My role as UKI Events Marketing Specialist was to support the pre, during and post logistics of all client-facing Marketing events executed by the UK and Ireland team. In turn, my role was primarily cross-business unit support and often meant that I was working on global events landing in the UK too.
Though my placement experience was mixed to begin with, by the end of the year I thoroughly enjoyed my placement and I will look back on it fondly. I enjoyed working within Marketing as everyone was friendly and helpful and the placement scheme that IBM offer ensured there were lots of other interns to connect with.
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Overall, I felt valued by my colleagues as I received lots of thanks for the actions I was taking to help with events, in marketing and at the wider IBM. Marketing was a very welcoming department and I always felt that my colleagues were able to guide me and showed appreciation. There were times when working at events when I felt less valued by my colleagues as interns were often given roles such as 'Human Sign'.
The Foundation scheme itself offers a lot of support to all students on placements as everyone is aligned to an Early Professional Mentor. This was fantastic and one of the things that drove me to apply to IBM. Likewise, my manager was driven and friendly and I enjoyed working with her. There were also many other people in marketing who acted as mentors for me, helping me overcome tasks and achieve my goals.
Towards the start of my placement, I often found myself with little to do, however as my role began to grow both in my input into events and also in opportunities that I optionally took on outside of my role, I found myself very busy for the entirety of the second half of my placement.
I was asked to become an Event Owner during my placement which was a huge amount of responsibility as I was managing a team of marketers, sellers, marketing agencies and event providers in order to produce successful events. This was a learning curve however I thoroughly enjoyed this role as it stretched me outside of my comfort zone and I was able to take ownership and responsibility of projects.
The practical skills that I have developed at IBM will definitely help me in the future as I have learnt how to work with a variety of clients and teams across IBM with varying leadership and formality styles. I have also experienced working full time for the first time which has improved my drive and determination to succeed. In turn, I believe this will benefit me in my final year at University as I will be able to work time effectively and prioritise my tasks.
IBM definitiely invested in me as a placement student as thy offered me the platform to develop my practical skills in business whilst also offering advanced support and guidance. This was down the Foundation schemes but also down to the people I met who all helped me and wanted me to achieve my goals.
My role was a good insight into what it would be like in a full time role at the company as I was treated as a team member and took on the same work as other team members. I was the only intern on my team meaning I was constantly working with full-time employees.
My role specifically helped me understand the company culture as I was often at events across London where I would be helping the team to deliver IBM's message. This meant I also interacted with IBMers from across the world, allowing me to gain an insight into similarities and differences in internal culture across different GEOs.
I am applying for a graduate role at IBM as I believe the prospects at the company are very appealing. I think the placement year opens your horizons to all the opportunities that IBM offer outside of your role and there are so many networking and shadowing opportunities you can take on during your placement year.
There was plenty of opportunities to network as I was introduced to a wide variety of professionals in my role who I had the opportunity to network with. As long as you have a proactive mindset in initiating the conversation with each professional then the networking opportunities are endless. IBM offer lots of events and soical opportunities to network at.
The events and networking opportunities were really valuable and I was able to meet a wide variety of people from attending them. In Marketing I think we could have had more networking events for the department and my team specifically, however for interns and the wider IBM there were often monthly social events to take part in.
I was aware of activities that I could get involved in such as sports, however I struggled to find a contact of people who were involved in each activity. If I had tried to actively be involved I would have been able to take part and enjoy the activities, however there were so many other social activities going on that I did not feel the need to be involved in other activities.