I enjoyed the placement as a whole, however I did feel a bit isolated as the site where I worked was a bit far from home to see my family often and was isolated from a lot of events that occured in IBM as the site was in Scotland and most of the events happend in London. I was however able to travel to some of these events in London and gained a lot of experience working in a big company like IBM
I felt really valued by my colleagues and was given opportunity to be included in every event that happened in the Greenock site. I was able to participate in social events run by the social committee and also business events that were arranged by the site director. I was also a member of a learning guild on site which listened and helped implement ideas on events that could take place on site.
My manager John was alway checking in with me to see if i needed any help or extra support. I allways felt that if I had any problems I was able to go to him for suggestions on how to approach the problem. He was always very approachable and nice.
Some days were busier than others, especially midweek afternoons as I had a lot of calls with the american side of the business. Some weeks were also busier than others, typically during quarter end. However, I was able to pick up projects as and when I could handle them so I was never really short of things to do.
I was given responsibility of some projects on my own to develop and some projects I was more of a team member. I was often involved with the setting up of meetings and following the progress of the solutions. I did help develop analytic solutions for various programmes for the supply chain that will be further developed and added to after I leave for University.
I believe that the analytical skills I have gained will help me during my research project for my psychology degree as it will help me analyse the data from my participants. The organisation skills I have learned will also help me in university and beyond to better prioritise tasks and learning about the whole business environment will help me later in life if I decide to take an office role.
The atmosphere in the office was always very welcoming and I never felt I was in the way. They made the first few weeks of my placement easier by always offering to help and making themselves available for shadowing to help me get started on assisting in some of their projects.
The work placement overall was loosely structured, it encouraged independence by having the responsibility of joining projects and getting work fall upon me. However, I always had a weekly meeting with my manager to talk about what I had accomplished over the week and what route I would be taking next.
IBM invested alot in my training as they have a whole website dedicated to online learning course where you can earn badges to signify completion of a course. They also had event where you got to practise these skills and develop them further, I was lucky enough to be sent on one of these courses
Working from home
At the end of the placement we are given the opportunity to reapply for after our degree is completed, and this will take into account the experience and actions that occured while on placement. It is a perfect step into future prospects as what skills you demonstrated while on placement have already been evaluated in depth.
There was only one other placement student in my area, we carpooled together but we were vastly different people so we did not go out together a lot. We did go to the cinema and shopping together some times however and we often ate together after work. If there were more placement students there would probably be a better social scene outside of work, inside of work however everyone was friendly and always had time for a quick chat.
The cost of living was very low compared to other areas of the UK, especially London. I was able to get a flat by myself and build up savings from my paycheck which was very useful as I would be needing these savings down the line when I go back to university
I am not the type of person to go out in the evening or at weekend so I don't know about the Nightlife. I do not really drink and I did not feel like going out alone mostly so I didn't really care about the clubs and pubs. I was close to Glasgow so I'm sure theres good stuff there
IBM has a whole website dedicated to give back, which offers lots of opportunities to get involved in charity work outside of your normal role in work. There are also events that you may get sent to as part of your learning. However, as I was based in Scotland there were less opportunities than if I were based in London
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Computer and Systems Engineering, Mathematics/Statistics
27th May 2019
£14,000 - £15,999