“The great accomplishments of man have resulted from the transmission of ideas and enthusiasm.” Thomas J. Watson
This is officially the last day. It’s appropriately gloomy here in New York to match my mixed mood. While I am excited to get back to school and to my spot in the library (I kid you not, the library is my absolute favorite place), I am sad for what has been an incredible summer to come to a close. Although these were the last few days, there was not a shortage of things to do!
At the start of the week I spent even more time on the phone with people involved with Watson group (as I continually reference in all recent posts, I’ve been focused on learning about Watson). The accessibility and willingness of IBMers to help cannot be overstated. I also spent time contributing to a few final projects pertaining to pulling contacts (i.e. prospecting) and summarizing references to be used in a presentation for clients.
In the evening I went to a client dinner down at Pier A Harbor House where I ate my very first oyster! It was the most breathtaking spot on the water with a view of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island and we got to enjoy a gorgeous sunset. Up until this point I had only seen what it was like to interact with clients in the office; while the content and level of formality changes, I learned that the relationships you build cross situational boundaries.
A very cool part of this week was attending the IBM Architect Summit at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Complex. Getting to experience the aircraft carrier was a lot of fun and I was glad to see clients in yet another setting. The focus of this summit was “integrating in a social, mobile, and cloud world” and there were a variety of IBM speakers from across the globe. It was clear that these leaders have a deep knowledge of the clients’ industries and issues to a degree that I admire.
One of my favorite parts of the day was meeting some new people who recognized me from my blogging! I started this blog with no expectation of it reaching the level of exposure it has, nor connecting with as many people as it has enabled me to. Meeting others who identify with the challenges and victories I chronicled has been so rewarding. Through this medium I have been able to transmit my ideas and enthusiasm and it has been one of my proudest accomplishments of the internship (read: not so subtle reference to the quote above, although I certainly don’t suggest this is one of man’s great accomplishments, just one of Alyssa’s).
This afternoon I’ll be heading out for a farewell lunch with my manager Dennis, and Taylor, one of the SCLs (Software Client Leader) I worked with (be sure to check out this post for the funny story of how many times our paths have crossed). We’ll get Indian food, reminiscent of my very first lunch with Dennis, and I can’t wait to thank them for how much I’ve learned this summer.
Thank you to everyone who has read along and left encouraging comments and reached out with advice. Becoming part of a larger professional community was a wonderful experience and you all have played a huge role! Thank you to all of the IBMers who I’ve met along the way and a special thanks to those in the Summit Program.