Working for an Energy and Utilities client - I supported our Leadership Team in both weekly/monthly activities and ad-hoc projects.
Overall, I have immensely enjoyed my placement with IBM. I have learned so much about real-life business that I really think will stand me in good stead for the future. It completely exceeded my expectations in terms of the responsibility I was given. I was also able to create a wide group of networks form all around the country in lots of different industries.
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One of the best things about IBM for me is the fact that I was so valued in my team. I was surprised at the amount of people who trusted me, gave me responsibility and valued my opinions at my age. My team always encouraged my growth and learning through new projects or theory learning. I never felt uncomfortable asking questions too.
I had two managers during my placement - my Foundation manager who supported me outside of my day-to-day tasks and my tasks manager who supported me in my day-to day tasks. I had regular catch-up with my of my managers to discuss how to reach my potential and discuss my goals. Not only this, but they would both ask about my well-being and checked to make sure I was happy and enjoying myself. If ever I was uncomfortable or unhappy, they would have changed my situation to fit around me.
I had a great work/life balance during my placement. If ever, on the rare occasions I was too busy or too quiet, I never felt uncomfortable asking for more to do, or asking for an extension on my tasks or some additional help. This was always stressed to me that my work load was very flexible.
During my placement I was given more responsibility than I expected - in a good way. I was always trusted based on my previous work to handle some big tasks that could help our client directly. If I ever felt overwhelmed or confused then I was always comfortable asking for help or assistance.
My learning throughout my year will undoubtedly help in my future studies. I have been able to see what I will/have learned in real life situations rather than just in theory. This has given me a better understanding of business processes and also some additional experiences that will set me ahead of others in my degree studies.
I was in a client office for my placement where I was able to interact with not just IBMers. I sat with my team every day though and it was always nice to have informal conversations through the day to split the day up. Everyone is so friendly and I get invited to fun days in the office such as bake sales, mental health awareness speeches, and pop-up shops such as sweets and perfumes.
My placement was so well organised. At the start I had my induction with people in my scheme, which taught me all the basics that I needed to know. Through the year, I had a review at 3, 6 and 12 months with my Foundation manger to review my goals and achievements and talk about the future. I also had quarterly meet ups with the people on my scheme and there were events through the year to talk about the future such as the Careers Academy for all interns.
At the start of my placement, we had a 3 day training scheme which taught us all the basics we needed to know. Through the year, we also had some mandatory training courses which helped everyone to understand better how IBM was working at the time. I also had optional training courses on a site called 'YourLearning' where I could choose from hundreds of different courses which would give me an external qualification through IBM which I could take with me through the rest of my career. Every time I started a new project, I was also encouraged to do learning outside of that to understand what I had to do better. The learning and development was outstanding with IBM through my entire year.
I have applied for the Degree Apprenticeship within IBM because I have enjoyed my year so much! The application process is a lot smaller for me as I am already an employee which is great and it is useful that I already have experience in IBM and have evidence to show for it.
Although we live/were working all over the country I still have a great relationship with the rest of the people on my placement scheme. We kept in touch via Slack and messages and met up quarterly for a fun meeting to bond, work as a team and share our goals. I also had a good relationship with my team who work in India. We have bi-weekly informal catchups to ensure we are a close-knit team and work together well.
I was working in Leeds during my placement year for three days a week and would work from home on Mondays and Fridays in general which worked so well. When I was in Leeds my food, drink, travel and hotel was payed for every week so overall I could save a lot. Leeds was a great city to work in and lots of my friends went to uni there which made it better. I also had a social with people in my office at least once a month which was great to see each other in an informal setting.
Leeds had a great nightlife. I was able to meet my friends sometimes and go for drinks after work. There are loads of events and concerts held in Leeds too - such as Bongo's Bingo, which isn't a very late night, but loads of fun! Because I was only in Leeds for 3 days a week though, I could still then be home at the weekends and go out with my friends there too - so for me, it was the best of both worlds!
Absolutely! I took part in a few giveback schemes during my placement year which are completely outside of my day-to-day job. For example, I went to a school to help out with a mock Assessment Centre to give students the chance to experience an proper job application process. I also did fun activities with my team like JunkYard Golf.