Barry Sheehan works with the IBM Analytics, Enterprise Social Solutions team in Ireland and in this article, he shares insight into the Extreme Blue program and why it is an internship that will jumpstart your career. Read on…..
Thinking about applying to the Extreme Blue program? Stop thinking and apply. The rewards you will receive from the program will far outweigh any concerns or fears you may have now. The program fosters and encourages, ambition, passion and tenaciousness. What you gain from the program won’t stop at the end of the 12 weeks, it will advance you leaps and bounds in your future career.
Why I applied for the Extreme Blue Program
The Extreme Blue Program appealed to me as it is known for its challenging and engaging projects. The opportunity to also work on our own project independently for 12 weeks was very enticing. Moreover, IBM is currently undergoing a design transformation, shifting from a previous hardware company to much more. As a designer, turning down an opportunity to get a first-hand look at this transformation was not an option.
My experience working on a project
During my time here at IBM, I have been working on project ‘Boomerang’, a stepping stone of a larger project around a collaborative enterprise communication tool. In this project, I direct and design the UX (user experience) of the product, essentially designing how it works and feels. Careful time and attention is taken to ensure we create an intuitive solution that solves our users’ problems, not one that creates problems.
Designing the user interface of how the product looks and providing our users with visual cues that tie in to our ultimate user experience is something that I treat with great care. An abundance of sticky notes and sketches can be found around my desk on a daily basis. As a designer I also host the responsibility of storytelling.
At the end of the program, there is a final expo where we have to collate 12 weeks’ worth of work into a 10-minute presentation. I spent time synthesizing all our work, documenting our process and portraying how we solved our problem in the form of beautiful visuals explaining our narrative.
Perks of the Job
Participating in Extreme Blue is very much a sink or swim environment which pushes you and allows you the reach your full potential and learn in the process . Having several deadlines to meet each week has been a tough challenge but a welcome one that has now improved my project management skills vastly, and much further than I could have anticipated. During my time here, I have also had the opportunity to learn new prototyping and visual tools.
Be passionate. Love what you do.. Stellar work stems from those who have passion; their love for what they do oozes out of them and results in formidable outcomes. Be one of those people.
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