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Thursday, the nicest day of the week. Because after Thursday it is Friday, so it is almost weekend ;) Aaaaand of course, thursday is also a good day because that's when we have SEB :P

In the previous lesson we agreed that we would go on an excursion to Groningen. We were going to an organization called IBM, International Business Machines. After some research and information from the teacher, we discovered that this is a very large company worldwide and the teacher tells us that the office/building does not look like what we are used to.

I was very curious.

Groningen car-parks discriminate against big cars 😒

We met near the Friesland College in Heerenveen. Some of us left by car and others are going with public transport to Groningen. I was driving myself in a big VW transporter, ideal because you have a lot of space and you can take more people with you. But then, also a little less ideal because once we were in Groningen we discovered that the car could not enter most parking garages because of the height.. A few laps in Groningen and fifteen minutes later we found a parking garage that we could enter and fortunately the garage was just around the corner of the building where we need to be.

Tight security - Original space 😍

You do not just enter the building, first we had to call and tell them who we are and what we are doing here, then they send someone down to let you in. Someone picked us up and first we had to sign a form: name, date, time in, time out, signature. Everything for the safety. Once everyone had signed the forms, the group is split up into two groups, first we got a tour of the building and after that there would be a presentation and a possibility to ask questions. Our teacher was right about the appearance of this building, fantastic! Every room or department has its own theme, and it looks great. Upon entering we already saw the tree houses, there are swing benches and there is a peaceful atmosphere. Great to be able to take a break here and clear your head.


The building is now 5 floors high. It all started on the 1st floor, this is the oldest of them all and the following floors were added later. Many of the meeting rooms are occupied, so we cannot enter them, but we do see the different themes: Grandmother's living room, Delft Blue, Roof terrace, Kitchen and so on. There are no fixed workplaces, all employees have their own equipment (laptops etc.) and are free to go wherever they want. We notice that a lot of the employees have an Apple or Lenovo laptop, we found out that the company has partnerships with both Apple and Lenovo, because of that they can make good deals with each other.


After the tour there will be a presentation about the company, for this presentation we take a seat in the so-called Roof terrace, this is an amazing room with a view over 2 departments, so nice peeking at the neighbors. The presentation tells about the company itself. IBM was founded in 1911, at the time it wasn't called that, they were given the name International Business Machines in 1920. The Groningen branch opened in 2013. This branch is part of IBM, but is called ClC, Client Innovation Center Benelux. IBM has more than 400,000 employees worldwide, quite a lot if you ask me. And to think that the diversity of employees is enormous, there are 34 different nationalities within the company and no difference is made between men and women. Most employees here in Groningen are between 26 and 30 years old. IBM wants to invest in "young people." As an employee you have many career development opportunities at IBM/CIC. This way you can also expand your knowledge in the educational field. You can choose a study/course within the company and learn about almost all functions within the company. This is very useful if you want to expand your knowledge and/or do something else.

As I mentioned earlier, they have partnerships with Apple and Lenovo, but the company also makes products/apps for large companies such as banks, supermarkets, oil companies. The company does a lot of design and development of new apps/products. IBM invented the Floppy in 1967. The employees of CIC regularly participate in so-called Hackathons, these are events in which you work together in smaller groups to solve a problem. There is a fixed number of days/hours in which you are brainstorming together and working on the solution. The group that has the best solution within the allowed time wins!


Our assignment for today was to think of at least 5 questions to ask within the company, after the presentation there was time for questions, and I asked mine:

1. What does the company do about sustainability?

We barely use paper, we created apps we can use for jobinterviews so we don’t have to use all that paper everytime.

2. What do you do about sustainability within the company?

Almost everybody is going to work by bike. There is a rule that if you live within 10 km of the company you have to go by bike.

3. What skills do you need to work here?

Computer/programming skills, soft-skills. But the most important thing is that you are taking initative and have good social skills. You can learn a lot!

4. What are the growth opportunities within IBM?

There are a lot of oppurtonities in our careerpath. If you show us that you want something and that you put efford in it, you can reach a lot.

5. Are you proud to work here?

YES! Finding new tech, working with a lot of smart and nice people in such a big company is amazing.

So there you go.

We received a lot of clear information. The atmosphere was really good and I think I can say, on behalf of all my classmates, that we had a nice and especially educational afternoon.

Thank you!

Jessica Kingsbergen

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