I cannot even begin to comprehend how valuable this year has been…

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I can’t go any further until I congratulate all of you who have graduated this term. I hope all of your hard work and dedication during uni which is reflected in your degree certificate opens the doors to all your future successes.

So there it goes… another incredible year and it’s at times like this we really should look back on the time that’s past and identify what we achieved and maybe even more importantly didn’t achieve, so that going forward we can look out for the pitfalls that stopped us from reaching those lost goals.

I look back to June 27th last year and see a nervous but sharply dressed student arriving at IBM HQ ready for what a year in industry has to throw at him and boy could it throw!

The first few weeks are a lot like uni. I attended mandatory training sessions, some education, careers lectures, ice breakers and mingles… you know, those kind of things. I became a bit more confident in my day-to-day job role which then allowed me to spend some time getting involved in local community projects and experiencing the wider company which I’ve spoken about in previous blogs. These were very enriching times for me as I got to experience more than my job role.

But then there came a time when workloads got taller and resources shorter. This was an extremely tough period and it impacted the time I could dedicate to achieving certain goals I had set myself at the beginning of the year. I had hoped to learn how to develop iOS apps, fundraise and participate in the London to Paris cycle and to discover more about my future career options.

Now don’t get me wrong – and I know you must hear this a lot – but I cannot even begin to comprehend how valuable the year has been. The pressures of this work and true appreciation from colleagues brought out new abilities and confidences in me, which are priceless. But looking back, maybe one of the downfalls of my year was my ability to perform in my role as it kind of stopped me from experiencing the level of involvement in other projects and sectors that I had hoped for.

Then again, I am extremely proud that I became that intern who was so good at their job that they became so depended upon to help and support the wider team, which I did to the greatest possible extent, building relations and trust with senior employees. There is no such thing as an easy placement. So if you get one, set out to have a 80:20 balance between your work and other things you personally want to achieve out of it, and if the 20 gets squeezed to 5 then accept that you are just too good at your job to be doing anything else, and be sure to gather testimonials for when you want to apply to the graduate scheme.

This approach is very hard work, but it should pay off. I submitted my Intern – Graduate application a few months ago and am awaiting further news. I look forward to sharing the outcome with you in September. Hope you have a well-rested summer.

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