Internship Diaries of 2020 is a series about the various categories of roles offered by companies for summer internships. We bring to you the experiences of interns from Consulting, Finance, Marketing, General Management, Product Management, Operations and E-commerce roles to understand a bit more about their work life. The articles are meant to give the reader a glimpse into the life of an intern and help the reader understand their fit in that particular role.
Contributed by: Deepannita Chakraborty
Picture Credits: Rishi Rathi
Edited by: Chinmayee Dawre
“We are offering a work-from-home (WFH) internship to all our interns for the very first time” read the introductory email from IBM on the eve of joining. Amidst a horror show of cancellation of internship offers and the country-wide lockdown in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, that email brought in good news amidst the gloom.
On 1st April 2020, all of us fellow interns stepped onto the Big Blue platform, and hence, the internship started with a virtual onboarding process. Post the orientation program we were introduced to the CIO department. We also had some fun activities while collaborating as a team and were hence introduced to the company’s practices of AGILE and Design Thinking. The valuable experiences shared by the buddies assigned to us encouraged us to work for an organisation that has stood the test of time for over a century.
As the project started, multiple problems emerged, like incompatibility issues with the IBM bundle of apps, connectivity hassles, power cuts etc. to name a few. To mitigate a few of these, the HR team actually dispatched an Apple laptop for use. In spite of some delay due to the lockdown, the laptop reached just in time for use. Not only that, everyone in my team has been extremely observant to my needs and patient enough to let me understand and master new skills as part of the internship.
IBM believes in continuous learning to achieve excellence. They had provided us access to online learning platforms like Coursera, Duolingo etc. to nurture our skills. They encourage flexible office hours and strongly believe in the quality of the work that one does and not just the quantity.
My project involved developing a digital governance model for an AGILE team, gathering an understanding of the process flows and risks, quantifying human factors associated in the process and proposing an MVP. The project delves deep into the AGILE philosophy and is a one-of-a-kind tool for extensive use by the senior management. Incorporating neural networks, big data and AI in the model developed is the next step proposed. This has enhanced the scope of the project and made a case for further research involving complex mathematics while marrying the concepts of Six Sigma to the AGILE philosophy.
One finds it encouraging to report that the project has been upvoted for further research by the higher management and will soon be developed into a complete application for both internal use and incorporation into a SaaS platform.
In a nutshell, it feels really great to be able to contribute to an industry I was completely new to in the beginning. IBM is an awesome place to work for owing to the work culture the amazing people who make it possible.
Deepannita, Rishi and Chinmayee are students of the PGP 2019-21 batch at IIM Bangalore.