Day-in-the-Life Interning for IBM

In this “Day-in-the-Life” blog post series, we will be featuring the profile and internship experience of our students from Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management as they reflect on what a typical day in their internship role looks like.

Name: Kara Montellano ’23 MBA
Major: MBA
Concentrations: Supply Chain and Business Analytics
Internship Title/Company: Senior Supply Chain Engineer Internship at IBM

Describe your position and what it entails?

My position falls within the services supply chain (SSC) portion of the organization. The group I am interning with is environmental affairs and compliance. The mission of the group I am a part of is to ensure the technical support services, SSC and IBM consulting deliver safe and environmentally compliant services and products to their clients and to promote environmentally responsible behavior within the services organization. 

What does a typical day in your role look like? 

When I get to work, I attend weekly EA meetings to discuss major tasks the team is working on and provide status updates. Afterward, I typically work on one of my ongoing projects. Right now, one of the projects is a general data protection regulator (GDPR). For this, I am comparing GDPR flags between two databases and identifying the discrepancies between them.

As part of my training, I attend different supply chain presentation series during the day. These presentations give an introduction to IBM and educate interns on various aspects of the supply chain organization. 

Additionally, during my day I use an online learning database called YourLearning. This program gives me access to verify topics and badges. I am focused on training around agile and scrum project management methodology, environmental topics and data science. So far, I have completed 72 hours of training. 

Weekly, I schedule sessions with various IBM professionals to network and learn more about potential roles within the IBM organization. I plan to use future sessions to prepare and practice my internship presentation for the executive team.

Also once a week, I attend a meeting to plan and coordinate ongoing activities since I am one of the social captains at the site. Some of these activities include scavenger hunts, picnics, elevator pitch training sessions and a networking evening at a Hudson Renegades baseball game.

What do you look forward to most coming into work?

I enjoy the people that I work with and the culture of IBM. There is a strong sense of teamwork, camaraderie and encouragement for growth and development. I can’t help but feel motivated to learn and grow when I work for IBM. 

How did you land this internship?

I applied for the internship through Handshake. I utilized the services through Whitman’s Career Center to update my resume and practice interviewing through the summer MBA orientation.

How has Whitman prepared you for this internship? 

Whitman has been able to prepare me with interview preparations and through the courses offered in the MBA program. I gained experience in spreadsheets due to my previous work experience but became much more proficient in pivot tables through my business analytics courses at Whitman. I have already used pivot tables and data clean-up techniques as part of my GDPR project.

What have you learned so far from this experience?

I have learned that the technology industry moves at a faster pace compared to the chemical industry, which is where I had prior experience. Furthermore, the project approval process is much more tedious and time-consuming in the chemical industry. In contrast, IBM completes projects in multiple iterations utilizing the Agile methodology. IBM utilizes this methodology to act fast and beat the competition in getting their products out to the market. 

Secondly, I learned that you can be just as effective in a mostly virtual and remote work environment. My previous work experience was fully in person from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Although I go to Poughkeepsie every other week, I still meet and work with my coworkers virtually. There are several tools that can be utilized to increase productivity such as Mural, Trello, Webex and Slack to collaborate and be productive which were all new tools to me. I love the flexibility that remote work offers, and IBM really embraces remote work as the norm instead of the exception.

Anna Rooney