Wow how time flies! Like the creator of the IBM apprentice blog, our very own Oliver Pope-Mostowicz, I too have just celebrated my 3rd Anniversary at IBM. Oliver and I were lucky enough to be on the same induction week and have stayed in contact throughout our time as apprentices despite working at different locations. It was really interesting to see how differently our careers have progressed from the same grass roots we shared at the induction.
So naturally it’s a great time to reflect on the highlights of my last 3 years and think about what’s next after the apprenticeship.
Let’s start with the highlights! Firstly transitioning to a technical role from a business focused background. When I started IBM I was somewhat under the impression I would be channeled in to a project management or service delivery career path. Starting a technical role was a completely new and alien idea but I would argue the best step for my career yet. Whether I remain technically focused or not the things I have learnt and the concepts understood will stay with me and can be applied wherever my career takes me and should ensure I don’t suffer fools so easily should I go back to a more business focused role. Secondly becoming a Cisco Certified Network Associate. In the world of networking this is the first foot in the ladder of qualifications and shows a good knowledge of most networking concepts and can be used alongside other qualifications such as the MCSE (Microsoft qualification path) to create a strong and desirable CV! My third highlight was from around a year in to the scheme but I feel still holds some merit to this day. Completing the IBM Professional Skills Class (a course that simulates competing for a client bid over one week in a high pressure environment) with perhaps the highest average score ever seen and being awarded a nice bottle of bubbly to accompany. (My average was 1.89 for any IBMers reading who know the scoring system 1 being excellent 6 being failed).
Post apprenticeship? It’s really satisfying to have become a full IBMer and to have graduated the apprenticeship scheme. The fact your pay is able to rise significantly overnight shows how much value apprentices are creating for IBM even before they graduate the scheme. I’m currently involved with a project that will be moving data centers from the IBM Farnborough office which is closing, to the IBM Hursley site near Winchester. All my efforts are currently in preparation for this with the move set to happen early next year. It’s a huge piece of work and it’s not something I anticipate I will see again in my career any time soon. So it’s all hands to the pumps to get this moving and a rather action packed 2-3 weeks while the move actually takes place! Also a new site means new connections and hence new opportunities. All my experiences so far have been in the public sector accounts so I would be interested to see the differences working for a private sector client. I’d like to continue to build my skills in networking and eventually progress in to an architectural role.
So farewell apprenticeship and hello life as a full IBMer!