Creating together


Key takeaways from my work placement experience with IBM

Radoslaw is a final year student in Marketing & Management, who completed a placement year with IBM in 2020/21. If you are interested in completing a placement between Stage 2 and Stage 3, you can find out more in the Business School UG Stage 2 Community 2021-22 on Canvas, or contact the NUBS Student Experience Team. 



Placement year with IBM 


My placement year was very rewarding. It wasn’t a regular year at work, the experience was much more. Everyone was happy to help you with your personal development and engage you in activities. Some examples include

 new projects, business meetings with Executives and representing IBM to external clients. Everything is possible, it only depends on your willingness to take the opportunity. 


The placement year was amazing when it came to new learning. Working for a B2B company such as IBM taught me how to reinvent learning and implement a growth mindset in 

my daily routine. IBM was focused on letting employees develop new skills every two weeks for at least 2 hours. Thanks to that I was able to develop more in coding (such as Python or Carbon), design thinking and analytics. I decided that it’s best to try new things and then decide what worked for me.  


Understanding corporate life 


Work at IBM was full of events that were focused on wellbeing, networking or joining interesting projects. Thanks to those opportunities I was able to understand that corporate life doesn’t mean strictly working 9 to 5. It’s about work-life balance, such as engaging in volunteering actions with co-workers, redefining processes that are old-fashioned or simply having virtual coffees with employees all around the world. The opportunities are there, it’s up to you to take them. 


My top tips for a new starter: 


  • Network as much as possible – new connections will remember you from the start, possibly offering you the opportunity to take part in different projects, meetings, or interesting events. 
  • Redefine your goals every 3 months – it’s important to keep track of your goals, and by planning your objectives you can evaluate your time management and skills development.  
  • Keep a journal – each month try to write your achievements in the diary, what you’ve learnt, what projects were interesting etc. Think of it as a reflection of that month. 


Embrace every moment. It’s only 12 months and you won’t believe how quickly the year goes.  

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