The Digital Business Group internship is designed to give high school/pre-college students the opportunity to be interns at IBM 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 include: 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 other interns and I focused a little bit more on IBM Code Influencer Identification this week. IBM is looking for the interns to help identify influencers from outside of IBM for two purposes: One, to identify new potential writers and content contributors for IBM Code. Two, to bring in new influencers into our ecosystem to connect with our executives.


The project scope is to identify influencers across subject areas and categorize them in a spreadsheet. Also, to create an outreach plan to engage with influencers. Some of the deliverables involved in this project is to use a spreadsheet that identifies a diverse list of influencers across subject areas as potential content contributors for IBM Code with name, brief bio, email, social media presence, links to published work, and justification for why they would be a good person to pursue as contributor. The last deliverable is an engagement plan that lays out best practices for approaching influencers and a timeline to reach out and follow up with them.


The two main goals of this project is to help the IBM team gain insight into influencers in their subject areas and create new pipelines for content contribution and to increase our influence by partnering with influencers to help serve our developer audience with the best possible content. The outcome for the interns is to gain a better understanding of the role that influencers can and should play within a brand setting, to introduce them to influencer relations, and to give IBM the opportunity to bring in influencers as contributors to our sites (developerWorks and IBM Code websites or pages).

Jack’s RTP Summer Intern Experience

This was probably the most fun I have had at IBM yet. In this challenge we had about twenty minutes to create the tallest free-standing tower out of Dots candy and toothpicks. We pretty much had free reign and used our engineering skills to build these monuments. Spotswood took more of a package approach and made his wide a structurally sound. Aathira went with the standard square approach and made a lot of squares on top of each other. However, she realized that she needed more support and made cross sections too. My approach to this task was to make a pentagon shaped base and then create a triangle in the middle and build up from there.


My approach worked for a while but once it started to get tall, the Dots tower started to twist. To counteract this, I moved down and tried to push my toothpicks in to stabilize the structure and I even tried to add extensions to hold it together. At the same time, Spotswood kept building and it was a race between the two of us. In the end, my structure could not hold and it fell over and Spotswood was declared the winner. My boss then gave us a few tips for the next time which were:

  •       Triangles are the strongest shape for structures
  •       Always have a stable and sound base
  •       Be mindful of your resources

This was a very intriguing activity and hope to do it again sometime.

Aathira’s RTP Summer Intern Experience

So far, all of my projects have been going really well! I have currently been focusing on the intern video, influencers, and newsletter projects. For the video project, I have picked a code pattern and am researching it thoroughly now to understand what it is and why it is important. Once I have completed my research, I will be drafting a video script to help aid in creating my marketing video for the code pattern.

The influencers project is one we have been recently introduced to. Each of the RTP summer interns are assigned three different technologies and we are responsible for researching the influencers for those technologies. In order to help with this process, I have been setting up meetings with the editors of my technologies for a deeper understanding. We will all be working on an Excel spreadsheet organizing the influencers we have found and will review our findings with project lead, Kevin Allen. Lastly, the newsletter project has been very interesting to me! So far, we have been exploring around with .xml files and the Oxygen application, and will be getting more training with Meagan Sams, our lead for this project. Working on these projects have been very exciting so far and I can’t wait to continue on!


I am also super excited to share that I got to volunteer for the IBM Girls STEM Camp! There were around 30 girls who came to visit IBM for two consecutive days and a team of interns helped them with a multitude of activities. For the first day, we helped fill out IBM bags with candy, pencils, and IBM water bottles to be distributed to them at the end of the camp. And we also watched the girls do an M&M activity where they had to find which of their M&M’s had defects and which ones didn’t and perform calculations based on these numbers. The second day, the girls learned how to follow instructions to make lip balm and hand lotion! I was in the hand lotion station and I helped every girl make their own, guiding them weh needed. I even got to make my own hand lotion! I was able to make some friends during my volunteering experience at this camp and I would no doubt do it again if I could!


I also took part in a tower building challenge with the other two interns and lead by our mentor, Dianne. We were each provided toothpicks and gumdrops and were told to build the tallest possible tower we could create. Unfortunately, I did not win as I decided to stay on the safe side and stop building before it couldn’t stand still anymore! But, this activity was helpful as we learned how the triangle is the strongest shape when building, and apart from the activity itself, we learned how in life if we have a strong and sturdy base for something that we want to accomplish, then most of the time, there will be positive results. I love how every activity that we do also connects to the real-world and how we can connect with ourselves and our community.

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

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