Working on Watson: From the Eyes of Our Student Interns

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Have you ever wondered what it’s like to make an impact on one of IBM’s biggest products? Meet Andrea Orduna, Emma Perelman, and Jerod Clover—IBM Watson’s summer marketing interns of 2019! The team is working on maintaining IBM Watson’s leadership position in the enterprise AI marketplace by staying ahead of the competition.

The Marketing and Communications Internship at IBM is a 10-week program where students are tasked with tackling an IBM business challenge. With the help of a project advisor, students work in small teams to provide recommendations at the end of the summer to their IBM Marketing team and senior leaders. Read on to get a sneak peek of what our Watson Marketing Interns have been working on this summer.

L-R: Andrea Orduna, Emma Perelman, and Jerod Clover

Can you first give us your simplest explanation of what IBM Watson is?

Jerod: Watson is essentially a set of artificial intelligence (AI) products and services that can be used by any business to achieve efficiency and productivity.

Emma: Going off of that, AI is becoming huge in every single industry. Not having an AI strategy for businesses in 2019 is the same as not having a mobile strategy in 2010 and an internet strategy in 2000. IBM Watson provides companies with AI capabilities to incorporate into their business strategy.

How did you feel going into the first week of your internship?

Andrea: I remember when I found out I was on the Watson team, I was super excited because AI is so relevant today. I was also nervous because I didn’t have a strong technical background and understanding of what AI even is. All my nerves were gone within the first few days because everyone on the team was so welcoming.

Emma:  I felt a lot of excitement and pressure knowing that the work we would be doing is meaningful and impactful to the team. Learning about everything Watson within the first week made me more comfortable starting on our project.

Jerod: I knew I wanted to work for Watson way before I even interviewed for IBM. I’ve had the chance to work with a lot of different tech startups and what I’ve realized is that, in terms of development, there wouldn’t be a lot of these new companies if it wasn’t for IBM making crazy inventions like the personal computer. I think Watson is one of those things that will, or maybe already has, changed the entire technology industry.

Can you tell us a bit about the project you were working on?

Andrea: The bigger business issue we are tackling is how IBM Watson can stay ahead of existing and emerging competitors in the AI marketplace. Since AI is a relatively new industry, there are thousands of companies lined up to knock us off the top spot. We are researching how we can stay ahead of everyone in terms of marketing and product offerings.

Jerod: Our internship is structured into four sprints which are about two weeks each. Each sprint is supposed to give us a deep dive into the different marketing disciplines within IBM so we can better understand how to make key recommendations in the focus area.

Emma: The first week we met with all the product marketers on digital strategy, and now that we are moving into the digital strategy sprint, we’ve met with SEO specialists. It’s really cool because during every sprint our project managers set up meetings with different people in Watson where we can learn what they do and apply it to our project.

What is it like working with your project advisors and the Watson team?

Andrea: Our project advisors are really diligent with checking in on us even if they happen to be traveling for Watson events. If they are traveling, they assign someone on the Watson team as our interim project advisor. Within the Watson team, people are always willing to step in and help guide us if we need help.

Jerod: The Watson team is described as a mini startup within IBM and it’s true because everyone is really collaborative and welcoming. I remember our first week they had lunch where everyone introduced themselves to us. They’re really willing to invest time in IBM and IBMers in general.

Emma: Having the Watson team as your own pool of resources, experts ranging from product marketers to digital strategists, makes you feel like you have so many people you can pull information from. It really feels like a small community within a bigger company.

What is your favorite part about being on the team?

Andrea: I enjoy working with my team members because we are all really good at collaborating. Even though we are looking into different products we collaborate all the time.

Jerod: I like how we are all open-minded and willing to hear from everyone. No one tries to dominate the work and no one slacks. We are all on the same page and keeping each other level-headed.

To end this on a fun note, what’s an interesting fact you’ve learned about each other? 

Emma: Jerod and I equally consume a lot of coffee!

Andrea: Jerod says “boo yah” after everything…

Jerod: We all have pretty cool kicks.

Want to make an impact on IBM’s product and services? Visit our site to learn more about the IBM Marketing Internship program and how you can jumpstart your career with us.




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