1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I have really enjoyed my year at IBM. I came to IBM with a main goal of getting exposure to real life problems and to allow me to gain expertise in an international company. Each day was different within my job role which is exactly what I had hoped and the opportunities provided outside of my immediate role were great and allowed me to challenge myself and gain knowledge in the wider IBM.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt extremely valued by my colleagues. My immediate team within the UK was made up of 2 other interns and my task manager. We all got on very well and worked very closely and comfortably as a team.
The rest of my immediate team were based in Germany and USA. We met up virtually twice a week to come together on plans and actions. They gave me constant feedback and recognition and really helped me to feel a significant part of the team.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I had two manager, a task manager whom dealt with my immediate role work and an EPM (Early Professional Manager) who was there for my career development, advice and support.
I was given continuous support from both of my managers and never felt like they were not willing to give me advice.
Having an EPM really benefited my progression this year. She helped me gain confidence to network with the stakeholders in IBM which challenged me but ultimately benefited me greatly.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Depending on the time of year and demand for change within the tool I maintained my workload varied a lot. This was something that I quickly learnt to deal with. During the quieter times, there were learning tools and courses provided to enhance knowledge in many areas and different 'giveback' projects that I could get involved in. I thoroughly enjoyed when I was busier as it gave me a sense of purpose and allowed me to feel challenged.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a lot of responsibility during my placement. My team and I had immediate control over the primary tool for product development. This was quite daunting at first as I felt I was not in the position or confident enough to administrate this tool and should have more training. After the handover with the previous placement student I soon felt confident enough to being in charge of this tool.
This level of responsibility was very rewarding in the end as each time a change was complimented or an idea comprehended that it was my team and I's work.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I have gained and enhanced many skills during my time here. One skill I noticed significant improvement in was my interpersonal skills. This will help me not just in my degree course but in everyday life. IBM has given me the chance to communicate and network with many individuals which has developed me significantly.
My analytical and attention to detail skills are something that I will take away from this job and bring to my final year of my degree and my future career where I hope to be a Technology Consultant.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere in my office was fun at the right times. Everyone in my office were very focused on their work which was motivating and provided a nice feel to the office.
It was slightly quiet at times and myself and the other interns would sometimes feel we could not talk amongst ourselves. Overall, it was positive.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
My immediate role was not really 'set in stone' when I first came to IBM. It was more of a 'can you that this on' rather than set in stone every day responsibilities. This for me was a nice way to be in my first full time job and allowed me to continually develop many skills and continue to be interested in my role.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
When I first started at IBM I had two induction days which went over the Values of IBM, health and safety and gave an insight into how to deal with certain tasks or situations.
There was a day in London called 'Careers Academy' which was dedicated to the Career development of each intern. It was very well ran and provided me with insight into the wider IBM and vital skills to have within the industry.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I would really like to come back to IBM. I like the structure of the company alot. The friendliness of all of the stakeholders no matter what their role or seniority really pleasantly surprised me. I think IBM would be a great place for me to develop myself whilst providing value to the company.
I have applied back to the Graduate Scheme as a Technology Consultant and hope to gain an offer.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
I was based in Hursley and there was a great social scene amongst the students. We went out most weekends together, sometimes for drinks and sometimes for food. Everyone got on very well within the intern community and this really helped me and made me feel 'at home' whilst on my year out at IBM.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I ended up living in Southampton with 3 other colleagues. We chose this area as it is less expensive than Winchester (the other area where the interns tend to live). The cost of socialising was quite average and I did not notice any more experience than other places I have been.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The nightlife in Hursley and Winchester is limited due to the town and city being relatively small. There were a couple of good bars and clubs in Winchester that I went to but most interns tended to come to Southampton for nights out as it was only a short drive away from Winchester.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were numerous opportunities to get involved in. There were opportunities to get involved in side projects involving IBM Watson, Sales and many other areas. I also got the chance to go back to my University a few times where I presented to a group of first year students about my experiences at IBM.