MY EXPERIENCE AT IBM BY GEOFFREY DOMINIC | HRM

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MY EXPERIENCE AT IBM BY GEOFFREY DOMINIC | HRM

SD 11

More than knowledge, personality is something important for an internship to be successful. Be yourself and the way forward will light up by itself.

  • Where did you do your summer internship?

I did my summer Internship at IBM India Private Limited based out of Bengaluru.

The emphasis was more on linking the managerial experiences that I have had so far to concepts of OB like Big Five, Motivation theories etc.

  • Tell us about the GD and interview process of the company.

The GD process was fairly simple. The topics were based more on logical thinking and reasoning rather than on abstract ideas. We had 5 minutes for collecting our thoughts and 20 minutes for discussion. The topic that I had in my GD was ‘Have technology and social media curbed the habit of reading?’

Interview questions were mostly based out of the points mentioned in the CV and some behavioural questions were asked as well. The emphasis was more on linking the managerial experiences that I have had so far to concepts of OB like Big Five, Motivation theories etc.  The Interviewer also looked for synchronization of values between those I showed in the answers for the behavioural questions asked and the values of IBM. The Interview environment was made very comfortable and lasted for about thirty minutes.

  • What was your approach during the preparation for the process? Any specific preparation you did for this company?

General preparation was sufficient to crack the process with an emphasis on the values of IBM. I brushed upon their recent endeavours and changes that had occurred within the organization and they did help out quite a bit in the process.

  • Tell us about the internship project you worked on. (Describe in timeline/stages)

In IBM, I had worked in two different projects – individual and group. My individual project was based on High Potential Identification and Succession Planning. I was assigned to analyse the data which was collected from the newly designed Performance Management System – Checkpoint, which also had the provision to mark High Potentials for different bands of employees ranging from 8 to 10(Executives). I had first analysed the data with a main focus on diversity, since IBM as any other global organisation has one of its priorities set as maintain a healthy diversity ratio among its ranks. Even though I preferred MS Excel, to tabulate and present the findings, I had also used IBM’s cutting edge online Data Analytical tools to bring out correlations which would have normally been very difficult to predict. Quite a few pipeline deficits were found in the current data, which would need some attention in the future. I had also designed a survey to know about the best practices of succession planning not just within the technology sector but also within the pioneers of Succession Planning such as the stalwarts in the Manufacturing sector and about thirty two companies across nine sectors in total. I presented these findings in front of my mentor and his team and they were pleased with my work.

My group project consisted of a team of 5 interns from different B-schools across India and we were assigned to Review the Host Country Assignment Model (HCAM) which was the up and coming Mobility model that is being preferred worldwide in the top technology companies. This was a global project and our work would affect the worldwide scenario. This feeling gave us the feeling of importance and motivation to put in a lot of effort into this project. Our sponsor was the Global Head of HCAM, based out of the HQ in Newark, USA. He used to connect with us from time to time. We reviewed the whole model from end to end, studying all the basics of the model and the rationale behind the existing policies while trying to incorporate the other best practices in the industry into the existing practices of the current model. We had also reviewed the older mobility model from which the current transition was taking place to find steps to make improvements. We had presented our findings to the India Leadership Team and our Global Intern Program leader on the final day of the internship. We received rave reviews for our work and considerations for implementing our project are currently under progress.

A key learning from my internship was Prepare.Rehearse, a core value of IBM which was seen in everything that the organisation does

  • What was your key learning from the internship period?
  • Big Data Analytics is going to play a key role in the future of Human Resources
  • Using Technology for communication and collaboration is key to the working of any global organisation.
  • Prepare.Rehearse – A core value of IBM which was seen in everything that the organisation does
  • How relevant were the concepts taught in the classroom to the situations and pre-requisites of your internship?

In the projects that I had worked, more of organizational knowledge was required rather than conceptual knowledge. In IBM, logical and innovative thinking was encouraged rather than sticking onto theoretical knowledge. Conceptual knowledge was required minimal, to say the least.

  • Do you have past work-experience? If yes, did you find any significant change during your summer internship?

My previous employment was in a chemical manufacturing plant of a well-known Petrochemical Corporation. So there were stark differences in the work and culture between the ones that I had experienced before and the ones in IBM. For starters, it was an office setup with cubicles at IBM with much lesser hierarchical acknowledgement than my previous work experience. Most of the work was done digitally, rather than any physical work while in my previous experience it was a mixture of both. I used to work in shifts and had a time-in and time-out at my previous company while at IBM the emphasis was more on the work done rather than an individual’s presence in the office.

  • What were the key challenges that you faced during your internship?

My internship was pretty much a comfortable ride. The only challenge that I had faced was the difficulty to collect data and information from external sources to incorporate in my project.

  • How did you like the work culture of the company? (Mention the contribution of your mentor/other employees of the company during the execution of your project)

The work culture was splendid. There was formal hierarchy but in reality, everybody was friendly with each other. Support was found anywhere in the organisation, one just had to ask. The mentor of my individual project gave me complete autonomy on how the project need be done but still was available for advice. My group project mentor and Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) were always with us, even when it was necessary to stay till 9 or 10 pm. They gave us complete support from scheduling of meetings to help us get knowledge about the various tools used in IBM, so that we can also wield the same for our projects

The fact that the India Leadership Team took time out of their busy schedule to interact with each and everyone of us made us feel really special

  • Share a memorable incident from your summer internship.

The most memorable incident which I would look back fondly was the networking dinner and the final presentation we had in Ritz Carlton and the Leela Palace respectively. The amount of time and effort that was put into putting together an event just for the five interns there was staggering. Moreover the India Leadership Team actually took time away from their busy schedules to interact personally with each and every one of us. This made us feel really special.

  • Any specific tips for the juniors for summer internship.

 

Get your knowledge of analytical tools such as Excel, R and SPSS brushed up before you set off for your internship. Your classmates, professors and seniors will always be there to help you out. More than knowledge, personality is something important for an internship to be successful. Be yourself and the way forward will light up by itself.

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