Anna is an International Business (now called International Business Management) student who took a one year work placement at IBM based in Preston in financial and sales analysis. We caught up with Anna as she talks us through her role and her process of applying to IBM. 

Here’s what she had to say…

Photo of SBS student Anna-Nguyenova
Photo of SBS student Anna Nguyenova. Photography – Nick Harrison

Finding the Perfect Placement

I applied on the general website where there are a lot of placement opportunities and I just tried those that I thought would be interesting. I sent my application form in with some words about me, my skills, what I’ve done so far and what I would like to do. They sent me an email back saying I was successful with the application which was great news. They then asked me to do an IPAT test which was mostly maths, just an IBM test. I had a video interview with them and then they invited me for an assessment at their office in London where I met a lot of interesting people, with other students applying as well. After a week I got a phone call telling me I was successful. 

The Placement Experience

My main role is finance. So, I take care of finance for our account.  It mainly involves looking at target proposals, I analyse what kind of finance we’ve been involved in for the past quarter, so I can analyse it for the next quarter. I can propose a budget and then control the budget. It involves analysing all the applications and projects that we are expecting and talking to a lot of partners and executives, so I can have an idea of what budget I should propose. I do pricing and solution estimating for projects as well. Because this is for more senior, more experienced people, I do that with the junior project manager. So, he helps me a lot with all the project administration.  I also do sales analysis as well as analysis of opportunities and projects that we’ve got in IBM.

Since I was just a placement student with basically no experience in that field, I thought I wouldn’t really have a lot to do here.  I didn’t think that I would do such important stuff. So that surprised me. But there hasn’t been a bad thing. it’s a real job and it’s amazing.

I think the main thing I’ve learnt from my placement is interpersonal skills, I think that communication is very crucial working as we’re working in a big team. It’s very important seeing all the people who are very motivated to do what they do. It’s amazing how it motivates me to do my work and to just develop myself and improve my skills.

Explore BSc International Business Management

Explore our undergraduate business courses