Category Archives: brathay

Brathay Apprentice Challenge 2017 – Sarah Naylor

This year, eight other apprentices and I have been chosen to represent IBM in the 2017 Brathay Apprentice Challenge which will see our company up against employers from across England to be crowned apprentice team of the year 2017.

Our team ‘Brathay Blue’ ranges from business/technical apprentices across many business units, giving us the opportunity to collaborate with individuals we would not normally get the chance to work with.

Our team consists of:

  • Me, Sarah Naylor
  • Charlotte Moore
  • Wesley Manta
  • James Ginn
  • Ashleigh Denholm
  • Conor Champion
  • Dominic Day
  • Shuhui Xue
  • Sophia Kyriacou

This challenge enables us to give back to the local community where we will spend the regional heats gaining valuable skills working on a community project and engaging in a number of exciting awareness raising challenges. Our aim is to raise awareness of apprenticeships across the South East of England, with two of the team doing the same in Manchester, promoting the benefits of apprenticeships for young people and the positive impact they can have for businesses.

The team will find out if we have been successful on May 17th when the National Finalists are announced. If we are lucky enough to be successful, we will have the opportunity to visit Brathay Trust HQ for the week where we will compete in the logistical and team building finale for the title of Apprentice Team of the Year 2017.

We are planning lots of events with schools, colleges, businesses and the local community for the coming months. We are always looking for new opportunities to get involved in, please contact us via Twitter direct message (account below) if we can support any of your events by raising awareness of apprenticeships in the South East.

Please support us this year and see what we will be getting up to in the coming months by following @IBMBAC  on Twitter and Tweet using hashtags #IBMBAC17 #BAC17.

Sarah Naylor.


School vs. Corporate Environment – Sarah Naylor

I have now been working at IBM for five months and as we are swiftly approaching year end, I thought it would be perfect timing to reflect on the lessons I have learnt since starting my apprenticeship in HR and the big differences between being in a school environment vs. a corporate environment.

Kick-starting your career early definitely does have its perks. Being able to able to afford nice holidays, a car and save for a flat all on top of being able to gain my CIPD qualification and valuable work experience has been a bonus.

The biggest challenge for me has been getting used to being in a professional environment every day where your colleagues rely on your support and you have job responsibilities to deliver day in- day out. Going from a six-hour day at school to a full-time job as well as a 100 mile all-round commute each day has definitely taken some getting used to! I have already learnt some foundation skills which could tackle these challenges such has time-management, prioritising and knowing that it is ok to say ‘no’ if you don’t think you will be able to deliver something to a high-standard and on time. I also hope to put these valuable skills into practice as I begin my CIPD qualification in the new year.

In the last four months, I feel I have grown from being the typical, moody teenager who didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning, to an adult (sometimes still moody if you catch me before my morning cup of coffee). IBM has supported me with such a big life change and I certainly would recommend this route to anyone who is looking to do something fun, challenging, eye-opening and to earn whilst you learn all at once.

My main goal for 2017 is to keep asking questions. As a newbie, it is a common trait to feel guilty for repeatedly asking why we do things the way we do, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. This is something that is encouraged at IBM and within my team, as it forces you to question the status quo and ask yourself if there is a more efficient way of working or re-inventing the current processes already in place. I am also really excited to have been chosen as 1/9 representing IBM in the Brathay Apprentice Challenge 2017 in search for the English apprentice team of the year. This will be a great opportunity to meet more apprentices, promote apprenticeships to school leavers and to give back to the local community.

As I go back to school this Thursday to collect my A-level certificates at the annual ex-year 13 prize giving, I will be returning this time with a more independent mind and a mature, confident and individual personality which has been brought to life upon joining IBM.

Sarah Naylor.

IBM Brathay Team Challenge!

Brathay Apprentice Challenge!

As you may be aware from our previous blog, the Brathay Challenge (#BAC16) is underway and the IBM team are in need of your support. In case you missed the last update here is a brief overview of what we are doing.

We are a team of 9 Apprentices all from very different parts of the organisation working through a number of challenges in order to win the title of ‘Brathay Apprentice team of the year’. The challenges are designed to highlight the benefits of apprenticeships with young people, educational establishments, other businesses and the community.

Our Brathay challenge is split into two parts, the first being awareness of apprenticeships and promoting them, and the latter being our community project.
Our previous blog gave you an insight into how we have created an awareness of apprenticeships and the different formats we have used to do so and we also gave a small introduction into our community Project.  Here is a quick recap if you missed it!

Community project:

The team selected Spithead community centre for their project as this community Centre will help many local residents and assist SEHCO in providing activities for young people in Portsmouth and South East Hampshire.

Spithead community centre, situated on Montgomerie road, Southsea, is run by a Charity called ‘SEHCO’ (South East Hampshire Community Outlook) who aim to promote community involvement. SEHCO currently have three community centres for hire, and are also leading a major Big lottery funded initiative that delivers arts and sports activities for local 10-18 year old. 

Our community project is now complete and was a huge success!

The team of 9 Apprentice’s worked alongside SEHCO to prepare and plan the project. All equipment needed to be ordered and delivered ready for the apprentice’s arrival on the Saturday 2nd of April. This included the basic furniture including chairs and tables, a fridge and microwave, and even a flat screen TV and Xbox one! A projector screen was also bought so that the users of the centre can practice presentation skills.

The team were left to assemble the furniture, thoroughly clean the centre and set up the IT Suite using their technical knowledge which included updating the systems and ensuring that the users of the suite could access the web and print documents safely.

Here are some after Photos:

5 4  2. 1.3

We will now be creating a portfolio to show what we have completed for the challenge so far and producing evidence to see if we have earnt a place in the Finals week commencing on the 13th June.

Please help support us and keep up to date with our progress on Twitter @IBMBAC16.