I worked in the Global Markets (GM) Public Sector (PS) sales team, supporting Central Government, Defence and Health Care & Life-Sciences. I had three main responsibilities: The first was in cadences/deal reporting (using PowerPoint, Excel, Atlas). I updated bi-weekly roadmaps and helped client executives to accurately report their pipelines. I attended key business stakeholder meetings, increasing my understanding of UK PS and my presentation skills. I identified trends and created visual representations (waterfall charts) of the revenue plan for quarterly budget growth. My second core responsibility was owning the OJEU/procurement process for IBM UK PS. I was the main contact point between IBM and clients during the tendering process so, set up meetings on behalf of clients and submitted bids for work. I used agile tools (Trello) to track bid progression and learnt that work with PS clients is usually procured via Government frameworks. These provide fair, pre-agreed Ts&Cs to allow suppliers an equal chance of winning work. A percentage of each invoice associated to contracts procured via a Government framework must be paid to the Cabinet Office within a monthly management fee. My third key task was processing/submitting these fees every month - a lengthy process, involving collecting data from all the brands regarding the invoices for all work procured via frameworks. This gave me a view of the whole of IBM through a PS lens. I additionally worked alongside business controls/legal to complete the 2020 self-audits for each framework. This allowed me to develop a relationship with UK Government contacts. Finally, I joined the HowTo Community in the Careers Corner. This intern group provides guidance on topics like career development. My favourite HowTo project was leading 1-2-1 sessions, coaching people on improving their LinkedIn presence.
I showed flexibility working on the tendering process. I became the single contact for PS tenders within IBM UK (previously supported by 3 employees), monitoring 60+ client portals. I provided education to bid teams and submitted 3-4 bids per week across multiple clients. Submissions have tight deadlines, requiring flexibility right up to the final minutes! I completed my whole placement from home. Having never worked a corporate job before, it was challenging to not meet my co-workers. However, I realised that this increased mobility – I could virtually shadow teams from all over the busines. I loved this, notably assisting Stuart Martin (Client Partner) with creating some slides for the 2021 Talent & Transformation playbook.
Yes. I owned many processes entirely by myself after having my first 6 months of supported training. I also had flexibility and freedom to join different projects and take on leadership if I desired. For example: I led 45-minute one-to-one coaching sessions with 11 different internal IBMer ‘clients’ to enhance their LinkedIn presence. I prepared in advance of each session by looking at the profile and marking areas for potential improvement. I started by building rapport – participants were global, so it was insightful to hear their stories! I asked them about their career goals to tailor the rest of the session. It’s important to understand what they hoped to gain before starting so that I could meet expectations. I discussed each profile section and provided personalised tips based on their past and intentions for the future
I had a handover period over 1 month where the previous intern worked with me daily and showed me exactly how to complete the role. I also had a task manager who I met with at least twice a week throughout my placement to support me. The intern foundation team were also very supportive - I had a specific foundation manager that I could go to for any questions I needed. I I had a support bubble of other interns too.
Very welcoming and supportive, especially considering my placement was virtual for my whole year. Team was friendly and I felt encouraged and appreciated at work. I was always supported to pursue work in my area of interest as well as completing my daily tasks. I am yet to meet an unhelpful IBMer! They are very good at communication as well, instant messaging service and video calls so I never felt lost or confused about the work I was doing
I really enjoyed my experience. I felt my confidence grow and I feel that I have learnt things that I can apply to my future career path. I have learnt to stop doubting myself and my abilities in a professional environment. I enjoyed myself so much that I even applied back to IBM for a potential graduate job in 2022 after my final year of university is finished. I was not initially interested in a career in IT before this year!
Don't be afraid to reach out to existing employees, they will be happy to hear from you. Be positive, open and friendly. Work hard and you will be rewarded in turn. Try to make a group of intern friends as well, they will be a great help to you throughout your year. One way to do this is by joining a Foundation Community so you can work on projects with some of the other interns
Placement Year (10 Months+)
29th June 2021