The Importance of a Placement & Work Experience

Guest Blogger Post

Belinda Mbuthia, Health Check Analyst – UKI Systems Currency Team, IBM & University of Manchester Student.

Hard to believe that it was just the other day that I was wondering what scheme to apply for, what company or even whether I should take the year out to get some work experience. Now almost half-way through with my placement at IBM and I can confidently say that doing a placement was one of the best decisions I have ever made!

So why do a placement?
The opportunities to develop your skills (soft or technical) are numerous. It’s finally a chance for you to experience how the industry actually works and to apply some of that knowledge gained at university to real-life situations at the work-place.
The networking opportunities are also invaluable. Making the right contacts will prove fruitful when searching for jobs after you graduate.
Lastly, taking on actual responsibility that affects the performance of the business is just the preparation you need to start your career.

What is my role at IBM?
I am an IT placement student on the Leading to Africa (L2A) scheme at IBM currently based at South Bank, London. My daily role is as a health check analyst supporting different accounts in the Global Technology Services (GTS) business unit. Being on the L2A scheme allows one to take part in events, virtual conferences, webinars and basically activities aimed at increasing your knowledge of IBM’s strategy in Africa and different projects taking place in Africa.
The scheme is for students who are interested in working in Africa after they graduate. For more information about the program, checkout the Q&A blog.

My experience at IBM:
My time at IBM has been invaluable. I have been able to represent the company at conferences where a head of state, ministers and other delegates were in attendance, collaborate with other employees on different projects, take on extra responsibilities and even take up different modules to develop my skills. All these in a span of only five months!
I definitely look forward to the rest of my placement!

Tips when applying for a placement:
– Complete the application as early as possible
This gives you a higher chance of getting the role that you want before they fill up.
-Give evidence to support your skills mentioned in the application form e.g. projects, positions of responsibility in societies
-Show your passion for the company and role during interviews and assessment centres
-Lastly, prepare well. This applies to all levels of the application process. L2A

All International Internships Student blogs

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