Establishing Foundations, Networking and Collaborating at a Global Scale – What Students do in the IBM Finance Co-op Program

On this IBM Finance Interns and Co-op blog series, we interviewed JD Macioce, a Financial Analyst Co-op in Finance Transformation, and he shares with us his experience with the Finance Co-Op program.

About the IBM Finance Co-op Program
The Finance co-op is a six-month program where students work on a team as Financial Analysts supporting a specific business unit. It is a long internship in which students are treated as full-time employees and given longer term responsibilities.

JD Macioce is taking up BS Management Information Systems at the Pennsylvania State University and will be graduating in 2017.

How did you find out about this Co-op Program?
I learned about the IBM co-op program through IBM’s presence at Penn State’s 2015 Fall Career Fair. There, I spoke with the IBM team about various opportunities at IBM for a co-op with a background in Management of Information Systems.

What was your application and interview process like?
I had an interview on-campus with the program manager. During the interview I primarily discussed my resume and my interest in starting a co-op with IBM. Later, the program manager called me to discuss an opportunity on her Finance Transformation team. She elaborated on what my role on her team would be and without hesitation I said I was interested.
What kind of work did you do in your role?
Half of my work revolves around professional development for IBM’s Finance Organization. I supported various self-paced education offerings, as well as virtual classes attended by the company’s global workforce. The other half of my work was very project based. The projects varied from different IBM events to creating new self-paced education courses to implementing IBM’s new open collaboration platform as well as establishing foundation of the re-branding of the IBM Finance Co-op Experience.  However, all of my work with IBM required collaboration on a global scale, which was very new to me. But I found it to be one of the more impactful aspects of my work.

What is your best memory or experience working for IBM?
My best memory was when the Director of Finance Transformation recognized me for my work on the CFO Town Hall in a room full of various finance managers, and the room applauded me for my work. It’s a moment that I take a lot of pride in because I was the only co-op that had a role in the planning and execution of the CFO Town Hall and was the only co-op asked to attend the CFO Town Hall.

What was the hardest challenge you faced in your role?
One of the more challenging aspects of my co-op was that IBM is and will continue to be a global team. The person I may be working with at any certain time may be across the country or even across the world. I don’t consider the global workforce a challenge, rather something that may take some time getting used to, and ultimately it brings a multitude of perspectives to any given project.

What did you learn about your co-op experience?
I have learned a great deal during my co-op, and one thing that really stood out to me is that IBM is a company in the midst of a transformation and it is a great place to work as a co-op. Here you are not treated as just another co-op, you are entrusted with the responsibilities of a full-time IBMer, expected to perform like a full-time IBMer, but at the same time you are given the freedom to make the role your own.

If you think you have got what it takes to succeed in Finance and other internships and co-op opportunities at IBM, why not check out IBM EPIC pages in the US and Canada.

Begin your search for a career with IBM EPIC Canada here.

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