I absolutely loved all of my placement even though 6 months was spent virtually in lockdown. I had a very busy 12 months with my work ranging from client (bid) work & client events to internal reviews and team meetings. I also loved the intern atmosphere within the office with over 100 interns all in the Southbank office in London. Add this to the quality of work which is offered to placement students and you have a fantastic internship.
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I felt valued by all colleagues within IBM no matter what level they held within the company.
Whilst on placement at IBM you have 2 managers, one for your welfare and to reach out to about anything (work or non-work related) and a task manager who you work with on a day to day basis. This works particularly well as you are given huge amounts of support from both these individuals as they do their best to develop you and challenge you throughout the year. Even though my task manager was very busy and had a hectic schedule they always made time to catch up with me and assist me wherever needed.
In my role, my workload varied a lot week to week. These mainly varied depending on whether I was on a bid team at the time. If so, then my workload would increase dramatically and I would work late days wherever needed so to best position ourselves as a company. If I was not on a bid then I could find myself with fewer core responsibilities however there are huge amounts of online learning which you can complete.
Over the year I was given a lot of responsibility including being part of very large bids and solutioning high-level business cases. I joined a fairly small senior team however, this was fantastic as I made so many great networking connections. I was also part of senior internal reviews and tasked with owning the presentation deck which would be sent all the way up to some of the Global team. I was given the right amount of coaching however to make the most of this opportunity and to feel comfortable.
I think I've developed numerous skills during my year at IBM. In particular, I think my networking and interpersonal skills have flourished. This can be attributed to the warm and welcoming atmosphere in the office and the 'hot desk' system where you can sit anywhere within the office. Also through the use of the online learning platform, I managed to complete a number of badges and specialised courses which have helped me go back to university more prepared than ever.
The atmosphere is second to none. The open office with the 'hot desk' ability makes it incredibly easy to settle into. This allows you to sit with whoever you like so that you feel the most comfortable and can be your most productive self. I also think that the intern atmosphere in all offices but Southbank in particular, is fantastic. With so many interns around its very easy to get along with colleagues your own age.
Very well organised.
IBM invested in my personal development and training heavily. Firstly the online learning platform has hundreds if not thousands of online courses which range from design thinking to sector-specific industry courses. Also with the two manager system (task manager and welfare manager), you get exactly the right amount of support which enables you to make the most and develop throughout your placement. The structure of IBM's placements challenges every individual to get the best out of you.
Even during the recent lockdown and Covid period, IBM have already interviewed many of the current interns for graduate roles in the future. These range across many different areas such as Cyber Security, Sales and tech consultancy which spans across many services lines which implement software like AI, Cloud, SAP and Oracle. All in all, I believe their grad roles look incredibly attractive for any individual interested in any area of pure tech or tech mixed with business.
There was a fantastic social scene within the office that I worked in (London Southbank)
Personally I lived at home with my parents in London so my cost of living was very low however this is not the only option. Many interns sign up to rented properties with other IBM interns. This allows them to get the added benefit of being able continue the work socialising at home. Also, as IBM pay one month in advance and a bonus is given at the start of your placement contract living in London is feasible.
The nightlife is fantastic by the Southbank Office. There is a bar straight across from the office on the Thames where everyone will go to after work for drinks. Also the firm often organises work drinks at bars or venues around the City where the drinks are already paid for in advance. In addition to this, you have many other bars and clubs which you can visit with interns / colleagues after work on a Friday.
There are a number of clubs/societies which you can join