How IBM Develops Future Finance Leaders

In this new blog series,  we showcase how Finance leverage’s IBM’s Employment Pathways for Interns and Co-ops to enable aspiring financial leaders to gain practical work experience as a student. Tina Mackay, Manager for IBM Finance Talent Programs, tells us more about the projects participants undertake, and insider tips for candidates considering to join the program.


Tina Mackay has been with IBM for 35 years and has held a variety of roles in accounting and financial planning.  While pursuing her BS in Accounting, she decided to do a co-op with IBM to learn more about corporate accounting.  Enjoying the challenging work and the people, she returned to IBM after completing her degree.

What surprised me the most and what I’ve found to be unique about IBM is the variety of job roles that you can have with just one employer, says Tina.

In her current role and 9th in her IBM career, she leads the recruiting programs for IBM Corporate Finance.  These programs are focused on attracting and developing a pipeline of future finance leaders.


Tell us more about the IBM EPIC Program in Finance.

The IBM Employment Pathways for Interns and Co-ops (EPIC) program provides students who are enrolled in a degree program  the practical work experience.  For undergraduates, we offer a 6 month co-op program and those pursuing graduate level degrees can opt for a co-op or summer internship.  Both programs provide participants a unique opportunity to bring value to IBM, grow skills, and gain insights into careers at IBM.  All hires attend an orientation session on their first day followed by on the job training, mentoring and periodic educational programs throughout their assignment. Students also have the opportunity to participate in Blue Waves events. Blue Waves is an organization run by finance co-ops that is committed to providing professional, social, and community service events for co-ops, interns, and new hires. Some examples of events are: executive speakership series, THINKLab Tour, and even Yankee Games.

What are some benefits of participating in the program?

University programs prepare you with a set of academic skills but the collaboration, flexibility, and perseverance you learn during your co-op or internship at IBM, will help you succeed in your career.


What kind of projects or work do participants get involved in?  

Students are immersed in the day to day operations of the business.  Each role is unique so there isn’t a standard set of assignments, but you can expect to work on budgeting, forecasting, modelling, resource allocation, competitive analysis or new business models.  Students are expected to drive value and can participate in classes to develop skills such as analytics and learn how to present like an executive.

What opportunities are there after the program?

Highly successful participants who aspire to be future leaders in finance have been offered full time roles in Finance.

How to apply to the program? 

Look for our job postings in your school’s career services office or check our global website

What will be your insider tips for someone considering applying?

We seek top candidates pursuing a degree in business, economics or math with a basic understanding of financial statements. Those with a genuine curiosity of how things work, an eagerness to learn and a passion for making things better really stand out.

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