6 months at IBM

Nabil Sahli, a 2014 graduate, carried out his final internship with IBM France in the Global Business Services unit (Europe Strategy & Analytics) while he was in 3rd year with a Business Intelligence Option. With Laïd Yakouben, his company consultant and tutor, he revisits these 5 months and a half of operational experience.

What was the focus of this internship? 
Nabil Sahli: The aim was to take part in the setup of a multidimensional solution to assist a bank client with their budget management, the IBM Cognos TM1 solution, in this case. I joined the project team as a technical/functional consultant.
Laïd Yakouben: We welcomed Nabil in our Global Business Services (GBS) division which takes care of the BI strategies of clients from all kinds of sectors. Let me point out that IBM is the leader of the banking system in this type of expertise.
What was company integration like? 
Nabil Sahli: I was helped and monitored right from the beginning and throughout my internship, both by the operational project manager and my supervisor. I also had some internal educational: a day-long internal training course to obtain the IBM certification in Business Commitments Guidelines and classes on Cognos TM1, the tool that we were to deploy at our client’s.
Laïd Yakouben: Intern supervision at GBS involves different levels of participation. The operational manager is going to orient the intern on a day-today basis, of course; the responsible entity is also concerned, as well as an advisor whose role is to facilitate the intern’s more global integration to the company. I hold this position at GBS for several interns. We recruit students who are in their last year of engineering training with the long-term goal of hiring them. Therefore, we go quite far with this integration process.

How did your mission unfold? 
Nabil Sahli: I had to hit the ground running with this project. The solution deployed by IBM was at the prototyping stage, awaiting validation from the client before the real development began. I had to get myself up to date with the project’s progress very fast, understand the technical context and also get to grips with the client’s work environment. A real challenge. I took part in the different conception phases of the application and of course in its development, acceptance testing, validation, etc.
Laïd Yakouben: We do expect a strong implication because we prepare our interns to all the different aspects of the life of a junior consultant at IBM. Therefore they are fully integrated into the team.
What aspects did you find more difficult or surprising?
Nabil Sahli: Grasping the business context was a first necessary and considerable step. I had to dive into a profession that I didn’t know, which was rather difficult, but fascinating. Team support was constant, I was surrounded by available and open-minded people. Among the new discoveries I made, I was very grateful to completely be a part of the project throughout, including during the conception phases. Lastly, I also had the opportunity to hold the position of project manager assistant, and therefore contribute to planning, documentation maintenance (data dictionary), quality plan, follow-up of actions or reports, etc. In short, get a real taste of the very specific job that is project management.
Laïd Yakouben: Nabil was indeed able to overcome the obstacles linked to joining a project halfway through. He quickly acquired any useful knowledge, asked all the right questions and never stayed stuck for long. These are qualities that we appreciate among our interns. This way, he developed new skills fast and met everyone’s expectations. In fact, we’ve offered him a position in our Group.