My name is Yasmin, but preferred to be called Yas. I am an IBM Apprentice that started in the September 2012 intake , so I am classed as one of the ‘older’ apprentices as I have nearly been at IBM 2 years, (but I still feel like a newbie!) I am based in Farnborough and have been working on a Public Sector account in Farnborough for the duration of my time as an apprentice here at IBM.
I first heard about IBM’s apprenticeship scheme on the television one evening – which my parents then encouraged me to apply to in March 2012. I had also already applied and been given a conditional place at Canterbury Christ Church University to study Computer Science. April/May I had been selected and chosen for the next steps of the application process (for the IBM Apprencticeship) after completing an online test. I had received an email days before letting me know that I had been invited to attend a final assessment centre in Southbank. Having only been driving a few months I drove up to London in my little Clio, suffering from a cold and in my formal business attire feeling very anxious.
A week passed and I was notified that I had been successful in gaining a place in the IBM apprenticeship scheme! I was then able tell my school sixth form that I had taken an alternative to the university route and that I was going to complete an apprenticeship for IBM. It was a difficult decision to make at the age of 18 as to whether I would go to university to study a subject I was really passionate about, or whether I would move over 100 miles away from home, move to a town called Farnborough (that I had to look up on Google maps), leave all my friends and family behind to start a job in the corporate world without knowing anybody. I was determined to pursue a career in the IT industry and to work for such a prestigious company and global market leader such as IBM was such an achievement that I couldn’t wait to start!
I always knew that from a young age that I had a passion for technology, I remember my dad owning a mobile phone back in 1998 when I was 5 years old and I had already learnt how to change his ringtone, change the settings for predictive text, add contacts and lots of other aspects (in 1998 changing a mobile phone’s ring tone was a top feature!). By the age of 10 my parents had bought me a second hand laptop, which ironically was an IBM ThinkPad.
Continuing on from then I started to learn web development in HTML coding from the age of 14. I would go on internet sites and self taught myself how to create a web page with text, images, navigation links and how to add colour to specific elements. When I was 16 I had to complete work experience as part of my studies at school. I got in contact with a local web design company which I then worked for, attending client business meetings and would go back to the office and then produce a design specification with other employees.
When I first started at IBM I knew that I wanted to go into a technical role and that I would enjoy this type of role. We had interviews with our project managers who then suggested that I would like to go into the Configuration Management team. When starting the team, I had lots of team meetings and shadowing other teams members so that I was able to understand what the team did, learning more about the project itself and getting to know more about IBM and their services.
After 18 months I then found my next role which is now as an application developer. For the last 6 months I have been learning and implementing a web application for a client. I have been able to put my web development skills (which I have previously learnt from a young age prior to IBM) to use, enhance these skills and produce a professional looking application which the client loves. I have now developed the majority of the User Interface for our application and I am now referred to on our project as the ‘UI web developer SME’ – subject matter expert!
That’s a little introduction to me, my background, how I got into IBM and an insight as to what I do in my job role. My future blog posts will be from a perspective of our community Connecting Women in IBM. I am currently the Connecting Women in Foundation Technical Team Leader and have also applied to become Connecting Women in Foundation Team Leader. I will be reporting more on our community and the roles within it and what we do as a community.
I look forward to sharing these experiences with you – keep an eye out for my future posts!