We caught up with Connor Mackintosh, Tech Industry Gold student at the University of the West of England, Bristol who was successfully selected for a summer placement at The Wimbledon Championships, where IBM provides digital platforms across desktop and mobile, engaging fans around the world through an interactive experience.
In this Q&A, we asked Connor about the selection process, a typical day behind the scenes, and his ‘take-aways’ from this fantastic experience.
How did you find out about the placement opportunity?
The placement was advertised internally to students studying software engineering at UWE. Delia, one of my course leaders, worked with the TechSkills team and emailed everyone on my course. This placement immediately sparked my interest and I applied straight away.
What was the selection process like?
I was slightly apprehensive, but the TechSkills team quickly put me at ease. I was interviewed about why I wanted to do the role and what skills I possessed that would make me suited for it. After three interviews I was over the moon to have been offered the role.
What was your typical day at Wimbledon?
The role was so varied it is hard to say. My duties ranged from helping set up technology for the championships to meeting and greeting IBM clients and of course seeing some world-class tennis!
What would you recommend to future students who apply for the placement and how should they prepare for it?
To any future applicants, I would recommend just being yourself but be prepared for hard work and long days. Technical knowledge was useful, so some research of computer hardware and peripherals would be a benefit.
How will you apply what you learned to your future career?
I feel what I took most from my experience was the team values I learned. The effort that it takes for everyone to pull together and putting in the hard work was really rewarding. There’s a saying “the Wimbledon blues”. I now understand what it means, as I miss being part of that team.
Which three words would you use to describe your experience?
Incredible, inspirational, and innovative.
Incredible because it’s the prestigious Wimbledon Championships.
Inspirational because of the incredible people I worked with from IBM.
Innovative because of the technology that IBM brings to the experience.
Did you get to meet any celebrities/watch the tennis/consume strawberries and cream?
I saw many very well-known faces but was of course working too hard to meet them personally. I was very lucky to get a seat on the centre court for a few of the matches, including one of Andy Murray’s. I did indeed indulge in plenty of strawberries and cream.
Look out for next year’s placement opportunity which will be advertised in April 2022.