1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I enjoyed my time at IBM in GBS, where I was challenged and felt valued for my work. I believe that the foundation scheme is well organised, making it an unforgettable experience. I mainly enjoyed my role as I got to work alongside the leadership team and learn from the best.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I did feel valued by my colleagues for the work I completed and was praised by many. This made me feel like a strong contributor to the team. Nevertheless, in giveback opportunities that were not part of my main role, colleagues didn't always give as much recognition. Overall, I did feel valued by IBM, especially by my team.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Throughout my whole year at IBM, I was always supported and I felt that I could always ask for advice. Additionally, I knew that any decisions I made I could discuss with my supervisor and ask for feedback. This is very important to someone who has never experienced such a working environment.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I felt very occupied with my job, I had a daily task to complete alongside weekly and monthly meeting to prepare for. If I felt I had more time or wanted to push myself to do more I would get involved in work outside my role. This would include, giveback opportunities, project work or helping out other teams such as marketing.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
During my placement, I was given responsibility to take care of the signings and pipeline files. As my placement progressed, I learned the importance of these files and how my job in analysing this data really shows how the practice is reaching its targets. This showed me that I was given quite a large responsibility as the data would be later used by the leaders to review results.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The placement has given me, time management, independence, business etiquette and more self-belief in my own work. Furthermore, I learned how a business works and how leaders push past challenges. I have received training on key principles at IBM such as Design Thinking, Agile and Big Data. This knowledge will help me to better understand businesses we analyse in my further studies and these skills will allow me to better organise my work when learning.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
I believe this depends on the department. In the area I sat, everyone was very friendly and helpful. There was a very inviting atmosphere and my team was always open for a talk. I felt comfortable in the office and knew I could ask anyone a question as well as socialise with.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The overall placement was well organised, from our induction to our quarterly reviews. All the placement students were constantly contacted by the foundation team about events and key alerts. Furthermore, I felt supported through my placement both by my Early Professionals manager and my Task Manager. I believe the management of the placement scheme was well thought through.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Through my placement, I got the chance to join and learn from various workshops such as Design Thinking and Foundation Innovation Day. Additionally, I got the chance to earn badges for Big Data, Cognative, Design Thinking and Agile. I believe the company invests in all its employees in terms of training.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I have applied for a graduate role at IBM after I finish my degree. I have explored IBM and I know what kind of work interests me and where my skills would fit best. I believe my future employment prospects are looking promising and I hope to be invited back in the future.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Yes, all the placement students were very sociable. Every or most Thursdays we would meet after work and socialise. This was important as I always connected with someone new, and learned about their role and experience. The interns also organised various events such as the Christmas boat party, which brought us all closer.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The cost of living can be quite expensive, due to the fact that my placement was in London. The rent can be overly expensive, sharing a flat or a house with current placement students could be a good idea to save money. Socialising can also be expensive, however, IBM offers discounts for bars and restaurants outside of the IBM building and along South Bank.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
On South Bank, the bars offer a discount to IBMers and have a very good vibe. The main bar enjoyed by the placement student was the Understudy, where there is an inside and outside area with very friendly staff. The area is lively and is mainly enjoyed in the summer. Another bar which made the area more enjoyable in the winter months was a large inside bar which also offered IBM discount, called Topolski.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Outside of work, I don't believe I was involved in many activities. One activity organised by IBM GBS was the monthly networking event on the 1st Wednesday of every month. GBS also organised a Christmas party as well as an iX party, where we got the chance to network with new people and enjoy food and drink.