My main task was to support the BCRS Sales Team in any way possible, so the role was really quite varied. I was responsible for driving the sales process and managing deals to meet tight deadlines. I attended client meetings and researched and wrote client proposals tailored to the needs of the client. Operations support was provided in the form of varied admin tasks, research, event planning and booking and inducting new employees. I also participated in many recruitment and charity activities.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I really enjoyed my placement at IBM, it was quite a varied role and there was a lot of scope to take on extra tasks/things I wanted to do or to shadow people. The extra activities available, (called 'Giveback') such as helping out on assessment centres or helping school children with CV/interviews, added to my experience and it was nice to be able to do these alongside my normal job role.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
My team were extremely welcoming and friendly from the offset and I felt very comfortable. They made an effort to include me in all education, calls and social events etc which was really nice and I definitely felt my contributions were valued.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My immediate managers were very approachable and supportive and I felt that my work was valued. I was left to get on with things by myself, but felt that I always had the support there if I needed it or if I had any queries people were happy to help.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
My role was very varied in nature so how busy I was changed on a daily basis. I did have certain core tasks to complete on certain days and times but the extra tasks varied greatly, often according to how busy the sellers on my team were and where in the year we were. Some days were quite slow, but you could use this time to do other activities etc, it is a very flexible way of working.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a lot of responsibility from the start, IBM is definitely a company where you have to be comfortable working independently and I felt like I gained a lot of self-motivation and have become a lot better with my organizational skills as a result of this. However, I think the level of responsibility definitely depends on the relationships you have built with your colleagues and how comfortable you are in your job.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I definitely feel experienced in an office environment now and ready to go into a graduate job, I feel like I have picked up a lot of skills that will be of help in the future. I think a placement is an excellent way to gain experience and IBM has been particularly good with all the free education materials and education days it provides.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The general atmosphere of the office is quite professional, however, there is a flexible seating system so I generally sat with other interns/friends on a day to day basis which was really good. I liked it that I could choose where to sit, if I had a particularly busy time and needed to concentrate there are quieter bits of the office to go.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
It was very well organised, the induction was two days in Portsmouth which was quite well run and good fun. There are various online communities which are kept up to date and there are various events throughout the year for everyone to meet up again.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Personally I have done a lot of training days with my immediate team and a lot of optional online training on the free education database. There was also a weekly virtual Mandarin class which I really enjoyed and felt was such a good idea. Overall, I think the extent to which training and development is invested is extensive and of a very high level.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I have really enjoyed my placement, however personally I would like to explore other companies a bit more rather than sticking with just one!
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There were a lot of Interns and Graduates and everyone was very friendly, theres always people going out for drinks after work or going for lunch together. I felt there was a nice atmosphere between the placement students.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The offices are located in central London so the socialising is typical London prices, so not particularly cheap. However, we are given a 'London Allowance' as part of our salary so it was not too bad! For me the cost of living was cheap as I lived at home, which definitely saved me a lot more money than if I rented in London!
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Being in London, there is a lot of nightlife in the area where the offices are located and it is quite varied in price, type of place etc, so all in all, very good.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Yes, lots of extra things to take part in such as helping out on charity events, sports events to get involved in, clubs, communities etc. I liked that there was a variety of things to do.