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Extreme Blue Summer Internship


What will you do?

Extreme Blue at IBM isn’t your average summer placement. It’s 12 weeks of intense creative thinking.

Ever fancied running your own business? Well, working in a small team of students, you’ll tackle a real business problem. Your task? Develop an idea to solve it – one that no one else has thought of – and then, turn that idea into a real product. When the 12 weeks are up, you’ll showcase it to our executives, business partners and clients. Expectations will be high and the results will be scrutinised closely. So, it’s not an easy ride – but we guarantee it’ll be an incredible experience.

"I wanted the chance to run my own business over the summer. I wanted the freedom to run with my ideas too." "I wanted the chance to run my own business over the summer. I wanted the freedom to run with my ideas too."

After all, where else could you do all this?


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What roles do we offer?

You’ll work in a team with 3 other students - one business student and three technical students. In these teams your challenge will be to develop the technology and business plan that will bring a new product to life for IBM.

Business roles

You’ll be the one managing the project, keeping the team on schedule and meeting targets and objectives. That’ll involve dealing directly with clients, determining the features your solution will need and putting together a watertight business case. You'll also be responsible for creating the white paper for your project; Extreme Blue sample white paper. (PDF, 2.07MB)

Business roles are for:

People studying a business type degree.

Natural born leaders and expert planners.


Technology roles

You’ll be part of the team that designs, architects, develops and tests an innovative new product for your client. You’ll work with some true technological geniuses here, too – which will give you the chance to expand your own skills.

Technology roles are for:

People studying a technical/scientific/numerical degree, with an aptitude for programming.

True problem solvers – those who can analyse tricky issues and work in teams to solve them.


What kind of projects will you work on?

It really could be anything. Here are a couple of great examples:

Smart Cursor

Smart Cursor looked at finding alternative ways for users with limited movement or dexterity to control a computer. Traditional solutions such as the mouse are not suitable for some, and bespoke solutions for a particular condition are often expensive and specific: if a mouse can move the cursor and eyeball tracking can move the cursor, why not decouple the method from the task and create something that learns how you want to use your computer?

This was the task tackled by the Smart Cursor team - they collected data from a movement sensor that could be attached to any part of the body, and used SPSS to learn gestures. In this way, the user could teach the computer what they wanted to do when they performed a given gesture – furthermore, if their condition changed, they could stick with the same software and hardware, but re-teach it to respond to new gestures. The end goal of the project is a system that can work with input data from any type of sensor to recognise "gestures" (or "things that the user does to control the computer"), including light, temperature or noise sensors for example.

The project has a patent filed with the European patent office, and discussions are ongoing with two of the UK's largest companies; one is a large department store and the other is a shopping centre landowner.


LASSOLASSO had a simple but incredibly broad problem – develop a better delivery platform for mobile phone applications. Normally, to use an application for say, the London Eye, you need to first know that one exists, you then need to find it on the app-store, download it and then you can use it.

Furthermore, that application is then on your phone forever (well, at least until you uninstall it) even though you're not likely to use it again.

LASSO allows for situationally relevant applications to be delivered to your phone, based on preferences you set, automatically installed and then uninstalled when you've left that situation. Given the number of applications now available (hundreds of thousands) this gives a new delivery mechanism for such applications, and means companies don't have to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on trying to get their applications to the 'Top 50' list.

The project has a patent filed with the European patent office, and discussions are ongoing with two of the UK's largest companies; one is a large department store and the other is a shopping centre landowner.


Your benefits

Support and training

Learn by exploring

Freedom – that’s one of the things that makes Extreme Blue different from any other placement out there. We’re not going to tell you what you need to do every day. Instead, we want you to explore ideas, be creative and push yourself and your team to come up with something mind-shatteringly brilliant.

Support from the brightest and best

You’ll be working at our cutting-edge Software Development Lab near Winchester, Hampshire – alongside some of the world’s leading developers and innovators. They’ll be there to offer guidance and support throughout the 12 weeks. To be more specific, you’ll have:

Look forward to a bright future

The benefits of Extreme Blue will last well into your future career. And, if you’re looking to return to IBM as a graduate, although we can’t guarantee a place, you’ll have the best possible chance.

Let’s get social

Over 500 students join IBM every year on the various different programmes we offer, which means you’ll have a ready-made social life. For instance:


What we look for


Watch video

Want to know what we are looking for in an Extreme Blue student? Find out from Cathy, Placement Student Manager in the UK.

You’ll need to be at University and on target for at least a 2:1 honours degree. You must also be in your penultimate year of study and be authorised to work in the UK for the whole placement too.

Business roles

You need to be studying for a business related degree and to have excellent leadership, communication, planning and teamwork skills.

Technical roles

You should be studying a technical, scientific or numerical degree and have excellent analytical, problem solving and teamwork skills - along with a talent for programming.