Innovation and Infrastructure Specialist at IBM

Top Employer
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Hursley South West
Review Date
£14,000 - £15,999
Administration/Secretarial Business Intelligence Business Management Electronics Information Technology Logistics and Operations Recruitment

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The Role



The Role

Role Description

I work with a team of Technical Consultants helping them to enable Partners and Clients in IBM Technology. Around this I manage a lot of the team's work load and tracking systems. I also work a lot with a large Partner Programme.

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

My Placement with IBM has been a whirlwind. I study Mathematics at University, and came into a role where I have barely used the methods I was learning day to day last year. Some may think that's wrong, but in reality I'm using every skill I've learnt while studying Mathematics, just in a different way. I'm still problem solving, but not a Mathmatical equation. Of course there have been downs as well as ups, and if I could tell myself one things this time 11 months ago, it would be to persevere. It does get better and you do learn to fit in.


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

As the year has gone on I have felt more and more valued. As the Team around me learnt more about my capabilities, and I learnt more about their abilities and what the Team do, we meshed together and now I don't feel like I'm an Intern leaving in 6 weeks time.


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

This one is a difficult one for me. Having spoken to other interns it appears my role was a bit of an anomoly. For a lot of roles you have a strict day-to-day role, but with mine it was and still is very flexible. I have been able to tailor it to exactly what I want, and all the management around me has supported that and encouraged it.

Due to this the actual management I would say has lacked a little. This has also been because my Hiring Manager has been very unwell in the last year, and with members of the team leaving, the management has dropped. That said, you wouldn't notice as a bystander.


4. How busy were you on a daily basis?

It started slow, and I do mean slow, there would be days where I'd wonder what I should be doing. But this changed quickly and it did get busier. I am very busy now, and that's been a combination of being given tasks and seeking them. Having a Network at any company will open all sorts of opportunities.


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

A lot. And I think that's rare. I've always seeked more leadership type roles, but have also been happy with the smaller team roles. During my Placement I got a good mixture of both, but still was given a lot of responsibility for what I was expecting and from what I've heard of others experiences. It has been a good learning curve, particularly when your decision could change what revenue is built.


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

The biggest thing I've learnt about myself because of the skills I've developed is how much I need a notebook to keep track of what I'm working on. I've always thought of myself as organised, but working for a corporate company has opened my eyes to what I still have to learn. I hope to return to IBM as a Graduate, so the felixibility I've had this year has allowed me to explore other areas of the company that I wouldn't have had the chance to otherwise.


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The Organisation

7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?

Quiet, and that was unusual. I'm a very sociable person so it took a lot of self control to adjust to the quiet office. I worked at a very large site, but due to new flexible working hours a lot of people worked at home, so I'd often be on my own in the office.

Saying that, I could have the radio on, wear my slippers and be comfy at work, which I don't think a lot of people can say!

Also, due to the size of the site, there was always something going on somewhere so I didn't have to be on my own if I didn't want to.


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

Thanks to the Foundation Team at IBM it was incredibly organised. I cannot fault them, they guide you and ensure your Placement is going as you want it. They have fingers in many, many pies so you can always find who you need.


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

Due to financial restrictions on the Business Group (and myself) I have been part of this year, training and development hasn't been a strong point. I've had the ability to learn myself using the internal learning programmes, but I haven't experienced an en-mass training session. It's a dissapointment but hasn't hindered my experience overall.


10. What were the perks on your work placement?

  • Flexi Time
  • Subsidised/Company Gym
  • Staff Sales/Staff Shop
  • Above 25 days holiday
  • Working from home

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

Very. I have already applied to return as a Graduate when I finish my Degree next summer (2020) and am already in the process of having interviews of the Graduate Programme - so fingers crossed!



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

At the site I was based at yes (Hursley) and even at a smaller site I visited a lot (North Harbour). The Intern community hosted a Christmas Board Party as well as internal parties for groups of interns under one Early Professional Manager. It's like being at the start of University again, except you have money!


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

I travelled a 60 mile round trip for work most days (Portsmouth - Hursley), and when I didn't go to my base location worked at North Harbour or home. Due to this, socialising, particularly at night, was very expensive as the other Interns would often go out in Southampton (closer for them from Winchester) and I'd taxi it around. However I didn't go on Placement for the social or night life, I went to get experience and learn more about myself and IBM.


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

Having lived in Portsmouth for a few years previous for my degree, I'm obviously going to say its good! I enjoy it, I know its not for everyone but for a good night out with friends you can't fault it.


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

As I said before, due to financial restrictions personally and in the Business Group these were somewhat limited. However the few events I did get to attend always had networking drinks which is always a bonus!


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