A Roller Coaster

In my last post I described my struggles to find a job, but my eventual arrival at two solid options. Today I finished up my first week at IBM. I'm interning at their Cambridge office this summer, working with the Lotus Connections plug-in group.

This was decidely not the route I had in mind for this summer. While I had had good experiences at my former summer employer, LuxSci, I really wanted to move away from software, hoping to avoid pinning myself into a career path in it. My aim was to get into a more industrial/product design position. I had a decent resume for this, but I lacked some of the basic industrial design courses that firms were looking for. The drawings I did were of nudes, not hardware.

I applied to this job on a whim; IBM had recently decided that they wanted a couple of Olin interns. As one of the lucky souls who was both without an internship and not graduated at the time, I was eligible! After talks and a long HR process, I was hired. I decided to go with IBM for many reasons, not the least because this is the first time that I've ever been in a large organization. My high school was 300; Olin is 300; LuxSci is much less than 300. IBM has hundreds of thousands. If nothing else, this would give me a taste of working for a big company.

It hasn't been without its frustrations. I'm not used to waiting for access to a server, dressing in business casual, or having to swipe a badge every time I go through an entrance. At the same time, this work has been fun. I like a challenge, and this has been that and more. Things may be very different next week, but it's an adventure.

It's also been a great way to feel like I'm entering the real world. I have a sublet in Medford, MA (essentially part of Cambridge), with one (soon to be two) other Olin student(s) also working at IBM. Lots of Oliners stay here in the summer, some even after graduation, for the easy access to the fun parts of the city with much lower rent. I've been to potlucks, movies, wine-tastings, and as of this Saturday, rafting down the Charles.

So, in the end, I might not have had the same alumni network you get in an Ivy, but my school still landed me a sweet internship. Here's to summer!


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