I was responsible for onboarding internal teams to various software systems we use to increase transparency and efficiency. I also helped them with any queries and problems they had with them.
I enjoyed a lot of aspects of it, mainly the experience of being in an international company. It is truly remarkable how you have colleagues across the world. This makes you embrace working with people that are different than you.
The work itself could have been more challenging though. I also do not think that my placement aligned my expectations. I was accepted to do a business placement but at the end of the day, my daily tasks had nothing to do with managing, project management or any other characteristic of a business position.
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I felt very valued by my colleagues. I made some really good friends and I really liked working with my team. They were very helpful with all questions I had. There were a lot of of social events or various recreational activities in the office which made getting to know other people very easy.
I believe the support I received from my management was very good. Whenever I had questions about my job they would always be there to help me. I never felt helpless in a situation or without any possibility for asking for help. I never felt like I was put on the spot.
I was not very busy at all on a daily basis. This is one of my biggest complaints about the placement. That meant that I was unable to get acquainted with the job as quickly as I wanted.
However, there are some positives from the freedom of time. IBM has a lot of free online courses an intern can do and the free time lets you take advantage of them.
My position was good in the sense that you could take on as much responsibility as you wanted. I was given a lot of responsibility since I edited records of data that a lot of IBM employees use on a daily basis. These sorts of tasks make you appreciate that your position is meaningful.
As I said, I applied for a business placement. The experience I got was more on the admin side, not on the business management side.
I did not get any experience in managing, working with external clients, analyzing performance, etc.
The placement gave some opportunities such as shadowing or online learning but it is not adequate that you would need to rely on such secondary sources given that you are on a business placement.
The general atmosphere in my office was very nice. There were both very funny moments and a lot of serious ones. We did a lot of social activities such as a barbecue for the department, a Holiday lunch for Christmas, etc. All in all, it was a very welcoming environment where you could learn a lot.
The work placement was well organised. At the beginning of it you have an induction process where you meet your managers and other interns. You have one on one meetings with your manager where they analyse your performance and answer any questions or concerns you might have. Furthermore, you can have additional meetings with them if there is something that cannot wait.
The company invests in its employees quite a lot. There are a lot of online resources which help you learn more about any field you want. Furthermore, there are many company sponsored events where you can network and hear from a lot of successful professionals about their fields. A drawback to this is that 95% of the business events are in London so it is more challenging to participate in them if you are located elsewhere.
For business students during the placement you apply for the Intern to Graduate process. After that you have two interviews and then you are considered for a position. The application form focuses on your experiences during the placement and how you managed to stand out. Therefore, it is very good to be doing a lot of givebacks and to do your daily job as diligently as possible.
The social scene among my fellow colleagues was very good. I made some amazing friends that I would have never met if I had not been in IBM. This was one of the best things about IBM. You could see a lot of different people that were striving to succeed in their fields.
The costs were not that expensive. A return train ticket to London costs £20 without a rail card. In terms of Winchester itself, in some cases such as rent it was very expensive but in others such as living expenses and going out with friends it was not that expensive.
The nightlife in terms of available clubs was not good at all. That was compensated by the large variety of pubs. However, in order to have a good night out in a club you had to go to Southampton which is extremely inconvenient. However, for house parties and for pubs Winchester is very good.
Due to the small size of the city, Winchester is not ideal when it comes to external activities. For example, although there are gyms, there is little in terms of other sports clubs. The variety is not as big as it is in a a city such as London or Leeds for instance. There are a lot of good pathways where you can go for a walk though.