The Digital Business Group internship is designed to give high school/pre-college students the opportunity to become interns and develop the skills, experiences, and networks that are critical to launching a career in the STEM field. For the first two weeks, We were held responsible for designing, building and testing a variety of projects that support IBM’s cloud and cognitive developer outreach activities in the U.S. A total of 7 different projects were given to us which includes: IBM Code Social Outreach, IBM Code Video Marketing Project, IBM Code Blog, IBM Code Influencer Identification, IBM Code Content, IBM Code Local Language, and IBM Code Newsletter Development. We focused on Social Outreach and Video Marketing mostly for these first two weeks as well.

Spotswood’s RTP Summer Intern Experience

The interns and I focused on gathering influencers to support various code patterns on the developerWorks web page. We learned several key ideas about gathering social media influencers. Social media influencers are power users who can help your potential customers, or in this case developers, make a buying decision through social networking. Whether they’re a blogger, product reviewer, industry expert or a trusted source of information, your social media influencers are unique to your field and product or service.

For example, if you’re trying to find a social media influencer on grilling and barbecuing, you’ll want people such as:

  • Food critics in the industry
  • People with popular outdoor cooking Instagram accounts
  • Grilling bloggers who write for major recipe sites
  • Grill and barbecue pit builders
  • Ribs and barbecue contest judges
  • TV chef personalities (i.e. someone who won Chopped)

People tend to trust peer recommendations over any company advertisement. Working with social media influencers is another step toward humanizing your brand. If you have social media influencers with loyal audiences, a brand mention goes much further than a Tweet from your company account. These followers trust the influencer’s opinion, which is why they follow in the first place. Some influencer naysayers believe these trendy social experts aren’t as effective as working with brand advocates because they’re short-term solutions. However, working with influencers builds meaningful relationships over time, while brand advocates are more short-term solutions. The worst thing you can do while searching for influencers is to rush the process.

In terms of identifying influencers, don’t be shy about reaching out to those who you feel would be great influencers. However, you don’t want to be too forward with what you want from them. Avoid sounding spammy or too needy as well. Start liking their shares and posts before adding them to your network. Here are some things that I have done to gather a list on Microsoft Excel:

  • Send a meaningful message about their content.
  • Ask them to join one of your LinkedIn groups (or join theirs).
  • Let them know how you found them (be honest).
  • Explain you’d just like a moment of their time (value their time).

The worst thing you can do is sound robotic and dehumanize the conversation. Secondly, put some effort into your research and have something specific and nice to say about what they do. The last thing you want is to seem rushed and that you only want something from them because they were the first result in your search. I have a collected list of over 40 influencers and I am now going through the vetting process to see which influencers are the most impactful!

Jack’s RTP Summer Intern Experience

Today we did a Lego team-building activity. In this activity we were split into two groups and had Person A and Person B. Each group was given two bags with the same pieces. Person A was responsible was for building something with the pieces given in 90 secs. Once they were finished, they had to communicate to Person B how to build the same thing. The kicker however is the fact when Person A talks to Person B they can’t look at what they are building. This made the process much harder and more fun to see how we would get around it.

I started out as Person A and Aathira was Person B, so I started to build a structure out of the pieces I had. However, this proved to be more difficult than I imagined because it was hard to build something symmetrical. When it came to communication, I did a decent job and it mostly looked the same. Then we switched it up and I had to listen to Spotswood who was Person A. We went through it very slowly and he was very descriptive which made it much easier and we were able to get it close and I was only a little bit off. This activity showed me how important communication is. When you are in a Zoom call at IBM you can see the other person’s screen, but in the real world you don’t have that luxury and must be very descriptive and clear, otherwise you could get things wrong. This activity was very informative and was very fun to be a part of.



Aathira’s RTP Summer Intern Experience

This week has been super fun so far! Dianne, our mentor, came back from her vacation and we got to catch up with her on everything that has been going on at IBM and we told her all about the RTP Intern Presentation Day and how it went really well for all of us, especially being the only high-schoolers that presented that day!

As for projects, we are mostly wrapping up everything as it is coming very close to the end of our internship date. We are still continuing to create tweets daily and writing 2 blogs a week to be put out, but projects like the newsletter and influencer projects have been completed! Although, for newsletters, we will soon be looking at the metrics of how many people are viewing our IoT newsletter and if they are viewing the links that were included. Unfortunately, there was no time to work with the Local Language Project as our project lead was extremely busy. But, it was cool to learn from her the different ways information reaches audiences as far as all the way across the world from where we are!

We also did a super fun team building activity yesterday! It was called the ‘Lego Team Building’ exercise, where we each got a partner and one person was Person A and one was Person B. Person A was in charge of creating a structure with the legos given to them in about a minute and 30 seconds. After they finish, Person A has to try and explain to Person B (without either of them looking at one another’s structures) how to create the same structure using different communication skills. The first time I got to be Person B, which wasn’t all too bad, but I think that being Person A was pretty challenging! Being able to explain exactly what you did to create your structure was definitely difficult. Although, our structures looked almost identical when I was Person A! This activity would have been much easier if both of us were able to see what the other was doing, but it really taught us that communication is always key. In the real world, if you are not able to communicate properly, no one will understand the ideas that you have and it can be hard to progress in the direction that you want to! Also, if people are trying to communicate to you, make sure that you are understanding them correctly, and if you are not able to, continue communicating the right way to reach your goals!


The RTP Summer Intern Experience Blog

  1. The RTP Summer Intern Experience Blog, Welcome to IBM!
  2. The RTP Summer Intern Experience Blog: Ramping Up Our Work
  3. The RTP Summer Intern Experience Blog: The Land of Projects
  4. The RTP Summer Intern Experience Blog: Executives, Emails and the Electronic Rug
  5. The RTP Summer Intern Experience Blog: Influencing and Building Strong Foundations
  6. The RTP Summer Intern Experience Blog: Video and Digital Outreach for Developers
  7. The RTP Summer Intern Experience Blog: Learning to be our best with resumes and collaboration
  8. The RTP Summer Intern Experience Blog: Influencing the Influencers
  9. The RTP Summer Intern Experience Blog: RTP Presentations and Marketing Automation
  10. The RTP Summer Intern Experience Blog: Communicating with Clarity

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