1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am a technical solutions specialist within IBM. Currently, I am Support Team lead providing support for a set of software owned by IBM. I deal with internal and external customers alike. I resolve and advise customers problems through our functional task ID (shared email.) I am also involved in upgrading of our systems and software.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learnt several new skills during my time here. Currently I am finishing my level 3 qualification. IBM provides all core training internally however there are other external opportunities available. IBM also has an enormous library of online learning I can access. I have used this as a basis for my PERL skills for example.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I work in a team with one other apprentice, it is good to share experience together. There are other accounts with multiple apprentices. I am still in touch with my intake of apprentices, it's a good community. The programme is good as it is so varied for everyone so you can really personalise your own learning and tailor it to your own development needs.
4. How valued do you feel by IBM?
I feel very valued by IBM. I feel trusted as an employee and given a wide variety of tasks. I receive appreciation and thanks from not only my manager but customers too. This all helps when it comes to review times!
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
When I joined IBM, straight away I was sent on a two week residential Induction course. This bought me up to speed with IBM as a whole. From there I have received further job specific training from my team. And "apprentice specific" training from IBM Foundation (the group for early professionals) I have regular meetings with my EPM (Early Professional Manager) to discuss progress and my development to ensure I am on track.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Although we are partnered with a college, most of our training comes internally from IBM. There are thousands of SMEs I can talk to for help or adivce. People within my team are willing to help. The online classes and classrome led courses are all great.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My team and task manager are both very supportive of my learning and allow me time away from my main job role to focus on apprentice work/learning when appropriate.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
When I started the apprenticeship, I was on 15k, I have been here for a year and a bit and am now on 19k. We roughly have a salary increase every 6 months as a goal depending on business My expenses are paid for long journeys away from my base location.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
As mentioned earlier, there are several communities within IBM, sports clubs, location clubs, Hursley even has a bar on site! I have kept in touch with my intake of apprentices and there are opportunities for us to meet up outside of work.
9a. Would you recommend IBM to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
Great programme, good money, lots of potential. I have in fact recommended a friend and he has since started IBM and shares similar views to me.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to IBM? *
Research IBM beforehand, what we are doing, our aims, goals views etc. This is good to talk about and shows you're interested. The assessment day is actually quite fun, get involved and ensure you listen and contribute equally.
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