This blog about IBM Finance Interns and Co-op series features Laura Visochek, a summer senior Financial Analyst in the Global Technology Services business unit. She is pursuing her MBA from the Mason School of Business at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, US. Laura will be graduating in 2017.
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.
How did you find out about the IBM Co-op/Internship Program?
The internship was available through my university’s career services. Senior Executives from IBM and recent graduates from my school who now work at IBM came to campus to talk about the opportunities available and what it is like to work at IBM. We also have a retired IBM executive who volunteers at the College of William and Mary who was available to answer questions about working at IBM and what experiences previous interns had at IBM.
What was your application and interview process like?
College of William & Mary’s career services worked with IBM recruiting to use the school’s application system, which was pretty straightforward. My interview was on-campus with a recent alum and current IBMer. We had a great conversation about what the internship would be like, and what I could learn and bring to the table for IBM executives. I thought it was a great interview because it was set in a casual and relaxed environment, which allowed for a real two-way dialogue to find out if I would be a good fit for IBM, and if IBM would be a good fit for me.
What kind of work do you do in your role?
I have two roles, which is very exciting! As a finance intern, I am aligned to the Global Technology Services (GTS) business unit. I focus on supporting the World Wide Consolidation team. Since I am an MBA student in the Finance Leadership Development Program (FLDP), I am also working with other MBAs on a special project for the IBM Digital Group on increasing digital sales.
What is a typical day in the office like?
I like to start my mornings by checking emails and catching up on anything I will need to know about for the day. Tasks start to become clear early on, and I spend some time thinking about how I want to complete my projects. Then I get to work! Around lunch time, a big group of us will walk over to the cafeteria. The afternoon usually has some calls and meetings, and time to complete everything that wasn’t finished in the morning.
What is your best memory or experience working for IBM?
I absolutely love working on my current project for the IBM Digital Group. We are trying to streamline IBM’s offerings on our digital marketplace, and I am learning so much! For example, we ran an analysis of how much more revenue could be earned by making one small change, and because IBM is such a large company, small adjustments have huge effects. These projections are important, and I look forward to seeing them play out.
What was the hardest challenge you faced in your role?
When I first started, everyone in my department was extremely busy. As much as I wanted to help out and prove what I could add to the team, some training was needed to be able to contribute. After a little while, I was able to pick up on some of the things going on around the office and try to help out.
What is one thing you found out during your time here that you didn’t expect?
There was a hidden treadmill desk! It is really awesome, I love working on it.
What else can you share about your IBM experience?
It’s been such a cool summer internship with IBM, and I would love to come back! I’m amazed at the work I was able to accomplish so far, and the effects it will have on the global organization in the future!
Discover what you can do at IBM. www.ibm.com/jobs