Software Development Internship at IBM

Top Employer
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Swindon South West
Review Date
£18,000 - £19,999
Computer and Systems Engineering

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The Role



The Role

Role Description

Getting involved in virtually every stage of either developing new solutions or supporting and improving existing ones.

1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?

I enjoyed it greatly, being part of several projects with technologies and programming languages I had not used before. I was able to learn skills together with my colleagues by tackling these projects and had a lot of good support from my EPM. There were also some exciting giveback projects. I would have enjoyed it more if there was more opportunity in Nationwide to work with the bigger programs (e.g. company app, website) and with more experienced developers, instead of just working on smaller tools with other interns. For example, I would have liked to work in test on test scripts.


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2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?

In the HR team I ended up being part of, skills in Excel were valued very highly, and I had to develop them throughout the year as I started with very little experience in it. I struggled to fix some very technical, badly written macros earlier in the year but developed my proficiency with VBA a lot eventually, although my problems on the first task I had may have left more of a mark with my colleagues. I do feel like my main programming skills (Java, python, and similar modern languages) were not visible as a result of this. I do however feel valued by the other interns and the other stakeholders I've had.


3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?

I received a lot of guidance from my EPM. This included support on creating and meeting goals, various bits of admin, how to communicate with people, work with difficult people, and more. I had several task managers, and the switch between them was not so elegant. I did receive similar support to what I received from my EPM at times. I feel like I would have liked more technical guidance from a task manager and an agile/scrum workflow.


4. How busy were you on a daily basis?

In the last few months I've been overwhelmed with projects I had taken on earlier, which I was doing a lot of as I was running out of valuable work to be doing on the project I was first part of. I had been made to expect that I would receive more of a workload through my task manager but this didn't happen. I have never been left without something to do however.


5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?

Most of the responsibility I had was in the last few months and towards the various people at IBM@Nationwide I had contacted and started projects with over the year. This was a good amount, but for a few months until then, especially when I was without a task manager, I had next to no responsibilities.


6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?

The two web-based projects I worked on this year gave me valuable skills in javascript, cloud and more, that will be useful in industry and I imagine in my degree too.
I was also assigned to projects in VBA with Excel throughout the year, a language that won't be transferable to anything outside Excel. I did still gain the general experience of picking up a new language, structuring a codebase, planning a project and communicating with stakeholders.


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The Organisation

7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?

I worked at the Nationwide Swindon office. The atmosphere was good, the HR team I sat with was friendly and I got to know them well. I also got on well with the other interns. Some people can seem get quite carried away here chatting but there are always small rooms you can sit in if you prefer the quiet.


8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?

IBM organised the placement well, providing good support through my EPM and ensuring I set goals.
The slack group for the interns exposed me to giveback projects (projects you can join and work on in your free time or when work dries up at your office) and events.
I was able to easily order equipment though an online system to help me work more efficiently.
This application process to the internship was quite lengthy.


9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?

As an IBMer I had access to the YourLearning online system of resources and accreditation.
My task managers and EPM gave me good advice on matters like dealing with people and workloads.
I felt already well prepared for the job from going though two years of a computer science degree and having done a few programming projects in my free time before.


10. What were the perks on your work placement?

  • Financial Bonus
  • Staff Sales/Staff Shop
  • Working from home

11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?

I am very excited about the opportunity to work at the IBM Labs at Hursley that I can apply to have deferred for after my degree. They have an emerging technology department which deals with IoT, AR, VR, etc, and also the more traditional software development roles where I'd be working on core services IBM provides, alongside experienced professionals.



12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?

All the interns at IBM@Nationwide made good friends this year and also last.
There were however not so many interns or grads this year, and some of us may have preferred to be among more young people. One colleague changed role to work in IBM's Southbank office, perhaps partly for this reason.
Personally, I enjoyed it how it was.


13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?

I personally don't have much to say about this and I don't have much of a reference point. The accommodation myself and the other interns had was a good price for what it was, and had good enough standards for us. Most of us travelled back to our hometowns on the weekend as there is not much to do in Swindon.


14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?

There are enough good places to go for team meals and work events, but there is not enough for many of the interns as they leave Swindon on the weekends. There are pubs and bars and some clubs but I have not tried any. I do not really have much else to say about this.


15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?

There was a sports centre with racket sport courts and perhaps more nearby (croft sports centre) and a maker space on the other side of the city.
There was not much else that I ever found out about, and I don't imagine there actually was much else. There are good places to go shopping such as the designer outlet.


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