Leading to Africa Internship Program

Dawn Tew and Welela Haileselassie, Managers of IBM’s exciting Leading to Africa program, talk about the program, what kind of applicants we look for and how to apply….

IBMers all over the globe have helped make the world work better and smarter. Today, they continue to collaborate with clients in all industries to tackle the world’s greatest challenges. In Africa, IBM has been changing the way the continent does business for more than 50 years, and as our company continues to grow, we need more talented individuals to be a part of our program and make a big impact on the world around us.

IBM’s Leading to Africa program has been designed to provide a short-term real world internship experience in markets outside of Africa.

How does the program work?

The Leading to Africa program is an internship program for current students who have not graduated from their school yet. Students will participate in the internship program in the country in which they are studying (*this is subject to them having work authorization).   Depending on the country and the need of the business unit, the timing of the internship and the length differ. For example, in the US, most of the students do a 3 months internship during the summer time. In the UK, the students do a 1 year internship (most of them start in August/September) and then go back to school for one more year to finish their studies. In France, they do a 3-6 months internship and their start date differs.

Although the role that the students do is not based in Africa, the intention is to introduce them to IBM and increase their knowledge and insight into IBM’s strategy in Africa. As such, they will participate in many different development and learning experiences during their internship to educate them and get them involved with activities happening in IBM Africa. For students who are passionate about Africa and want to be a part of the transformation that’s taking place on the continent, this internship opportunity is second to none.

In which countries does the program run?

This program is offered to students in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, UK and USA. Full-time opportunities are based on business hiring demand and offered in African countries where there are IBM offices. Particular focus countries include Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco and South Africa

What kind of work do the students do?

They can do any type of roles that will prepare them for full time roles in Africa. Typically, the roles are Developers, IT Architects, Project Managers, Researchers, Technical Sales, Client Service Delivery, Designers, Sales, and so on. The main advantage of the program is to give the students major market experience before they start working in one of the African countries.

What do you look for in applicants?

We look for students with wide-ranging skills and studies which include: cloud, data & analytics, mobile, social, security, design, business, computer science, engineering, information technology, math, stats, physics and sales.There are opportunities for undergraduates, masters, and PhD candidates.

What could a participant on the program expect to gain/learn?

Interns will participate in professional development activities, networking events, and executive engagements. As a result, they will connect with global IBMers, learn about the different roles, organizations, and opportunities at IBM, and have a better understanding of IBM’s strategy in Africa.

What makes this program stand out from other internship programs?

Complementing their internship role, planned experiences will be provided to increase their knowledge and connection to our business in Africa. Upon successful completion of the internship and based on IBM business needs, select students may be offered full-time employment opportunities in Africa.

What have students gone on to do after the program?

After the program, qualified students have received full time opportunities in IBM Africa as researchers, IT architects, project managers, technical sales and client service delivery, etc. Other students have returned for their second internship opportunity with IBM. Some have pursued IBM opportunities in other countries.  One thing is for sure, this program will jump start students’ careers at one of the most successful companies in history and give them every opportunity to excel.

To find out more and apply to the program visit http://ibm.jobs/leadingtoafrica

For more information about our other student programs, take a look here.

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What will you make with IBM? ibm.com/jobs

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