From intern to employee – a career with IBM Watson Health
Every intern hopes to become a full-time employee at the end of their internship. Here’s how one intern decided to start her career with IBM Watson Health amidst a pandemic.
The year 2020 was one of uncertainty for everyone, including college students. Internship programs across the US were cancelled or converted to remote environments, leaving students to adapt to a virtual corporate world.
But a pandemic didn’t stop Alexis Mills, a student at Boston University, from making the most of her remote internship with IBM Watson Health®. After graduating with a communications degree, Alexis was hired in 2021 as a full-time campaign manager on the marketing team.
We had the opportunity to chat with her about how she transitioned a virtual internship into a full-time position.
What did you find most beneficial about your summer marketing internship?
As an intern with IBM Watson Health, I provided the team with tangible deliverables. My project was focused on a client’s user web journey and webpage metrics, so I ensured fully functioning web pages.
Every day, the Watson Health marketing team challenged me to expand my skill set, exceed expectations and offered their guidance throughout the entire process.
How would you describe the transition from working as an intern to working full-time?
From interning with Watson Health, I had the advantage of understanding how the marketing team operated.
I knew how it was structured, who the decision makers were and how Watson Health was part of IBM’s overall strategy. With this knowledge I could spend more time learning my responsibilities and the goals I was expected to meet.
In my internship, I had little exposure to the pipeline side of the business. As a campaign manager, now I help our sellers find potential customers interested in our products and provide the sales team with materials to keep customers interested, hopefully getting a sale.
“Ask for feedback from the people you work with and be ready to act on that feedback.”
Why did you specifically want to work for IBM Watson Health out of the many teams available to you?
When I think about where the world is going to change most in 10, 30, or 50 years, it’s healthcare and technology. At Watson Health, I get to work at the intersection of these two industries, driving the digital transformation rather than following in its wake.
What do you enjoy most about your full-time role?
Daily I have the privilege of working with nearly every discipline in marketing–from content, to events, to sales, and more. I absolutely love my job and I couldn’t have asked for a more supportive place to start my career.
What advice do you have for recent college graduates looking to convert an internship to a full-time role?
Remember, no one can read your mind. As your internship winds down, I encourage you to tell your connections what your goals are in one-on-one meetings. Tell them if you want to work for them.
Ask people what you can do to stand out among the applications for a limited number of roles. I also encourage interns to ask for feedback from the people they worked with and be ready to act on that feedback.
Did you have any professional mentors who helped you along the way?
Yes, I’m very thankful for my internship project manager, Keith Kaplan. He was great mentor to me as I navigated IBM and helped me identify areas within marketing where I could see myself starting my career. He was also an IBM intern turned full-time employee!
Now, I am very fortunate to be able to call my manager, Martha Tacy, one of my mentors as well. Nick Barrett and Cassidy Lecours were my go-to mentors outside Watson Health, and they really helped me convert my internship into a full-time job.