Really good placement year, first few months started really strong however it tailed off a bit more the second half (admittedly COVID partly caused this). Great opportunities to meet hundreds of other early professionals in the huge intern community at IBM and many events/opportunities outside of the role to keep you busy. IBM knows what early professionals want however it should never be underestimates the size of the organisation and how daunting this can be when first starting.
My close nit team made me feel really valued (team of around seven). We had daily catchups and all sat together in the office.The wider cluster I formed part of a team less so as a number of tasks I was given were typical 'intern' tasks, as opposed to more billable roles which would be carried out by graduates. Obviously you always get some people in the business who are a little less friendly and have been around for too long but they were minimal.
Very good guidance from the central intern managers team, task mangers and more specific managers on projects you are working on.A little bit overly micro managed by one manager on occasions though.Beware IBM is incredibly bueractric in management and it is near impossible to work out who you are meant to report to for what. Through the year I had about 4 'managers' who kept an eye on me and this was great support, however often hard to work out how to get approval for things from who.
Overall not busy enough on a consistent basis. One of my managers would also not allow me to sign up to other work and kept pulling me back which was a bit frustrating. However on a number of occasions I was over worked and this therefore put me off asking for too much work at once in the future. As an intern work load can go up and go down so I don't think this anything to worry about.
Again a mixed bag, sometimes big responsibility on some client work, other times given bland tasks which are internally focussed.If you get yourself well known by senior people on an account this can work in your favour for getting good responsibility work but if not you risk being stuck in a lot of internal work. Greater emphasis on getting interns on more interesting work and less admin focussed tasks is something which should be considered.
Lot of performance reviews you have to do helps keep you on track however some skills are less useful at university e.g technology skills aren't asked for in most degrees.Good training courses if you can get onto them (I wasn't) which are externally accredited along with 'badges' being able to be completed through so many hours of learning. Potential to learn more technical knowledge is also there if this is something which would interest you.
Atmosphere good, drinks would be held once a month for everyone to go to. Office in London on the inside recently isn't that great but the location is perfect. Large intern community means plenty of free time to socialise and make friends to go play table tennis etc. With COVID I would think IBM will keep up there high amounts of working from home (which were in place even before covid) so be prepared. for lots of remote working.
Very well organised from a recruitment point of view along with a great induction and overall onboarding experience. Also knew my start date in plenty of time which allowed me to plan living arrangements etc. Good communications throughout the year. Towards the end they allow you to extend your contract which is also good but I am not a fan of how they recruit interns back as graduates. This process seems very long and tedious for people who are existing employees!
Your Learning IBM site is great for getting badges and learning about hundreds of new topics. To get onto any serious training courses is very difficult as an intern as this is reserved for apprentices/grads. Again, covid held back some learning opportunities. Would be nice to have some intern specific training to help recognise we are early professionals and need some help in areas such as presenting and how to produce good power point decks.
Appealing to come back as a graduate but big questions over how many new grads will be taken on. Worries are widespread regarding utilisation of graduates with a number of them waiting for roles on the bench meaning they aren't currently on a proper client project as a consultant. Bit of a shame IBM only offers consulting or sales heavy roles as a grad as many marketing people like myself would prefer to work in more operations focussed areas.
Good social scene if you make it as there are literally hundreds of other placement students. Not really any events put on by IBM for placement students but if you mix with enough people this isn't too much of an issue. The grads seem to get their own events but interns get missed out so this could be an area to improve on more In order to bond the whole cohort together a bit more.
Standard London costs, Expensive for a a pint. Commuting into Waterloo is easy and if you live in South West then this can make living costs cheaper. Canteen is pretty affordable though in Southbank and food is good when there are stalls on etc. Very easy to get to the London office though so the cost outweighs this and the area is just beautiful. Right on the river front so great to have lunch out there.
Plenty of bars and restaurants even if they are all pricey. Bridge near Waterloo station has loads of bars and mostly filled with professionals rather than tourists. Market on a Friday also another highlight for finding good food at lunchtime. Southbank seems to be quite a cool area whilst not being stuck in the serious banking side of London which could be seen as a little overly corporate. Seems to be more relaxed round Southbank.
Not really, was a Christmas party but that was it. Attempts to run sports but nothing really came out of this. Don't see this as a problem as if you make enough friends this will keep you busy on weekends anyway. Again would like to see specific intern events which could maybe team up with grads apprentices as the early professionals seem a little disjointed from each other when there is grads interns and apprentices.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
13th September 2020