Meet IBM's Miami interns

Nick Kalita, Grant Eaton, Emily Hughes, and Brian Lambert at IBMNick Kalita, Grant Eaton, Emily Hughes,  
and Brian Lambert at IBM

Grant Eaton, Emily Hughes, Nick Kalita, and Brian Lambert are working with Watson, the computer famous for winning Jeopardy, as a part of the IBM team.

Watson’s strength is in its ability to answer questions asked to it. Since the Jeopardy win in 2011 Watson technology has been used in industries such as communications, healthcare, education, and hospitality.

With so many applications for Watson, and with 380,000 employees of IBM worldwide, there needs to be materials to teach IBMers around the globe how to use the applications, which is where the four Miami students come in.

“We are all members of the Cognitive Academy using Watson tools to create internal chatbots to teach other IBMers about Watson,” said Hughes, a software engineering major, of their project. The four interns work with a group of full-time employees.

The students discovered that working at IBM is hard work, but rewarding, too.

The view of NYC from Eaton, Kalita, and Lambert's apartmentThe view of NYC from Eaton,
Kalita, and Lambert's apartment

“IBM is fast-paced, and you have to give 100% at all times,” said Lambert, a statistics major at Miami.

Most of the work the interns do is using tools that they have never used before, but this isn't an obstacle for the Miami interns.

“What Miami does well is teaching you how to learn quickly and pick things up,” Kalita, a computer science major, said. All the students felt like the social part of a Miami education, not just the technical part, gave them a leg-up in their internships.

There are personal benefits to working at IBM as well as professional. Eaton, a computer science major, goes rock climbing every other day at IBM. Hughes got to walk in the NYC Gay Pride march with some of her coworkers.

The students were also pleased to find out a little-known perk to their employment. Because the corporation gives so much money to various museums, IBM employee badges can get them into some of the best museums in the world for free.

By Paige Smith