See the future. Then help build it.

IBM logo

What is Cognitive Computing?

Cognitive computing is the use of technology to process information more like a human than a computer. It solves complex problems across healthcare, education, finance, government, customer service, retail, art, and beyond by scaling human abilities.

Cognitive computing touches topics within computer science, business, design, and natural sciences like:

  • Algorithms
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Cloud Computing
  • Cognitive Science
  • Computer Vision
  • Data Science
  • Distributed Computing
  • Machine Learning
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Robotics
  • Software Engineering
  • Speech Recognition

And new this year, The Cognitive Computing Odyssey will also explore topics like Design Thinking, Blockchain, and Cloud Computing!

About The Cognitive Computing Odyssey

The Cognitive Computing Odyssey is a program for college students, developers, engineers, product managers, designers, and data scientists who are either about to graduate or early in their careers (recent career transitioners are welcome as well). It is an opportunity to meet and learn from experienced pros in these fields over two days during Fall 2017... and to explore full-time job opportunities for 2018.

If selected for The Cognitive Computing Odyssey, you will:

  • Travel to one of the following cities (travel + lodging fully covered):
    • Boston, MA (USA) -- Nov 6 - 8
    • Toronto, ON (Canada) -- Nov 20 - 21
    • Austin, TX (USA) -- Nov 27 - 29
    • San Francisco, CA (USA) -- Dec 4 - 6
  • Meet engineers, scientists, researchers, designers, offering managers, data scientists, executives, and program managers from across IBM
  • Spend 2 days with fellow selected students from across the U.S. and Canada
  • Take place in a hackathon leveraging IBM’s latest technologies and research
  • Have final-round interviews for 2018 full-time jobs with IBM
  • Learn about the applications of cognitive computing, cloud computing, blockchain, design thinking, and more - across industries like healthcare, education, finance, government, retail, and art

Invited students will participate in one (1) of the following two-day programs: Nov 6 - 8, Nov 20 - 21, Nov 27 - 29, Dec 4 - 6 (all in 2017)

Check out "Who Can Apply?" and "Frequently Asked Questions" below for more info.


Who Can Apply?

  • (Aspiring) developers, designers, product/offering managers, and business-minded data scientists
  • Undergraduate, Master’s/MBA, and Ph.D. students enrolled at any U.S. or Canadian college in a technical, design, business, or deeply analytical program
  • Recent graduates from a technical, design, business, or deeply analytical program - with less than 2 years of full-time professional experience
  • Graduates of technical “bootcamp” or immersive-style programs (such as Hack Reactor, Fullstack Academy, The Software Guild, Metis, etc.)

You must be able to start full-time employment between March - November 2018 to participate in The Cognitive Computing Odyssey!

Looking for internships? Complete an application to be considered for 2018 opportunities.

Looking for Sales or Consulting roles? Click here.

PLEASE NOTE: All applicants are reviewed for experience and relevance. As a result, your application through this site or IBM does not guarantee participation in this program.

Meet The IBM Team (aka Why Apply)

Reasons for joining a startup straight out of college usually come down to company culture, industry disruption, and the ability to have a large impact on a business early in your career.

But what if you could recreate this within a global company?

Learn about the experiences of:

  • Lisa Seacat DeLuca - IBM Master Inventor & Distinguished Engineer running the App Factory within Watson Internet of Things
  • Lysa Banks - Lead Architect & Program Manager for Industry Cloud Solutions
  • Mikhail Sushkov - Cognitive Software Engineer
  • Phuc Anh Tran - Front-End Developer
  • Neil Mallinar - Machine Learning Software Engineer
  • Sahana Subbanna - User Interface Developer
  • Josh Sharpe - Back-End Developer

Phuc Anh Tran & Sahana Subbanna
Graduates of Brown University & Columbia University
Mikhail Sushkov, Josh Sharpe, & Neil Mallinar
Graduates of Stanford University, University of Alabama, & Johns Hopkins University

Lisa Seacat DeLuca
Graduate of Carnegie Mellon University + The University of Texas at Austin
Lysa Banks
Graduate of New Jersey Institute of Technology

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply?

When is the application deadline?

  • Applications will be accepted until capacity is reached.
  • Once The Cognitive Computing Odyssey reaches capacity, all eligible applicants will be added to a waitlist in the event that spots open for The Cognitive Computing Odyssey.
  • Applicants will also be notified of additional job and internship opportunities available through Uncubed and IBM in the event that they cannot participate in The Cognitive Computing Odyssey for any reason.

How much does it cost?

  • There is no cost to apply for - or participate in - this program.
  • If selected for final-round interviews in Austin, TX; Atlanta, GA; or Ottawa, ON on any of the program dates listed above, your travel and lodging expenses will be fully covered by IBM.

What types of jobs are available through The Cognitive Computing Odyssey?

  1. Engineering & Development: includes Software Development (see full list of specializations here), Cognitive Software Development, DevOps Engineering, Site Reliability Engineering (SRE), and IBM’s Extreme Blue program
  2. Design, UX, & Front-End Development: includes Design Research, Visual Design, User Experience (UX) Design, and Front-End Development
  3. Product / Offering Management (Track closed.)
  4. Analytics & Data Science: (Track closed. Apply for the “Engineering & Development” track instead, if a fit.)

When will I know if my application has been accepted?

  • Your application will be reviewed shortly after successful completion and submission.
  • If your desired Job Track (Developer, Designer, Offering Manager, or Data Science) requires a “challenge” (coding, design, etc.), you should receive this challenge within 7-10 days of submitting your application. For coding challenges, look in your Inbox and Spam folders for an email with the subject line "Interview with IBM” from the email address “interviews [at] hirevue [dot] com."
  • Due to applicant volume and each applicant being reviewed, you might only be notified if you are advancing to the next round of the application process. We apologize in advance if this is the case and just ask that you please be patient in receiving a response.

What if I’m interested in working at IBM, but I have a competing offer deadline BEFORE these Cognitive Computing Odyssey programs are held?

  • If we can accommodate your schedule, we will. Please let us know of any competing offer deadlines ASAP by emailing [email protected]

How are participants selected?

  • Each participant is selected through application, a “challenge” (coding, design, data analysis, etc.), and interview(s).
  • Applicants who select the Developer Track (Software Developer, Cognitive Software Developer, DevOps Developer, or Site Reliability Engineer) will receive a coding challenge. See below for which languages you can use for this coding challenge.
  • Applicants who select the Data Science Track will receive an analytics challenge requiring Python.

What language(s) can I complete my coding or data challenge with?

    • Software Developer: Java, JavaScript, C, C++, Python, or Scala
    • Cognitive Software Developer: Java or Python
    • DevOps Developer: Bash, Java, Python, or Ruby
    • Site Reliability Engineer (SRE): Java, C, C++, or Python
    • Data Science: Python
    • Extreme Blue Technical Intern: Basic knowledge of JavaScript, Java, Python, or another object-oriented programming language required.

How do I sign up for The Cognitive Computing Odyssey?

  • If you already have an Uncubed account:
    • Log in to get started quickly.
  • If you don’t yet have an Uncubed account:
    • Click here, “Apply” in the nav bar, or scroll up to the top and enter your Name, Email, and Desired Password to get started.

What if I have a question that isn’t answered on this page?

  • Send it to [email protected] and a member of the Uncubed team will get back to you as soon as possible.

Presented by

Uncubed logo IBM logo