1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Overall, I really loved working at IBM. I had an excellent year with so many opportunities presented to me, and I have developed in a way that I never thought I would. I met amazing people and completed amazing work. I have only given it a 9/10 as opposed to 10 because I feel there were a few aspects that could have been better organised.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Every single person I met was willing to help me in any way possible and were fantastic at encouraging me to develop my skills. I felt that I truly belonged and that I was truly wanted - I never felt like I was an inconvenience or hindrance to my colleagues.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I felt very supported by everyone around me. I felt that I could ask anyone any question, no matter how big or small (or silly!). Everyone really wanted me to reach my potential and get the best out of me and would do what they could to achieve this.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Working in consultancy meant there were often peaks and troughs when it came to workload. During busy periods, I had plenty of work to do and was actively working on many different things. There were periods, however, when workload was less and I had not a lot to do (but this wasn't very often).
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a lot of responsibility from the beginning. I met with multiple clients and key stakeholders from early on, and produced original content and ideas to be submitted to the client. I was always trusted to get on with my work and people would always trust that I would do it to a high standard.
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 more skills and experience in this past year than I have ever before. Whilst my role was not directly related to my degree, I have learnt so much that can be applied and I have gained invaluable experience in the workplace that will help me wherever I decided to pursue my career in future.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Everyone was very positive and friendly - always up to chat and say hello. I made amazing friends in the office who I will be keeping in touch with. During busy times when many people were on client site it could feel a little empty, but most of the time this was not the case and I had a great network of people surrounding me.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The overall placement scheme within IBM is fantastic - they really take care of you from day one and everything is very organised. The organisation within my specific sector could have been a little better though. In the beginning of my placement, the handover from my previous intern wasn't great and so I felt a little unsure at first.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
There are so many events and giveback opportunities to get involved with. Learning and development are really encouraged - they tell us to aim for 40 hours over the course of the year. Earning badges and extending your knowledge are highly recommended and supported, as are extra events and learning opportunities.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Very! I have signed up to return as a graduate after I finish University, The graduate scheme at IBM is excellent - with a broad range of roles available, all of which provide fantastic opportunities that really enable you to develop as a person and start your career on the right track.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There are lots of other interns so it is easy to make friends and there were events/drinks often going on. I would have liked a few more organised things however, for those of us who don't always work directly with interns and would like to extend and meet some more.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I didn't live where I worked (I lived outside of the city and commuted in) so cannot comment on that - but the price of socialising was very high, with drinks averaging around £10. However, my office was in the center of London so this is to be expected and I'm sure many jobs/placements have this issue.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Great - there were plenty of bars and pubs near my office. I got to go to a wide range of new places over the course of the year, mainly bars and pubs (no clubs). There is plenty of choice within walking distance, with a few that were only a few steps away!
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
At IBM there are plenty of 'giveback' opportunities to get involved with, e.g. running workshops at a school, helping with design thinking sessions or giving presentations. There are lots of social things too, such as drinks or taking part in the Virgin Active Global Challenge where you compete in teams to keep fit!