My Year at IBM
Name: Mohammed Adel Chowdhury
Course: International Relations with Economics
· Why did you choose to do a placement?
I chose to do a placement to boost my employability prospects and experience what it’s like to work in a large corporate environment.
· How did you choose where to apply?
I went to a lot of careers events to get an idea about the kind of companies I wanted to work for. Some of the best companies hold events on campus and this was a great opportunity to find out about where you want to go. IBM’s presence on social media also helped me decide that I wanted to work at the company.
· How have you enjoyed working this year?
This year so far has been brilliant. I’ve been given a huge amount of responsibility in a client-facing role so although it’s been hard work at times, it’s been thoroughly rewarding. Another reason why I’ve enjoyed my placement so much is because of all the people I work with and the general working environment. In my office there are around 100 placement students, and plenty more graduates, so the social side is fantastic.
· What is a typical day like?
I normally have calls with my team in the morning which sets out my work for the day. I then work on files and spread sheets related to the commercials associated with IBM’s hardware contract with RBS Group, which can include processing new installations and adding machines on to contract. At IBM there is also an initiative called ‘giveback’ where you partake in an activity outside of your day-to-day role which for me has included running assessment centres and attending university workshops.
· How has it/it not benefitted you?
It has benefitted me tremendously. Firstly I was introduced to the corporate environment and it helped me gain an understanding of real life business issues and solutions. Being able to work with and present to high level executives has really helped build my confidence as well as professionalism. It gives you a chance to develop all of the soft-skills you need in the work-place which aren’t necessarily taught at school or university.
· Would you recommend other students to do a placement year?
Absolutely, nowadays grades aren’t enough. A placement really gives you the opportunity to show employers that you have the relevant skills to thrive in a workplace. You also get plenty of opportunity to network on placement and the contacts you make on your placement will also become valuable assets especially if you reapply to the same place. Also a placement is a great opportunity to clear any student loans or debts you might have accumulated over the previous two years, so the money is also a bonus!
· What are your plans after university?
Ideally, I’d love to come back to IBM for the graduate scheme. This is because of all the opportunities and benefits on offer at such a large company as well as all the support they provide on the graduate scheme itself.