I have thoroughly enjoyed my placement here at IBM. It has given me invaluable work-place experience, as well as developing my skills in a business environment.
There were times when I felt like I did not have much to do, or was not contributing much to the team, but as a whole the placement year has been very enjoyable.
This varies dependent on the colleague. With some I have clicked more naturally and have become very good friends. When this happens it can be very beneficial as you work well together.
With others it can be tough to approach them when you need help or when you are trying to get their input for a task.
The initial support and guidance I had from my supervisor was faultless. They were always happy to give me more tasks when I asked and were really invested in my growth and development.
My new supervisor fell short of this standard, and my development stalled as I felt that there was not much work they would trust me with doing.
My role is very reactive, so it is hard to gauge how busy I am on a daily basis. Some days could be non-stop, requiring me to work later hours and to tight deadlines.
Other days I would need to be able to take some time for self-learning or less urgent tasks.
The fluidity of this has both positives and negatives to it.
From early on I demonstrated capability and a willingness to learn, and so responsibility gradually came my way. At first most of my work would need to be verified by one of the more senior colleagues, but today I am relied on for the main bulk of pricing which is a huge responsibility.
Unfortunately my technical degree is not relevant to the placement, and so this year has done little to help my studies. However, the skills such as time management and working to deadlines will come in handy, and the other skills I have developed are likely to help when it comes to graduate jobs.
It was a typical office environment. Busier at the start of the week, but it is very common for people to work from home towards the end.
The atmosphere largely depends on the people. It's an open plan office with flexible (hot) desks, so if you get on well with your team it can be a very enjoyable environment.
Since it was a big company, I found that the set-up was a little over complicated or unclear. It was very difficult to find out information about my role or where it sat in the company before I started and I was also unsure of what to expect from the year.
Regarding my role, this was well organised by my original supervisor, but this soon deteriorated also.
There are plenty of resources online that the company encourage you to do but in reality they aren't particularly useful or relevant.
Personally I don't feel like the company invested much in me, maybe because I am only here for a year but it is also difficult when it is such a large company.
Sports and Social Club
Working from home
Having spoken to a wide variety of people at different levels of the company, there seems to be many opportunities for future employment.
A few roles in particular have appealed to me and so I will most likely apply to the graduate scheme. I am not 100% sure on the career paths after the graduate scheme.
There is a large placement student/intern/apprentice cohort in the Southbank office, with many going out for drinks each week. As with London, there is a lot to do and it is very lively!
Some teams also have regular socials and events, but this depends on the people in your team.
As expected from central London, the cost of living is very high. Most placement students lived further out and commute in, and being able to work from home means that you don't have to commute in 5 days a week.
Socialising is also expensive, but there are plenty of places nearby that offer discounts and deals for IBM workers.
Central London has a very vibrant nightlife, there's something for everyone.
There are many opportunities to get involved with other activities. There are various BRGs (Business Resource Groups), such as Connecting Women, BAME, LGBT Community. These groups allow you to expand your network and get involved with various events throughout the year.
There is also the IBM Capital Club, with activities like Netball, Squash as well as offering discounts on theatre tickets etc.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Central London and City
23rd May 2019
£18,000 - £19,999