Keep track of and report financials of a large project. Manage third party invoicing and contractor timesheets. Various reports.
Overall a very enjoyable placement. Vast amount of opportunity to explore work in field of interest and gain additional training and attend events. I am in Finance and I have been able to spend some days shadowing software development teams in order to gain a wider feel for the industry and explore different career choices.
From my experience, some of the work can be monotonous, and some managers may hire for the reasoning of 'cheap labour' for admin tasks, but even in these cases, there is still great room for personal development and I reshaped my role to be much more fulfilling and worthwhile from one of initial monotony.
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I could see direct the impact of my work, and the work I was doing was definitely non-trivial and involved the handling of large amounts of financials.
Many of the tasks I do were ones that were previously done by my manager, therefore I know that I am providing a real useful output.
Another telling sign of a valued role is when requesting holiday - if you don't have to plan around it (i.e. can take at any time without question or hassle), your job likely isn't too important, but if you manager is panicking that all your tasks have been handed over properly and you've done all you can to complete certain tasks in advance, then that's a good sign you're adding value while here.
I think overall the management system here is really good. I was lucky with my task manager and we get on really well, but even if a poor manager is given, or you just don't get on with them, or are getting poor work, then you have an additional support manager who is completely separate from the task manager that can re-locate you to different areas of the business. I know someone who has had 3 different task managers for the aforementioned reasoning.
I think I have a good balance of periodic tasks and ad-hoc tasks that give both structure and variety to the placement without it being chaotic or boring. Most weeks, certainly in the second half the placement, I have found that I am always filling the full 40 hour week with worthwhile tasks.
I was given much more responsibility than I thought I would be from this placement, though this might be something more specific to finance placements than other placements at IBM. It's fulfilling (and scary) to know that there could be real and major consequences to not carrying out my job properly.
In terms of degree assistance, it has helped my focus my time more, and to have a hard ground between work hours and non-work hours, whereas for my degree I was constantly merging these boundaries which led to higher overall stress as I could never switch off.
The training beyond a degree is potentially invaluable. The scope to gain hard and soft skills is huge, with the difficult part being able to utilise all of the opportunities available.
Hit and miss. IBM generally allow everyone to work remotely and even from home. People also tend to work client site, (which isn't possible for me given my role and unique circumstances of it). IBM also have a hot-desk policy in South Bank, so if you're not here well before 9, you may not even get to sit next to colleagues when they actually are in, and you'll find yourself messaging them as though you weren't in the same building.
When you can find a seat (or get in for 8am) and all your colleagues are in the same area it is as a good atmosphere as any office.
The way IBM have set everything up, the inductions and all of the additional core support have been really good. In this sense the backbone to the placement is outstanding, but most of it depends on the individual task manager for overall satisfaction.
I had a rocky start to my placement, but was able to coordinate with my manager to turn it around and now I have created a pretty good role.
IBM have a vast array of online training that is further encouraged through their "Think40" scheme, which insists on at least 40 hours of education a year.
There are also numerous opportunities to gather insight into different areas of IBM and my colleagues have always been keen to spend the time to explain something to me.
IBM have a really good graduate application process, which I have applied for, and I believe there is a relatively large uptake from the placement students. From my understanding I believe at least 50% of placement students go on to get a graduate role, and placement students get fast tracked to interviews for these roles.
Yes, placement students sit together in the canteen at lunch, and if you're lucky you will be in the same team as other placement students.
There have also been several events just for placement students/interns, such as a Thames boat party over Christmas, and ultimately anyone can organise these events (as they're not funded by IBM)
Rent in London is astronomical, I pay £760/month without bills for a room and a kitchen shared between 6. IBM do pay slightly higher to students in London, but this gets chewed up by rent instantly.
Other than rent, it's not TOO expensive if you're conscious about it. The cost of a night out doesn't have to be much if you just stock up at pre-drinks, which I'd expect students to be good at. Aim to spend no money in the clubs. £5.50 pints at the pub outside of IBM will quickly engulf any money leftover from rent though.
London probably has the best night life of anywhere, it's always busy. You still can't get a seat on the tube on a Sunday night through central. There is the biggest array of pubs and bars of anywhere. The only downside is a lack of "cheap and cheerful" places and a lot of the clubs that you can actually afford entry for are no better than the ones back in my home town I've been going to for years.
These opportunities mostly have to be created yourself. There may be the occasional thing that is emailed through, and when starting here there were quite a few advertised (like five-a-side), but ultimately if you want to do something just invite people you know, there's over a hundred placement students after all.