Further on the Path to AI Leadership

Maggie Barclay attended the virtual CMD-IT/ACM Richard Tapia Conference in September of 2020, where she heard about the internship opportunities that IBM had to offer. She applied for the Extreme Blue program, which streamlines the export customs blockchain process, and she spent the summer working as a technical intern developing software within a team for IBM CIO Finance and Supply Chain.

“I was drawn to this particular internship as it’s IBM’s premier leadership program, and I was very impressed and intrigued by the projects that past interns had worked on,” Maggie says. “My role on this team as a developer was to process and transform large amounts of data and build visualizations and predictive machine learning elements for the user.”

Maggie says enrolling in Illinois Tech’s accelerated master’s program allows her to take graduate-level courses, which covered material that was helpful in internship. Working to earn an AI degree also was beneficial to securing the internship.

“Offering students the opportunity to get an AI degree has been a huge advantage,” she says. “My resume stands out and I have been able to discuss my AI coursework in interviews, as well as directly applying the skills to my internship.”

Maggie says her long-term career goal is to make a meaningful impact in the AI field by leading industry discussions about issues such as bias in AI and ethical uses, as well as work on meaningful projects that allow for innovation and discovery in this rapidly growing and changing field.

“This internship definitely helped me accomplish these goals,” Barclay says. “The experiences I am having are helping me to become more well-rounded in my technical and leadership skills. I've been able to explore how the company is pushing the field forward and learned from incredibly talented IBMers.”

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