I joined IBM as an Industry Analyst at the Industry Large Deal and Business Development team. My team identifies opportunities for engagements and is responsible for dynamic market screening, opportunity identification, development, selection and initial qualification and sales support of new and emerging opportunities in different industries that IBM operates in. My role consists of preparing and analysing information for several senior management reviews. I also work closely with my immediate team to support the client screening activities in preparation for client workshops.
I enjoyed my placement very much as it definitely has given me an opportunity to experience working in a corporate environment. That said, it further developed my skill-set from university and put it into good use at the workplace. At IBM, you will get different experiences in IBM's technology which will definitely heighten your technical knowledge.
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I feel extremely valued by my colleagues. From day 1, you will be treated as an IBMer, who has a responsibility to support your team's core functions. On the other hand, you will not be thrown to the deep end from the beginning and you can get as much support from your early professional manager (who you will be assigned to) as you'd like.
I have gained huge support from both my task manager and early professional manager, who have both supported my personal and professional development as an IBMer. Your early professional managers will set up checkpoints every 3 months with you to discuss with your goals and achievements which allows you be on track with your personal development.
On a weekly basis, I have a good balance of busy and relatively calm days. A busy day allows me to stay occupied and focused on my day to day role but a calmer day allows me to do some personal learning activities. Therefore, you definitely can get the flexibility between both spectrums.
My role has high responsibility and therefore attention to details is imperative. On the other hand, I was given projects to get involved in, which allows you to carry other types of responsibilities in different teams. Meanwhile, how much responsibilities you can get from task manager all depends on your performance at work.
I have developed a wealth of transferrable skills such as time management, attention to details and communication skills. On top of that, IBM supports extra learning activities outside of your normal day job so you can definitely gain more of IBM's technical knowledge from competing online courses from IBM. All of the above will definitely contribute to my final study from university.
I think the general atmosphere in the office is very friendly. In different parts of IBM, they have their own atmosphere but every person who you may approach are very friendly and willing to help. This environment has a perfect atmosphere to help you network and understand different parts of IBM.
The overall work placement set up is perfect for a placement student. Not many places will set up an organised and structured process to review your personal and professional growth within the organisation. For instance, the check points with your early professional manager every 3 months allows you to review the goals that you have set and see how much you have achieved then look ahead and see what else you'd like to achieve in the future, which I think is fantastic.
In terms of personal training and development, IBM has an internal page where you can complete "badges", which are essentially personal training and learning activities that you can complete in order to heighten your skillset. You can complete these in any time and post them on LinkedIn, which I think is helpful.
I think that overall it is appealing. At the end of your placement, you can choose to re-apply back to IBM as a graduate, which will be in a 2 years contract. Unlike external applications, you will usually be fast-tracked into the interview process, which some may consider as being helpful.
As I am a London based placement student, social life in Southbank London (likely of where you will be based if you have specified your location to be in London) is lively and there are always many social events happening. Therefore, it allows IBMers to plan activities and socialise after.
As you can imagine, London is not a cheap city to live in and that most certainly includes socialising. As IBM London office located in Southbank, which is central London, the living cost can be 2 times higher than other parts of the UK, which I think is one to consider if you would like to be based in London.
Nightlife in London is exciting as you can imagine, as Southbank is within a 10 minutes tube journey to Leicester Square or Soho, that makes it extremely easy to plan activities after work. However, the cost of the Nighlife will not be cheap either and the safety aspect of it is something you may want to consider before planning on a nigh-out.
It largely depends on what opportunities you would like to get involved in and whether your team can take you on these experiences. I was lucky enough to be able to get involved in an aviation festival where I get to experience IBM's technology offerings in the Travel and Transport industry.