I really enjoyed my year at IBM, I accepted a role in technology sales and although this was new to me I was really able to learn a lot more than I had initially thought. Although I am completing a degree in Economics, my interest in technology has really grown over the year and would be an area I would definitely consider in the future for a potential Grad job. Overall, the company culture has been the key highlight as everyone is welcoming and helpful.
My team was really small and external (as I worked with the alliances of IBM). I felt included in all aspects of the alliance throughout my year at IBM and all of my colleagues were always more than happy to help explain things in further detail if needed. My manager has been really understanding over the year and was always contactable if anything was needed, having that communication really helped me perform to the best of my ability.
My Early Professionals Manager (EPM) was always available if I had any questions or if there was something I was unclear on. Along with this we also had regular catch up calls just to clear up any information given to us and opportunities to ask any question.
During the month there was generally a trend at the start of the month where I would have more free time than the end of the month as this is when deals would usually have to start closing. I used the free time I had at the start of most months to engage in some learning which would help around my role but also topics not related to my role which I was interested in. Along with this, I had many opportunities to work with other areas of the business such as the Business Partner Channel and the Foundation Community.
The main responsibility I was given throughout the year was handling the monthly reporting of sales, I took ownership of the Excel document throughout the whole year for four different alliances. Taking on the ownership meant I was directly contacted if there were any issues/errors on the documents, instead of my manager being contacted and then passing on the information to me. I was also able to take ownership and leadership of various different projects throughout the year not linked directly to my role.
Over the past year, I was able to develop various soft skills such as communication, teamworking and leadership. I was given many opportunities throughout the year to focus on these skills and improve them. Along with this at the start of the year, I was also able to focus on in-person presentation skills which then moved onto virtual presentations due to COVID-19. IBM also has a 'YourLearning' site where there is endless educational courses available from learning to be Agile to more intricate courses to do with Data Science. I have completed over 40 hours of learning over the year.
During my year I was really able to have a great balance between travelling into the office and working from home. I was also lucky enough to be able to travel around the world to places like Egypt and Italy as a placement student. The atmosphere in the office and at all overseas events was very positive
The placement was very well organised from start to finish even when the pandemic meant we could not travel into the office.
I feel the firm really invested in my placement experience to ensure it was as close as possible to a role which was not only meant for an intern. As my role was an EMEA role I was able to take on the same opportunities as my manager when attending global events which made me feel valued in the company rather than just being an intern.
Sports and Social Club
Working from home
I have already re-applied to come back to IBM as a Grad after finishing my degree. As a placement student, you are able to get in your application early and there are many different roles available throughout the entire firm.
I kept in touch closely with the placement students I had my induction with at the start of my placement. We regularly made plans to meet up and also set up a Secret Santa within our group. I was also able to be a part of the intern Netball team where we played weekly matches.
I lived at home during my placement so I was able to save more than those moving out. London is quite expensive!
Great nightlife, but can be very expensive so would not go out too often
There were a lot of giveback opportunities to take part in and also intern organised communities to get involved in.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
12th July 2020