I enjoyed working with IBM for a year. There were some downsides, like lack of social contact (my office was suburban), or repetitive role, but mostly I had ample time to improve my skills and IBM is one of the few companies that provide an insanely wide array of tools of opportunities.
I feel very valued by my colleagues. IBM treats you as an employee so you will be presented with proper tasks requiring thought and responsibility. My colleagues valued my work and I know that through their commentary telling me they'd not want me to leave or that I was one of the best interns they've had.
There's a lot of things to do in IBM and usually people are very busy, but I went out of my way to ask for mentor-ship of a few engineers and everyone was glad to help. I'd have weekly calls with senior engineers troubleshooting some IBM software. As long as you ask you'll always be given help/support.
My role was quite easy I would say. I would not need to spend all 8 hours doing my primary tasks, I'd say I'd only need maybe 2-3 hours to finish them, though it would vary day to day. But that also meant I had ample time to think up of activities or participate in projects within IBM, so I kept myself busy that way.
Other more client facing roles have more responsibility, I believe. However, I still had my share dealing with clients and solving their problems as a Support agent - thing that I chose to do, it wasn't necessary. I was also responsible for my team's workload so I would be contacted by IBM Support teams all over the world for this.
Since I had a lot of time to develop myself within IBM and externally, I believe, I developed a nice set of skills, such as Web Development (mainly), e-commerce, Blockchain - to name a few. I think this was one of my most active years thus far, I've learnt here more than I would ever do in university.
We would work from home Mondays and Fridays, so the office would be usually very empty. It's a nice, calm, quiet office at the suburbs of London, but due to a lack of people it can get a bit lonely/dull. Since I worked from home a lot I wouldn't get too affected by it.
This question is very subjective. I'm sure some people might say the role lacks activities and there's not enough to do on a day-to-day basis. For me, I think it was exactly what I needed as I was unsure what I wanted to do with my career when I came in, so all the extra time I had everyday ensured enough time to do things I'm interested in and develop myself.
The company has loads of self-development tools and courses, including a free O'Reilly and, I believe, Coursera subscription. You can also ask for access to any specific software you want to try out if you have a sufficient business reason. The company is not always eager to fund workshop trips or such things, but the online content is really vast and will keep you busy.
Working from home
Future employment prospects are very appealing. After working for a year in IBM you have the option to re-apply for the grad schemes, and if you were successful in your role you have very high chances of securing yourself a future position working with IBM. The company values you for getting in so it will not want to let you go.
There were only a few interns in my office through 4-5 different Support teams. Since I worked from home most of my time and usually was busy with my activities I did not partake in any social outings too much, and since my team is mostly remote, we also didn't meet up much.
There were not that many opportunities in the area outside of work, however, there were quite a few in the center of London. In Eventbrite there would always be something to do, problem is every time you'd have to take the train to London center, so I participated in a few entrepreneurial meet-ups but not more than that.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
25th June 2019