Hello, a big welcome from me! My name is Adam, and I hope you enjoy reading about my experience as an IBM apprentice and take something positive away from it. I joined IBM in April 2014 so I am technically still classed as a new recruit to the company, but what I have learnt and experienced in this time is well worth sharing!
After leaving secondary school I decided to enrol on a BTEC National Diploma in IT practitioners’ course at my local college, which allowed me to explore the inner workings of computers and networking, something that I believe started my passion for the IT industry. The course allowed me to build my knowledge in computing and explore the potential channels I could pursue later in my career. It wasn’t until I started University the following year that I realised that classroom learning wasn’t for me anymore, so I decided to pursue something that I would find more rewarding; hence my search for an apprenticeship began. I have always known that an IT apprenticeship is a great way to start a career and you are able to earn a full salary at the same time, both of which University didn’t offer. I was made aware of the IBM Apprenticeship scheme through the website ‘Not Going To Uni’, which is where all of IBM’s impressive array of facts and figures really caught my eye. The reason I decided to apply for this particular scheme ahead of others of a similar nature was first and foremost for the reputation IBM has in the IT industry. In addition to this the structure of the Apprenticeship was another major factor I considered: I could gain industry recognised qualifications whilst earning and learning at the same time. The application process for the apprenticeship is very well organised, with each part of the process being well managed: from the original CV submission right through to the assessment centres. One thing that stood out for me during the assessment centre was that IBM ‘want’ you to become their apprentices – it was not like traditional interviews – rather a relaxed atmosphere for applicants to really show their best self.
After being accepted onto the scheme I spent two weeks at a picturesque hotel enrolled onto IBM’s induction scheme. The induction was a real eye opener for me as this was the time where I had the opportunity to learn a lot more about what IBM is all about and what they expect of me. There were plenty of presentations and group work sessions to allow us all to give our views on a variety of topics.
I had the chance to meet some amazing people during my induction, all of which I am still in frequent contact with. This brings me on to my next point in fact, in which becoming an IBM Apprentice is probably the best way to meet a host of likeminded professionals and become part of a huge community from day one.
After the two weeks was up, it was time to join the vast array of Apprentices’ already working with IBM clients right across the UK. My allocated client site was based in Preston and the job role revolves around Incident Management. I am part of the ‘triage team’ that deals with errors and malfunctions in business critical applications. As a result, there is plenty for me to learn from this role and I hope to establish a depth of knowledge on these applications in the coming months. IBM encourages apprentices to enter in a role rotation scheme in which it is possible to switch teams after 6 months, meaning the range of opportunities on offer is beyond anything you would likely find elsewhere.
IBM work with well established organisations in a variety of different sectors, so there is always the opportunity to pursue new roles on a regular basis. One aspect of working at IBM that I really enjoy is that everyone is on first name basis, regardless of position. This is a great way to create a more relaxed working environment and allows us as apprentice’s to feel part of a community from the start. Apprentices even become official IBMers from the off, which is something you will later learn is a worthy title to be given!
In this short space of time as an IBM apprentice I have experienced a bundle of new situations and found myself working with a lot of interesting people. I am positive that IBM will continue to provide me with the opportunities I need to pursue my career aspirations over the coming years, but for now I will keep you updated of how I’m progressing in my first few months as an IBM Apprentice.
Thanks for reading. See you soon!