IBM is a huge corporation. It is very rare for senior executives or professionals at the BP level to initiate networking opportunities for interns, however, when interns initiate these opportunities, I have found that IBMers have been extremely receptive to providing valuable insight only gained from years of experience. Many of my huge learning opportunities have been thanks to me reaching out and networking with other IBMers.
For example, the initial sales call made by an IBM Digital Development Representative to seek out the next meeting is a the start of the sales cycle. Therefore, it is extremely valuable for interns to be able to listen in on sales calls and learn the process first through observation, and then through action. So, I networked with multiple DDRs on my floor and got myself a seat, or the ability to call into a sales call so that I could follow through with the process of the initial conversation with the client and business partner, as well as calls with technical solutions specialists who would dive deeper into the technical capabilities that the IBM software could provide for the client. These learning opportunities were all asked for, not given to me.
I’ve also networked with other DDRs on my floor for more insight into the Summit program, a program within which I am interning. Getting firsthand insight on the program, while also providing my own feedback on how the program is going, resulted in a mutually beneficial relationship that both parties benefited from. It was nice to see a productive and successful working lunch where both parties benefited.
I will utilize the networking skills I have learned at school, at my past internships, and most importantly at IBM to propel my career forward as I’ve also learned that new positions are given to people whom others get along with, not necessarily the ones that have the best resume.