I couldn’t have asked for a better experience!

In our latest blog we hear from Joshua Steer BA (Hons) Business.  Joshua secured a placement with IBM and having started in June, his post gives us an inside view of his journey so far.

Hi I’m Josh and I’m now four months into my placement at IBM, I still can’t believe how fast it’s going!Joshua Steer

I work within the area of Resiliency Services and I have the amazing job title of: Engagement Services Strategy & Portfolio Management Support Analyst.

What that means in English is I oversee all of the offerings Resiliency Services has, track what updates/new offerings are coming in the future, and assist with campaigns where we work with business partners to enable/sell our offerings, amongst other things.

I’m based in Warwick where there are also 30 other students doing a placement. This means as well as gaining invaluable experience through my role, there is also a great social atmosphere, and we undertake a lot outside of work, such as 5-a-side football and nights out to name a few.

Joshua Steer 5-a-Side_n

What has been my highlight of the placement so far?

The highlight of my time at IBM so far has to be travelling over to Dublin to spend 2 days at their Technology Campus, working with their sales team to release a new offering that I had been heavily involved in. I felt genuinely valued and got to experience something not many other interns have had the chance to do. The fact that my travel, accommodation and meals were all expensed by IBM made the trip even better!

What have I learnt so far in my time at IBM?

  1. Nobody treats you like an intern – In fact a lot of people you communicate with assume you’re just a regular employee. With this comes the expectation of completing work on time and to a high standard, there are no extended deadlines here!
  2. Remote working – You could be communicating with someone everyday but never meet them in person.  This was quite difficult to come to terms with at first, as I much prefer talking to someone in person as a way of building a relationship. But due to IBM being a global business, I work with people from all around the world, meaning I have to build a rapport with someone without ever seeing them.
  3. IBM loves acronyms – From CDV, CMB, TSM, to GTS (and many, many more), People always try and abbreviate where they can, which can be very confusing when you’re new to the business, especially when different departments use the same acronym but for different meanings!
  4. Network, Network and Network some more – I have already met so many people, both within IBM and from other companies. Getting to know people will become extremely useful when you require something for a piece of work.  Furthermore, this whole year should be looked at as an application process for a graduate job; you never know who may hold the key to your future.
  5. You will make mistakes, learn from them – It may be hard to accept, but you will make mistakes. For example, I once joined the wrong call and ended up introducing myself as “Josh from the UK” to a 1 on 1 call which included the Vice President of Global Resiliency Services… When they suggested I may have joined the wrong call, rather than apologise I decided to respond by saying no I don’t think I have. (Turns out I definitely had, and I learnt to always ensure I dialled the correct number!

Would I recommend a placement at IBM?

Absolutely! I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience; from the responsibility I’ve been given, the social aspect with other placement students, the support network from both my task manager and early professional’s manager and the opportunity to work in one of the biggest technology companies in the world. If you’re thinking of applying, go for it!


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