Why I Decided to Pursue IBM’s Finance Co-op & Internship Program

As co-ops and interns prepare for their experience with IBM they are often faced with similar questions. We interviewed Giselle, a recent Finance co-op, to share her perspective and answer these common questions.

This blog from the IBM Finance Interns and Co-op series features Giselle Tirado, a Fall 2016 Financial Analyst in Finance Transformation.

How did you find out about IBM’s Co-op/Internship Program?

I originally found out IBM’s co-op program as some of my friends had done a co-op in previous semesters. They spoke highly of the work they did, the people they worked with, and the direction of IBM. As a marketing major, my instant reaction was, “That sounds really cool but probably not for me”.  A year or so later, when I was applying for internships for the summer, I saw the IBM Finance co-op post on my university’s internal job board. I decided to apply because I knew I wanted to pursue a career in business and a role in Finance would expand my business acumen and skillset.

What was the application and interview process like?

About a week after I submitted my resume, I received an email inviting me to an on-campus interview in our Business School. The interviewer was very approachable and the interview felt more like a conversation than an interview. Finally, about a week after my interview I received personalized email from the employee who interviewed me offering me the position.

Why did you decide to accept your offer?

I accepted the offer for a few different reasons. Firstly, as a marketing major with business aspirations I knew taking a role in corporate finance would help me better understand how a large business works. Secondly, I found IBM’s transformation alluring. Lastly, my prospective manager called me to talk through the type of role I would be in. The last element was really what closed the deal for me. While it was nice to know the type of projects I would be working on, my manager taking the time to call me meant a lot. She succeeded in making an opportunity to work for a huge company (which can be daunting!) seem personalized and manageable.

What is a typical day in the office like?

A typical day consists of coming into the office checking my email, sharing breakfast and stories with my department, reviewing my calendar, participating in phone calls about projects (sometimes with executives!), working on deliverables, and holding co-op networking and professional development events.

What is your best memory or experience working for IBM?

My best memory was working with my fellow co-ops to grow our networking and professional development events. I had a great time planning the events and learning more about my peers. I was able to visit Watson headquarters in NYC, volunteered at the local boys and girls club, and had lunch with the CFO of IBM’s Cloud division. It was an incredible experience to see and talk to some of IBM’s most influential decision makers and work on influential technology.

Finance Coops.jpg
Past Co-ops

What was the hardest challenge you faced in your role?

When you first join IBM there is a lot to learn. There are a lot of new systems and tools that I had never used or even knew existed.  Once I learned how to maneuver the different platforms, I was able to work more efficiently and learn so much about IBM and the different business units.

What is one thing you found out during your time here that you didn’t expect?

When I joined IBM, I was under the impression I think most students are, that IBM was big and powerful, but dated. I couldn’t have been more wrong. IBM is incredibly current and constantly changing. I learned about IBM’s huge online millennial community. In this community, I learned about different career paths, found a ton of useful seminars, and was invited to events in NYC. I even got to vote on the artist Watson recorded a song with!

If you think you have got what it takes to succeed in Finance and other internships and co-op opportunities at IBM, you should definitely check out IBM EPIC pages in the US and Canada.

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