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Summer Internship like no other- Extreme Blue graduates share their experience January 11, 2012

Posted by melaniecorr in Extreme Blue Internship, IBM, Innovation, Smarter Cities.
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As well as our stand at the BT Young Scientist Exhibition, IBM is involved in many different projects encouraging young people to have an interest in science and technology. In this post, we’ll look at IBM’s Extreme Blue programme and talk to some Extreme Blue alumni who now work full time in IBM.

David, Jason and John of IBM Extreme Blue 2011

David, Jason and John, Extreme Blue alumni of 2011

Extreme Blue is IBM’s summer internship programme for Computer Science students approaching the end of their third level education. The programme runs in 15 IBM sites worldwide. When a student is selected for the programme, he or she becomes part of an Extreme Blue team. Each team’s goal is to develop a new product or service that addresses an existing market challenge. The teams work with leading technology which allows them to gain experience in areas that matter in the current technology market. Many Extreme Blue teams have the opportunity to patent new inventions they discover during their projects. To date, Extreme Blue teams have filed over 400 patents!

In 2011, there were three Irish Extreme Blue teams: two in IBM Dublin and one in IBM Cork. The teams spent the summer developing their different projects, receiving the encouragement and support of IBM staff. They presented their projects at several different IBM events during the course of the summer. In September, they traveled to Brussels where all the Extreme Blue teams showcased their final projects. One Irish team came second overall in Europe.

David, Jason and John have been working with IBM since completing the Extreme Blue internship in September 2011. Their other team mates returned to complete further education after the internship ended. I met with them to talk about how they heard about Extreme Blue and what thoughts they had on their experience.

Learning about Extreme Blue

IBM came to my college, DCU, in January speaking about the Extreme Blue programme and I applied in January and went through the process”.

What’s good about Extreme Blue

You learn more than just coding during the internship. You learn about the business mentality, the patent application process and how to think outside the box…”

Being part of a team means that each member has responsibilities that matter”

Everyone on the internship wants to be there and work hard unlike in college where some people may not be as interested.”

During the Extreme Blue internship, you are actually working on a specific project of your creation rather than just doing menial tasks within a big company. It is our project as well which we work on from start to finish.”

You have to make your own decisions and justify each decision. There is a great deal of creative freedom and responsibility. You also have a chance to select the technologies you want to use during the project.”

Moving from Extreme Blue to working in IBM

There is a bit of a transition from Extreme Blue to regular IBM employee. The teams are bigger and more established. However, having made contacts and support during the internship makes the transition easier.”

The Extreme Blue internship is definitely better than anything I have done before.”

For more information on the Extreme Blue programme, click here.