Should I wear a blue suit?

I am working in Chicago for the summer, but the intern orientation was in Dallas, so of course my flight out there was delayed. First day and I’m already running late. While I was excited to meet the other interns and get started, I was beyond nervous. My manager didn’t really give me a whole lot of information going in, so I had no idea what to expect. At one point they said business casual…but what does that really mean? Especially for a female, and especially at IBM. I had so many people make jokes about the blue suit dress code, that I half considered wearing one. But, I figured it was better to overdress a little especially considering it was the first day and half of the kids would turn up in suits. I finally got to Dallas and made it to the IBM office. I was glad I wore a nice dress because as I said, half of the kids ended up being in suits. But it was way more relaxed than I anticipated. I walked in a felt like I was in a modern tech company, which I loved. The first day was easy. It was mostly about introducing ourselves, learning about the company, and learning about what it is like to be an IBM Sales Intern.

Orientation was great. It was 3 days, in a new city, with nights free and money given to us to explore the town. We had a blast and I already made friendships that I knew would last. The real job started when I got back to Chicago. It was Wednesday night and my manager messages me asking if I can come to one of the offices in the suburbs for the day instead, and says, why don’t we just meet at 10 – I’m not really a morning person. I knew we were going to get along well after that. I met him in Oakbrook, IL, and we immediately clicked. The first day was all about learning the ins and outs of IBM software sales. He took to the whiteboard and started mapping it all out. At first glance, I was overwhelmed, but if I’ve learned anything at Michigan it is to ask questions and make sure everything is clear, which is exactly what I did. He was so impressed with the questions I asked, and I just laughed to myself thinking, this is what class is like every day at Michigan. Asking questions sure helped though because by the end of the day I was on the same page as my manager and had a much better understanding of how IBM sales is structured and where I fit into all of that. He introduced me to a few other IBMers, and sent email intros out to everyone on his team. I did not have any set projects yet, but the first week was all about meeting new people and building your IBM network. He cut the day short and let me go at 4 because the weather was so nice. After just four days with IBM, I was already loving it, and couldn’t wait to go back to work the next day.

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