Initially, I felt the learning curve was huge. I had no handover and was more or less left to find and learn work. Having done that, I felt a huge sense of responsibility in my work which opened up opportunities elsewhere in the business. The amount of exposure and opportunities you're encouraged to do are countless.
As a person, I always felt respected and involved in my team. As an intern working in an older team, there isn't many social events as a team but it's very easy to build friendships at IBM. As an employee, my work was trusted and I felt empowered to take on extra activities outside my role.
I was told before I started my role would be very self-sufficient, my task manager has many people under him, myself being probably the least senior. But whenever I needed anything from management, a chat, advice, a recommendation, both my EPM and task manager were available. They have opened up doors for me too, putting me in touch with client work, extra opportunities, giveback etc.
Work fluctuated a lot to begin with, I was either so busy that I was juggling two or three things at once or it was quiet to the point I literally had nothing to do (so worked on training). The intensity of day jobs varies between roles but there is very much a sense of you go out and get the work you do. Can take time to understand that and adjust.
I was lucky to be in a team and under management that trusted me from the off in front of clients, preparing work for proposals and being responsible for key deliverables. I was given the freedom and flexibility to find work and diversify my skillset. I cannot fault the enrichment I received.
I learned a huge amount in so many areas, and it taught me to overcome a lot of fears. I have presented countless times to senior leadership (the idea of which would have haunted me when I started), I've developed a learning of Agile working techniques that have changed my approach to project work and have understood how to visually improve so much of the work I do.
The general atmosphere was relaxing. I felt I was assessed on my performance as opposed to the clothes I wore or hours I worked, so wearing jeans to work was nice. On my floor, it was relatively quiet but there were 'studios' with more colour and vibrancy where most the creativity spurred from which was nice.
There is an entire department responsible for the management of interns. There is a strong support network and reviews/milestones at every stage to monitor progress. There's always plenty of events to plan for the future and share successes. I'd say the only drawback is that it is maybe too bureaucratic at times. I have 5 or 6 separate forms to complete for the end of the year that could easily be combined into 1 or 2.
I had a huge amount of training available to me either online or in person. I was trusted with a lot of responsibility from early on, introduced to clients from basically my first day and involved in any proposals and workshops we did as a result. The learning environment is class.
Sports and Social Club
Working from home
I have applied to join IBM on the graduate scheme. The work is consultancy based so involves a lot of travel and client-facing project work which is appealing and demanding in equal measures. I feel it's a great place for anyone to start their career and would be a good fit considering the year I've had.
Naturally, with lots of students living together, there was a huge amount of socialising early on. There's plenty of events both set up by IBM and externally that help grow a community feeling amongst interns. Particularly with IBM, I feel there is a warm atmosphere between interns, everyone appreciates we're all in the same boat so make an effort to socialise.
I probably don't fairly represent the average intern as I lived at home but I know from other colleagues, it's particularly hard to save money and live a fulfilled placement lifestyle. The subsidised canteen makes food more bearable but the cost of rent, drinks and events in london is far higher than that of an intern's salary.
The nightlife is pretty good. There are loads of pubs which are amazing when the sun comes out, always happy hours throughout the week and often apps that offer free drinks, so a night out can be more bearable. It's hard to go too far wrong in central London, the cost is the only snag.
There are countless opportunities and side projects to get involved in. It's really easy to contact team members and everyone is very approachable. This goes from workshops and events to webpages and newsletters. I would say the only negative is sometimes there are too many things to do on top of your day job which may hinder your work.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Accountancy, Financial Management, Leisure and Hospitality, Recruitment
Central London and City
29th May 2019
£18,000 - £19,999