From intern to full-time employee – what you need to know
Four years into an IBM Watson Health career, Caroline Muse reflects on her internship turned full-time career – why she started and why she stays.
While studying Business Administration with concentrations in marketing; information systems; and business analytics at the University of New Hampshire, Caroline Muse landed a marketing internship with IBM Watson Health®. She was familiar with health technology through her parents’ work, but the internship changed her career plans.
Caroline extended the summer internship into her senior year of college and then secured a full-time job offer after graduation. Four years later, Caroline is now a content director for the Government Health and Human Services segment of Watson Health.
We had the opportunity to chat about her unique internship experience and her current role.
What did you find most beneficial about your summer marketing internship?
It was inspiring to work with so many talented people and learn about all the different disciplines of marketing. I thought I knew what a marketing career would be but learning from colleagues showed me the possibilities were endless.
I also experienced first-hand how technology and data can be used to transform the healthcare experience. I knew I wanted to be a part of the healthcare digital transformation.
How would you describe the transition from working as an intern to working full-time?
The night before starting my first full-time position with Watson Health I was incredibly anxious. I was joining a team that was primarily based out of Denver, and I was nervous about having to figure it all out from my desk in Boston.
I thought back to my internship and remembered that there was no shame in asking questions. I used that same mindset and leaned heavily on my team which made the transition to full-time easier than I imagined. The whole team was supportive and patient as I got up to speed.
“I’m a firm believer that your network is your most valuable asset, so work to grow it early in your career.”
Why did you specifically want to work for IBM Watson Health out of the many teams available to you?
It’s such a rewarding feeling being a small piece of the puzzle that is driving change in healthcare. I have incredible confidence in our data, our technology and the experts driving innovation with cloud and artificial intelligence applications in health.
I feel fortunate to be surrounded by some of the smartest, most driven people, and I cannot wait to see our impact on evolving the industry.
What advice do you have for recent grads looking to convert an internship to a full-time job?
Prioritizing your project is very important but remember to make an intentional effort to network as much as possible. When I was an intern my dad told me, ‘“Even if it makes you nervous and uncomfortable, I want you to ask at least one person to grab a coffee once a week.”’
I’m a firm believer that your network is your most valuable asset, so work to grow it early in your career. And don’t be afraid to tap into that network to ask about upcoming opportunities.
Did you have any professional mentors who helped you along the way?
I truly don’t think I would be at IBM today if it weren’t for my internship manager, Robert Dann. He helped me navigate working for a big company and before my internship came to a close, Robert spent months helping me try to find a team that was hiring.
Additionally, Leanne Johnson and Matt Pollett immersed me in the world of creative and content marketing during my internship. Since then, Jeremy Clement and Katie Keating have always expressed their confidence in me and continuously push me to take risks. Both encouraged me to take on my current role, despite my nerves, and I couldn’t be more grateful.
Lastly, the Watson Health chief marketing officer, Hilary Kerner, does a great job of fostering an environment that welcomes taking risks, despite potential ‘failure’. I’ve found myself much more comfortable with being uncomfortable.
“I feel fortunate to be surrounded by some of the smartest, most driven people, and I cannot wait to see our impact on evolving the industry.”
What do you enjoy most about your job now?
My role as a content director is the perfect balance of creative and analytical work. One minute I’ll be giving creative direction on a video shoot, the next minute I’ll be digging into data and finding ways to optimize performance on a web page.
I’m so thankful I found a job where every day is different and there are always new challenges. And the people at Watson Health are best-in-class. I love my team!