This post comes directly from IBM. Also, thanks go to Dr. Bill Hart-Davidson who made me aware of the program.
IBM Silicon Valley LaboratoryCo-op Program in User Technology
The IBM Silicon Valley Laboratory Co-op Program provides an opportunity for qualified university or graduate-level students to work at the Silicon Valley Laboratory, one of IBM's largest software development facilities. Interns and Co-ops work in a professional work environment with experienced software developers on industrial scale software products using state-of-the-art computing tools and methodologies. During their participation in the program, Interns and Co-ops receive a competitive industry salary.
About IBM Silicon Valley LaboratoryIBM’s Silicon Valley Laboratory (SVL) is a campus-like complex located in the rolling hills of southern Silicon Valley. It is the development home for many of IBM’s key software products and technologies, including database management, content management, data warehousing, integration, business intelligence and application development. The lab features casual dress, an espresso bar, fitness classes and a fitness center, a recreation center with jogging trails and locker rooms, offices, and an infrastructure that is tailored to the needs of software professionals. Employees at the lab are always encouraged to focus on creative activities, learning, and collaborative sharing. All of these elements contribute to SVL's overall atmosphere of technical excellence, creativity, and teamwork.
About the SVL Co-op ProgramSilicon Valley Laboratory has a proud tradition of employing qualified students for paid Intern and Co-op assignments, with many students returning after graduation for permanent employment. Work assignments are typically six months in duration and are tailored to the needs of the business and the student. Positions are available in information development (technical communications), visual design, and human factors engineering. Work is done under the mentorship of an experienced IBM professional. The following job responsibilities are illustrative of recent Co-op assignments in User Technology:
Ÿ Write portions of a help system for new functions of a large database management productŸ Test the design of an online tutorial for Windows®, UNIX®, and Linux® environments
Ÿ Write the installation and customization materials for a Web-based network computing product
Ÿ Design a set of icons for the user interface of a new product
Benefits of the SVL Co-op ProgramIn addition to a competitive industry salary, former Co-ops report the following benefits from having participated in the SVL Co-op Program:
Ÿ Validating your career objectives. By working at a real-world job and performing tasks that are consistent with your professional discipline, you can confirm your career choice in technical communications, visual design, or human factors engineering.
Ÿ Gaining relevant experience. Having worked in the software industry on a professional basis for a respected company that has very selective hiring criteria gives you an advantage when you are seeking a permanent job. And IBM of course makes Co-ops aware of available full-time hiring opportunities. IBM Co-op experience on your resume distinguishes you from other applicants. Also, many companies (including IBM) pay premium starting salaries to those with six or more months of relevant industry experience.
Ÿ Developing a professional network. The relationships you develop during your Co-op assignment can become valuable links to the software industry. Even after they return to campus, many Co-ops stay in touch with their IBM colleagues, often sharing technology trends, keeping up on changes in the marketplace, or discussing career decisions.
Ÿ Gaining academic credit. Some Co-ops earn college credit for their IBM assignments. (Check with your school’s placement or cooperative education office.) Also, many find their IBM work experience to be a catalyst for senior- or graduate-level research and thesis projects. Finally, while at IBM you can attend technical seminars, informal chalk talks, or short-duration professional education classes that will enhance your skills and knowledge base.
Experience and Skill RequirementsIBM’s experience and skill requirements for the Co-op program are consistent with the criteria for permanent employment. We seek exceptional students who are majoring in computer science, technical communications, user interface design, visual design, or human computer interaction. Positions require a six-month commitment (usually summer and fall, or spring and summer terms).
Candidates should also have effective communication skills, strong motivation, and the ability to work productively in a small team environment. Leadership skills and a passion for computing are highly desirable.
The following skills are required for technical writing positions:
Ÿ Excellent verbal and written communication skills
Ÿ Ability to quickly learn new technologies
Ÿ Working knowledge of markup languages such as XML DITA, or HTML
Ÿ Classroom familiarity with building help systems in WinHelp, JavaHelp, or HTML Help
Ÿ Classroom familiarity with programming or database concepts, especially familiarity with C, C++, Java™ or SQL
Ÿ Familiarity with Linux, UNIX, Windows, or IBM z/OS operating systems
The following skills are highly desirable:Ÿ Experience with desktop publishing and multimedia tools
Ÿ Experience in graphical user interface design
Ÿ Completion and validation of a C++ project or ability to create and debug complex SQL statements
Housing and TransportationMost Co-ops live in shared housing arrangements, or with relatives or friends in the area. IBM provides assistance in locating and obtaining suitable housing, as well as financial assistance for relocation. Although the Silicon Valley Laboratory is served by public transportation, the suburban nature of the area makes access to an automobile (for commuting) highly desirable.
How to Apply
If you meet the experience and skill requirements, contact the IBM recruiting team when they visit your campus. Give the recruiter copies of your resume and a college transcript showing courses completed and GPA (informal copies of transcripts are OK), and explain that you are interested in a Co-op position in User Technology. You should also indicate your preferred availability date to start working. The recruiter will share your information with other hiring managers upon return to Silicon Valley Laboratory. Later, you might be contacted for a 15-20 minute telephone interview with one or more hiring managers. If you’re selected for a position, you’ll promptly be notified via telephone or e-mail, and receive a formal offer letter and instructions (including relocation details) a few days later.
If you cannot meet with an IBM recruiter on campus, but are interested in a specific Co-op position for which you have an ID number, you can submit your resume and apply for the position on the Web.
To apply for a Co-op position when you have a requisition number for the position:1. Go to www.ibm.com/employment, and click on Search for jobs at IBM.
2. For Position Type, select Student/Internship and enter one of the following Job IDs in the keyword search field:
§ SWG-0523492 for Master’s candidates
§ SWG-0523520 for Bachelor’s candidates
IBM is committed to diversity in the workplace and is an equal opportunity employer.
To learn more about the software products that are developed at SVL, visit IBM's software product site at www.ibm.com/software/. From the left navigation area, click Products and Products by category.