Aisha Ali

Software Developer Placement

  • Software Development
  • Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Placement Year (10 Months+)
  • IBM

What made you decide to come to IBM as a University Placement Student?

IBM’s preceding reputation was one of the major factors that led to my decision of completing my placement here. As well as that, many people recommended IBM to me and highlighted how great the experience would be and how it would give a major insight on ‘a day of work in the real world’.

What hints or tips would you give to those who are interested into applying to IBM as a University Placement Student?

It’s quite normal to feel nervous when considering undertaking a placement year. It can be quite an overwhelming experience, especially when you are wondering if you care capable of performing the tasks, or even adjusting to working life. It’s important to remember that you are still a university student and you’re on a learning journey. Your placement is the perfect opportunity to learn new skills, gain knowledge, develop your existing skills, and develop as a person! IBM really helps you overcome these worries as they really do ease you into the work, they have award-winning training, and they provide ongoing support.

What has your career journey at IBM looked like so far? (e.g., previous roles, training)

My journey at IBM started with a couple of bootcamp days with all the interns undertaking the placement. Once this was complete, we were introduced to our teams and taken through a product overview to give us some background information on what kind of things we will be working on. After this, my team leader presented me with some required learning which I was able to focus on in preparation for my tasks.

What hints and tips would you pass on to a student about to start the IBM Recruitment Process (online application form/CV, online numerical test, assessment centre, matching interview)?

When starting IBMs recruitment process it is essential to know exactly what you’re applying for. Ensure you read the job description and alter your CV to showcase the technical and personal skills that IBM are looking for. When filling out the application form, take your time and be thorough – answer all the questions to the best of your ability with as much detail as is required.

Completing the online numerical test is not as daunting as it may appear, just ensure you attempt it when you have enough time, so you do not have to rush through questions and risk answering them incorrectly. The assessment centre mainly requires being thorough, managing time and communication. This will be the first group interaction in the process, so it’s essential to showcase your ability to work well with other people. For the matching interview it is crucial to know what your technical skills are so the interviewer can find the most suitable role for you and most importantly just be yourself.

What’s the best thing about your current role?

The best thing about my current role is being able to achieve and exceed personal goals. For example, learning new skills using training courses provided, extending my knowledge, and earning badges to showcase this. As well as this, I love being able to work on different tasks, as it allows more room for growth, and it keeps it interesting. I can work alongside professionals who specialise in different areas, and I can always ask questions if I am finding something challenging.

What’s the best thing about being at IBM?

The best thing about being at IBM is being given many opportunities. This includes the opportunity to meet lots of people – whether that be interns who are on the same journey as you, or even members of your team who have worked at IBM for years. Other opportunities include things such as being able to promote IBM placements at your university and being part of a patent group!

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