Placement Blog – Laura Conchie – IBM

After 6-7 months of endless applications and assessment centres, I finally managed to get a Placement at IBM in Scotland. To start my placement I had a two-day induction at their London Southbank office. Within these 2 days, we met a few fellow interns and learned more about IBM and our roles.

The first 3 months of my placement was very much learning from day 1. I met all my new team within the first week and then went headfirst into international projects. The most difficult part for me was learning all IBM’s acronyms, which can vary from country to country, but this is to be expected when working for an International company. Many of those I work with are based in international IBM offices, so it has also been an adjustment trying to work with those in different time zones.

My day-to-day work is mainly project management with hosting meetings and keeping track of project files. It was quite daunting at first being an intern who is managing a group of 10 or more IBM employees that have been in the company for more than 20 years. However, IBM has given the encouragement and philosophy that you should never be too comfortable within your role, so I am trying to take advantage of as many opportunities as possible.

Alongside my day-to-day role, I have managed to find time to be involved with other IBM activities such as Global Women at IBM but also those that are just run by interns for interns like the Project Management Community. There is a lot of flexibility for interns to be involved with other projects or take part in Giveback opportunities across the country with IBM employees.

I have also recently had my check-up visit from LUMS, which was great to see a friendly face and to take account of all I have done so far. The visit also provided me with the opportunity for my manager to give feedback to the University and myself on my performance so far. I also got the opportunity to come back to Lancaster to help with an open day weekend in August.

My placement year so far has been great, as I have been given a chance to network and get on hands experience within this area. This year I am taking as a ‘try before you buy’ year. Even though I am only a quarter through my placement it is a great feeling to have your weekends free again and not filled with University work. I hope that the next 9 months will be just as good as the first 3. It is particularly hard walking away from the student lifestyle and moving to the office.

In addition, I get to spend my weekends exploring Scotland. It is great to have the chance to explore and live in somewhere new for a year. With the extra money in my pocket and Scotland’s cheap travel, I am taking the chance to visit Glasgow, Edinburgh and many of Scotland’s beautiful national parks regularly.