A Weeks Worth of Opportunities – Joe Barry

As I have been blogging about all the things I have experienced and learnt during my time in IBM and how it could benefit you guys looking into apprenticeships I decided to instead for my first blog of 2016 to talk about one of the things I haven’t experienced or taken advantage of. IBM optional opportunities once you have joined.

My email from the minute I joined in September 2014 has been full of information regarding courses, events, giveback, charity work, up and coming technology that IBM is involved with and is giving me an opportunity to be a part of. With IBM being involved with numerous industries there are a very wide variety of events to be a part of. Recently I have been focusing all my attention on my day job for the client, which is great, but an apprenticeship should allow you to explore, find an interest and make a impact.

So to show you all what I mean I saved a weeks worth of mail from IBM on up and coming opportunities so I could share how much there is to gain and how much people like me have missed out on in the past.

First of all the 14th to the 18th of March is National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) which IBM has always been a part of. IBM volunteers from all accounts can help to promote apprenticeships in new and creative ways. You are always encouraged to join the NAW team and your work will get noticed by other IBMers as well as different business owners. My biggest motivation for doing NAW is getting to help students with there careers choices and giving them as much information on what is out there for them. I wish I had that when I was still in school.

Not surprisingly when I get into the office on Monday the first email I get is about NAW and all the events they are doing on that day. One of which was the ‘Rise to the Top’ event at The Shard in London. There Apprentices, Employers, Ambassadors and a variety of guest speakers share there experiences and talked about what they see for the future of there industries and how apprentices can help. In the interest of keeping you attention I wont talk about everything the IBM team have done for NAW but on Twitter #IBMNAW16 has all the details.

Tuesday I get an invitation for an IBM Senior Leadership Open Forum. These sessions create a relaxed environment where you get to talk to Senior IBMers about there career path and ask questions about your personal development. This is particularly helpful for understanding the process to achieve your goals here at IBM both within Foundation and after graduation. If you are like me and as not 100% sure on where you want to be after the apprenticeship I would recommend taking full advantage of the forum.

Foundation send me an email on Wednesday about ‘Hackademy’. Hackademy is a four day event based in IBM Hursly focused on Front-End Development. It is particularly helpful to designers, engineers and architects so if you join the apprenticeship in those roles you will be encouraged to go and learn more about the up and coming software you will most likely be using. My role as an Industry Test Analyst doesn’t use Front End Development but I am very keen on learning more about coding languages so I will keep an eye out for emails about this in the future.

One of the many emails I got on Thursday was from UKI Service Leaders mailbox. Senior IBMers regularly us this to spread information on changes to the industry whether that be via a blog they have done or a forwarded email from Some of IBMs UK leaders. This Thursday I was sent a blog by Paul Farrell the UKI IMT Leader for Global Business Services.

At the end of the week I was informed that IBM had acquired Optevia. Optevia is a leading Microsoft Dynamic and Cloud company based here in the UK. Notifications like this keeps IBMers in touch with where the company is heading and could be useful to someone who is interested in the technology. The email had links to a press conference that goes into more detail about the negotiations and how this acquisition came to be.

And there you have it, a weeks worth of opportunities provided by IBM. This list was not hard to create as in total I received 18 emails from the 14th to the 18th of March from IBM or IBMers. When you have the opportunity to be a part of something bigger, grab it with both hands.

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