1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I enjoyed working in IBM. The placement scheme is very fulfilling as you are given the opportunity to participate in many different activities outside of your day to day role. I worked with many senior consultants and also graduates, making a good mixture of people around me. Working in a client account was an unbelievable experience.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt very valued by my colleagues. Most people were very supportive and helped me throughout the year. Most graduates that have participated in the placement scheme before are keen on helping you thrive, which is amazing. Senior management is usually available to have coaching sessions and help you improve as a professional.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Mixed answer here. Unfortunately my manager was not very supportive and at times was harsh and unpleasant. On the other side, I was given a lot of support by my Early Professional Manager. She helped me cope with my manager and become a better professional. The People Champion at the account was very supportive and always available for a chat, which was very good for my personal development.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I was extremely busy on a daily basis. I was in a client account that was very fast paced and there were many deliverables at any point in time. Most people were stressed, however, everyone was on the same boat, so it was an experience everyone was going through. I enjoyed my work a lot and feel like I grew faster than I would if I weren't given as much responsibility and tasks daily.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was working along with the Change Manager for the account, which was a graduate. We ran the Change Process for the account, which was the vehicle to approve technical changes to the solution we were delivering as a programme. There was a lot of responsibility and we had to deal with senior management from the client. We were also under pressure from the commercial team to close deals. Overall it was incredible to be given so much responsibility.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I feel like these are skills for the working life of a consultant. Working in a client account developed my communication skills. The fact that I was under a lot of pressure constantly made me work quicker under pressure, which will be vital going forward. Being thrown in the deep end is incredible as you are forced to grow and understand what is around you quicker than you usually would. It was a great experience that has given me skills for the future.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Working in the client office was at times very stressful as we had to reach deliverables and milestones that were at risk at times. Most people had multiple jobs within their role, however, everyone was going through the same. The Young professional community in the account was very active and organized a few events outside of work that were very fun to attend.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Very organized. The placement team in IBM is prepared for 200+ students.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
IBM has online learning in any topic you might think of. It genuinely surprised me the amount of offer in the learning portal.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The graduate programme is known for being very good and it is definitely a place I would like to return.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Working in a client account is bittersweet as I did not have much contact with placement students that were based in the IBM offices. There was the Young Professional community in the account, but it isn't the same thing.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Expensive. London is expensive.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
London is incredible for nightlife. A bit expensive but worth your money.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Not much as most of my time was spent in the office.