I really enjoyed my internship. It gave me a really good insight to the world of work and what I might want to do in the future. There is always lots to get involved with in addition to your day job which allows you to really grow as a professional. One thing I will say is that you personal experience can vary quite a bit depending on whether you are based in an IBM location or on of their client's sites so bear this in mind.
The colleagues I interacted with made me feel valued. There is a large early professional presence within IBM including interns, placement students & apprentices/grads so more often than not the colleagues you will be working with would have had interns before you. This means they know how to interact with you and don't have unrealistic expectations. As an intern you are always asking for feedback so if you are doing a good job you will know!
IBM are very supportive in all aspects. You have a Task Manager who oversees you day to day activites, and an Early Professional Manger (EPM) who over sees you welfare and your whole placement (almost like a mini-career advisor) As well as this, with there being lots of interns at IBM, you will find you own support network too. There are lots of societies/clubs covering topics like mental health, LGBTQ, yoga, football etc Again this can vary quite a bit by location/ client but this true in general.
For a lot of interns, you will be taking over from a previous intern role you will busy enough? Personally, I was less buys at the beginning but this quickly grew as I networked on the account etc. There are plenty of sides-desk jobs you can get involved with to ranging from event-planning, career-fairs, hackathons, and creating/maintaining mini websites/wikis (this is called W3) on their intranet. Essentially you will be busy at you want to be but as you have reviews after 3,6 & 12 months, you are incentiveed to keep busy so you can showcase all your great work at the reviews :)
Again, similar to the business question. After 1-3 months you will develop a routine and figure out what is expected of you in your current role and how much of your capacity this takes. Then you can get involved with plenty of side-of desk activities on top of this as well (as mentioned earlier). It is important to build your network & eminence because this will get you opportunities to work on additional exciting projects e.g there's an opportunity to get involved with IBM x Wimbledon Tennis! Personally I had very little responsibility to begin with but by the end of my placement I had a key role in my team. So don't panic if you are not busy in your first couple of months. Just make sure you are open to all the opportunities that come your way (and know when to say no if it becomes too much!)
Since I was on the futures gap year programme I can't comment on how this assisted my degree. What I can say is that as an IBMer is that you have access to a first class learning portal called 'Your Leaning' where you can complete courses/badges/events to up-skill yourself. These cover a whole range of business and technical skills- even volunteering skills. You are expected to complete about 40 hours of this a year as an IBMer but as intern you will like complete more.
This I imagine will vary a lot by location/department/personal. I feel IBM have a positive/open atmosphere which encourages personal development. As with consulting, IBM work with a variety of clients so if you working close with client you will experience their culture as well. Other things like business climate can affect your placement i.e if there is a lot of business coming in to a department, the people there will be highly motivated and there will be a great atmosphere.
Since there are a lot of IBM inters/placement students, it is very well organised. For example as an intern you will record all you activities in a 'Journal' which is a tool used to facilitate your reviews. There are also milestones in the interns calendar; such as the careers fair, Christmas Party, Futures Quarterly meetings (for Future interns). What does vary is that some inters come and take over an existing role, other inters arrive and 'discover' what they will be doing based on the business need. When I applied it was for a 'business' role which obviously covers a lot of areas!
As IBM have a great training website called Your-Learning which is free for IBM employees, they don't need to pay so much for additional training. There are lots of external resources you can access via Your-Learning such as O'Riley, Cognitive Courses AI & Coursera etc There is also a Digital Skills Academy run by IBMers which holds beginner/intermediate technical session where you take part in learning to build you won website etc Within Your-learning there is something called Think-40 hours which dictates you should strive to complete 40 hours of learning. Their is a great learning culture at the company which places great importance on learning 'hot skills' and keeping agile. I know one technical intern who spent a an intensive two week course to up-skill him for his role- training can vary by roles as well.
Sports and Social Club
Working from home
I think future employment prospects are very appealing. As an intern there is a simplified, but very competitive, application process to doing the company as an apprentice or grad. As IBM is a very large company, there is usually room to move around as well which is very appealing. Also, once you area full time employee there can be lots of great pers- especially if you're having to be based on a client site. Again, the amount of roles available twill depend on the business climate.
Since there is a lot of interns at the company there is a very healthy social scene- especially in South Bank. This can vary a lot between IBM locations and client sites e.g the Hursley site, ( lots of technical employees are based there) has more campus feel with a IBM museum and a really cool games room. I was based on client site and there was still a really fun social scene. I have hear many consultants, IBM & external, talk about how two out People, Location, Work will always be great- very rarely all three.
This depends on your base location and your lifestyle. If there is a canteen on site it is likely to be subsided- there is one at South Bank & Hursley. If you choose to ear out regularly, eespcealy in London, cost of living will become very expensive, If you are a university placement, you will get your 'bonus' at the bingeing of the placement to help with settling in/relocating. Futures interns get a bonus at the end of their placement (performance related)
Again depends on your base location/client site. There is plenty on offer if you are based in London of course! If you are based on other IBM sites this will vary quite a bit I imagine. I was regular on a client site but because there were a few interns ad a lot of grads also on the site- we made the most out of the limited nightlife which was fun in itself. Benefit of the Southbank location is that there is a bar opposite the building where you can get reduced drink prices by showing your IBM badge :)
There are lots of career related opportunities as lauded to earlier. I have seen manyIBM employees also put on regular pub quizzes etc for anyone to take part in. Again this can all vary depending on the location/client. The chances are you will meet some great people who you will want to hang out with outside of work and do stuff with. South Bank is typically seen as the best site in terms of activities outside work.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Business Management, Computer and Systems Engineering, Design, Internet/e-Commerce/New Media, Voluntary
16th July 2020