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portrait of Linda DePaolis

Linda DePaolis interns at IBM

As a Global Markets HR intern at IBM, I had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects across a breadth of Human Resources groups, mainly dedicated to aiding in IBM’s skills transformation in Sales and Distribution. IBM is a global information technology services company and more recently, its main goal is to remain a leader in this market by upskilling its workforce to create more productive and effective leaders with the niche technological expertise it needs to get ahead of its competitors.

My projects were mainly focused on creating Excel spreadsheets and models, maps, and PowerPoint presentations focused on enabling the North America Sales managers and determining which skills are most valuable in the global technology market and how IBM can alter its strategy to acquire and retain these critical skills/talent, especially in their Summit Program for Early Professional Sales hires.

Human Resources Management and Labor Relations gave me helpful background on the global landscape of labor and Human Resources in general, but the most important was Essential Desktop Applications (EDA) which gave me critical technical skills in Excel and PowerPoint that made me a value-add to many of my colleagues.

Through this internship, I gained more confidence and assurance in my ability to tackle challenging tasks. I developed my executive presence and I was also able to enhance my interpersonal, leadership, and teamwork skills by working with a variety of employees and groups on so many different projects. Especially, after being in a support position for Sales, it was helpful for me to learn which skills and personality traits are most important to succeed in a career in Sales or IBM in general and the experience has motivated me to pursue a career in Sales.

Additionally, I have gained professional and personal skills that are needed in a large, global corporate atmosphere and I was also able to apply most of my knowledge and get hands-on experience whereas in class, most of the concepts I learned were all in theory. I was forced to think quickly and use my judgment on a lot of decisions and situations that I would not have been exposed to in the traditional classroom.

I would highly recommend this program to anyone, regardless of if they know whether or not they are going to pursue a career in Human Resources, Law or Labor Relations. The credit internship experience gives you a competitive edge over your peers by adding to your work experience and resume, but it also gives you the opportunity to gain critical skills and exposure to projects that summer internships may not be feasible for since they are of a shorter time span. In my credit internship, since I was there for such a significant amount of time, I was treated like a full-time employee which helped me mature professionally and personally. I also expanded my network and met a lot of other interns through the program that I’m still friends with now! Meeting a new cohort of ILR students as well as full-time hires and employees on the job at IBM was a very enjoyable and valuable experience for me.