiking, snowshoeing or canoeing.

We talked to Celine Burgle about career development at SAP, leadership and expert careers as well as finding one’s true path.

Celine Burgle SAP
Celine Burgle, Talent Consultant at SAP

Who do you think is in charge of career development? The employer or the employee?

Employees are absolutely in charge of their own career. They have ownership and responsibility for their career. However, an employer is there to provide the support, coaching and guidance that an employee needs to get there. As we say at SAP: you own your career, but you are not on your own.

Some people are more interested in leadership, others seek to become specialists in their fields. How does a company like SAP facilitate career journeys in both directions?

We provide employees with guidance helping them to identify their career journey in three simple but important steps:

  1. Know yourself better: assess your skills and competencies, gather and review feedback.
  2. Decide what you want to do at SAP: research career paths and explore your development options.
  3. Create and act on your career development plan.

Based on your career goals and development plan, you can decide which route to take and how to get there. Everyone is a talent at SAP and we have development roadmaps for experts as well as managers: the leadership curriculum provides targeted training for every management level, including aspiring leaders, allowing employees to validate if this is the right path for them. The expert curriculum is a platform that encourages continuous development and innovative thinking.

What kind of tools does SAP offer for developing individual careers?

Career planning at SAP is an organized approach to professional development activities and programs that are designed to improve your professional skills. One of the highlights – outside of targeted programs – is our learning management solution, SuccessMap Learning: SAP employees can search amongst thousands of courses, be it specialized in a given expertise, generic skills or language skills.

What is the 70-20-10 approach to career development and how does it work?

A successful learning process allows individuals to internalize the learning and apply what they’ve learned. The 70-20-10 approach is about the different methods an individual will use to develop.

  • 70% of learning takes place on the job: solving problems, special assignments, and day-to-day activities.
  • 20% occurs through drawing on the knowledge of others: coaching and mentoring as well as support from managers and colleagues.
  • 10% occurs through formal learning: classroom training, workshops or e-learning.

Do you have any advice for students who have not started their careers yet? Is it important to have a career plan from the very beginning?

It is important to have a career plan in place at any time in your career, even at the very beginning. Career development does not necessarily mean changing one’s role, but to intentionally focus on the right thing to grow and develop. A career doesn’t have to be a straight line: learning about different parts of the business and acquiring different sets of skills is very enriching.

Do you think living in different environments and meeting different people can have substantial effects on personal career development?

I spent one month in Kenya, supporting a social enterprise in solving their business challenges. I worked with SAP colleagues from around the globe that I had never met before in a completely new environment with different dynamics, opportunities and challenges. I certainly got to know more about myself and gained clarity on what I have to offer and how to apply it. Being in a different environment helps you get in a problem-solving, creative mindset. It’s great for personal as well as professional growth.

What do you personally value in life and at work?

A growth mindset: continuing to explore and grow. There’s a great TED Talk on the topic, “The power of belief – mindset and success”, by Eduardo Briceno. Find what energizes you and keep exploring!

Thank you for the interview!