IBM eXtreme Blue

eXtreme Blue

IBM eXtreme Blue is the 12-week summer internship programme that is open two students in the second year of their undergraduate course. During this program, students will work in teams of four on a special project that they develop and execute completely on their own, in response to a current business problem. This project will then be presented to IBM executives, partners, and clients at the European expo at the end of the scheme.

Students will join the programme in one of two roles:

  • Business Roles - Project management, dealing with clients, marketing the product, leadership. For those studying Business-related degrees
  • Technology Roles - Designing, developing, and testing your team's product. For those studying a technical/scientific/numerical degree, with an aptitude for programming.

Each team will be made up of one Business student and three Technology students.

To be eligible for this programme, you should be on track to receive a 2:1 degree and have a excellent teamworking skills.

Interns receive a salary of of £15,000 (pro rata), free accommodation and facilities, as well as an all-expenses paid trip to the European Expo to showcase their project.

Selection Process

The IBM eXtreme blue selection process varies drastically depending on where you are applying to. Each different locale can interview very differently. This is based on the UK method of assessment for eXtreme blue.

See IBM Interview Questions for general tips and advice.

Application Form

You’ll need to complete the IBM standard online application form and attach a copy of your CV to complete your application. IBM are looking for people who have the key competencies and skills to be successful at IBM, and provide a competencies based CV template on their application form for you to complete. Some find this quite restrictive, however it is very useful for you as it provides an exact framework in which to talk about their key competencies.

Online Test

IBM allow applicants a week to take their online numerical reasoning and verbal reasoning aptitude tests. This is called the IPAT test. It comprises of Sequence matching, Matrix Manipulation (tables, not horrific matrix maths) and some numerical / verbal reasoning questions. Be aware that each question is timed individually (2.5 minutes for each). Also be aware that cheating will be found out, see below.

First Round Selection/Assessment Day

If you pass the IBM online aptitude tests, you will be invited to attend a first round selection/assessment day. This will be held at IBM Hursley.

The Assessment Day for eXtreme Blue will feature the same sort of activities as the Graduate Assessment Day, though the format is different.

You will be given a presentation by the business where you will get the chance to ask questions and be taken on a tour of the Hursley site.
You will then sit a short confirmatory test of the test you have already completed online.
This day primarily focuses on your team working skills by means of a single group activity. There will also be a written test comprising of either multiple choice questions based on a mixture of algorithms, small programs and SQL / Data, or an essay based test depending on your application (ie, business or technical). If you are successful on this day then you will be invited to an assessment centre.

Assessment Centre

The IBM assessment centre has been designed to give you the opportunity to demonstrate a broader range of skills than you would be able to if you just had an interview. You will complete a number of different exercises and interviews aimed at giving you the chance to show a range of the skills you possess.

There are a mixture of group activities, a presentation, a problem solving - role play activity as well as an interview. If you have got to this stage they already know your technical skill level and will not be assessing this as heavily as you might expect. At this stage of the assessment process they are much more interested in how well you fulfil the key competencies they have outlined on their website.

For further details on the types of activities performed at IBM's Assessment Centres, see IBM Interview Questions or visit the Wikijob Forums