“Everyone should do a placement year, just for the skills you get to learn”
Alongside his work with IBM MQ’s development team, James also took on a variety of other projects while working at the tech firm.
Experience gained ranged from 3D printing and Internet of Things (IoT), to Cloud-based technologies.
James also had the opportunity to hone his presentation, teamwork and communication skills, and was given the chance to travel to conferences, speak to hundreds of people and represent the IBM brand.
Reflecting on his industry year with IBM, James said: “You learn to apply your university knowledge, and you learn how to manage your time which is essential to being successful.
“Everyone should do a placement year just for the skills that you learn. I also had the chance to learning how the infrastructure of a large-scale software engineering company fits together.
“IBM is one of the oldest and most established tech companies in the world. It’s responsible for running most of the world’s banking infrastructure as well as creating new developments within the tech world.”
“It takes commitment to achieve a successful year out.”
At the end of his placement year with IBM, James was offered a place on the company’s graduate scheme.
While industry years can be demanding both in terms of hours and workload, the rewards they can offer at the end can be unrivalled.
“The year will be one of the most challenging you’ve ever faced - but in my opinion it’s worth it,” James said.
“It’s hard work throughout the day and then you’ll have a large amount of university work in the evenings, as well as any personal development the business wants you to do, which in my case ended up being a 10,000-word project.
“Overall, I made some amazing friends and would do it again in a heartbeat. Most of the friends I made are going back to the company as well, which is also great.”
James summarised that it “takes commitment to achieve a successful year out.”
But, if successful, placement years can land you with a dream role straight after finishing university.