“Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.” – Karen Kaiser Clark
This is my first internship experience ever and I am super excited about it. I did not know what was in store for me. When my friends asked me what I was doing this summer I would respond, “I have an internship offer from IBM”. The majority of people would follow with, “Wow, that’s so cool! You’re so lucky” and it excited me even more. After a busy term at college and even busier short two week trip to my home country, finally, my first day of internship arrived. Everything I had known changed in a very short period of time. New friends, new place and a new summer job! Like many, I am uncomfortable with a lot of change coming at once. However, as a person who always enjoyed new challenges, I decided to embrace this positive change in my life.
Before, I share my first week experience as an Intern, let me introduce International Business Machines abbreviated as IBM and nicknamed “Big Blue” to you all and my role there. The roots of IBM date back to the 1880s, decades before the development of electronic computers. Probably, it’s legacy dates back to my great grandfather’s period. Primarily, IBM (valued @ $110B) makes and sells software, offers infrastructure services, hosting services, and consulting services in areas ranging from mainframe computers to nanotechnology. What not! everything that seems impossible is possible for them. Some of the best scientists, engineers and consultants in the world are IBM’ers. Ginni Rometty is the president, chairman and CEO of IBM. With over 400,000 employees worldwide spread across 175 countries, IBM holds more patents than any other U.S. based technology company and has twelve research laboratories worldwide. It’s been ranked as the world’s most innovative company for 23 consecutive years. Yahoo! I am a proud IBM ‘er today. I cherish this moment.
In its elaborate 136 years of existence, IBM had reinvented itself multiple times and continues to do so. IBM today is leveraging agile practices vastly than ever before. It is rapidly expanding adoption of cloud, analytics, mobile, and social technologies generating a lot of excitement in the industry. IBM management believed that these technologies presented a huge business growth opportunity. Simultaneously, management viewed cloud, analytics, mobile, and social technologies as a disruptive force demanding transformative changes to the way the company worked internally. Management pursued this latest transformation with the belief that the effort would determine business success in the digital economy. As a summer intern with the ‘Transformations and Operations’ team, I work in the office of the Chief Information Office (CIO) assisting the HRMS team in transforming their legacy HR systems to cloud based application named ‘Workday’.
On May 23rd, after a brief welcome message, introduction and completion of paperwork guided by our on boarding specialist team headed by Linda C Carollo, there comes my manager, Bala welcoming me to the company and walking me to the work space. Having worked in IT for almost five and a half years, my imagination was a typical work space with ‘cubicles’ all around but to my surprise it’s all openwork space. We could clearly sense a great work culture with interesting conversations, laughter and peers pulling each other’s legs simultaneously with keyboards and mouses clicking away. Everyone was very excited about us three interns onboarding the team. After, a series of introductions and warm welcome messages, we got to collect our brand new Mac pros followed by introductions to a few more peers and senior management teams. It’s very inspiring to talk to some of these very accomplished people. Each of them is passionate and honest with a single mission to transform the company. I felt I was exactly where I wanted to see myself.
It did not take me a lot of time to realize that IBM as a global firm and the CIO office with the power to steer the transformation have everything to offer me as per my career interests. Cognitive Computing, Project management, Analytics and a lot of tech savvy work. What not! More importantly, the team is committed to provide these experiences coupled with loads of fun. With few more intro sessions and meetings, we head to the end of week one.
It reminds me of a saying, “Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.” I believe that I made the right career choice by joining IBM. I see an immense potential to grow as a global IBM ‘er and as a ‘Blue Agent’. “Positivity and transformation are essential in life, or else you could put yourselves out of existence” is the key message I take away from my week one as an intern.