System Support - BetaWorks at IBM

Start Date:
2015
Location:
Winchester
Programme Type:
Apprenticeship - Advanced Level (Level 3)
Salary:
£17,000 annually
Review Date:
January 2016

Connect with IBM

Review Score

9.6/10

1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:

10/10

I work within the System Support within the BetaWorks department. The tasks I complete vary day to day. Overall I am responsible for the technical set ups of classroom events being held by the Programme Managers in BetaWorks. I am also the point of contact in the office for Management, Programme Managers and the Project Office in regards to hardware repairs, procurement of the department and asset management. Projects I have been involved with include infrastructure projects in our lab, for example the rewiring of the server racks, implementation of storage, and creating a base zPDT image. An ongoing project I am involved with is the delivery and logistics of Data Power Appliances to customer sites in the UK. This involves communicating with customers in various forms, and organising deliveries that meet their schedule. I also get to visit client sites through these projects to complete the installations of the appliances.

2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?

10/10

Since joining IBM in May 2015, my skill set has developed and grown massively. I have joined a role which requires both business and technical knowledge. My organizational skills, communication, email, mentoring, administration and people skills have grown immensely through the completion of various tasks I carry out. In terms of developing technical skills, I have developed knowledge about virtual machines, how to access them remotely and carry out updates, and also how to install them and how they operate. I have learnt about installations of machines into server racks and also how issues can occur with this. I have also completed a SUSE Linux course where i have developed a basic understanding on how that Operating System works and commands to use. I am now on the Hursley security team which consists of ensuring my departments machines are compliant with Hursley security regulations. Through this I am developing knowledge of different security patches and what level of machines need which updates.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?

10/10

I am really enjoying the apprenticeship scheme and the department I work in. I have been given much more responsibility than I imagine I would get and also taking the lead on many projects. The team I work in are great, if at any point I need help with anything they are more than willing to offer their guidance or help. The System Support team I work in are very much a team based department which I enjoy as everyone works together. The apprenticeship scheme has most definitely exceeded my expectations.

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4. How valued do you feel by IBM?

10/10

I feel the work I do at IBM most definitely has value, and the work I produce is appreciated by all of my team. I gain recognition from various people, being my Team Leader, Line Manager and Department Manager as well as colleagues I have worked with in IBM. I have also achieved 'Management Recognition Awards' for some of the tasks I have completed. Customer projects I work on, I gain positive feedback from the customer themselves as I assist them in meeting their own deadlines.

5. How well organised/structured is your programme?

10/10

The structure of the various courses I have so far completed have been very beneficial and also well timed. The training I have received through the courses has definitely improved my ability in being able to complete the apprenticeship, but also to perform better in my role. My department has very clear lines of management which is helpful when raising an issue I may be facing. It was made clear from the start the key people to speak to regarding various topics.

6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?

10/10

The apprenticeship I am completing is through Highbury College. However I do not have any contact with the college as all training comes through IBM. Training materials are available to me through databases specifically to my department, and for the wider IBM there are various pages through the Intranet. A lot of on-the-job training is done with my Team Leader where there is lots of support and guidance through out all tasks I complete.

6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?

10/10

All of my team in BetaWorks are extremely supportive. I have regular one-to-one meetings with my Team Leader to discuss progress and upcoming projects, and my Department Manager is always aware of the tasks I complete which I see as beneficial as I am able to update him with positive feedback, or how I'm feeling about tasks and he is very supportive of myself and the actions and responsibilities i take on.

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7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?

6/10

As I am based at Hursley in Winchester, I had to move out of my family home which is in Cheshire. The costs of rent, and owning a car I have struggled with initially, and overall living in the South is more expensive so at times it has been difficult. But throughout the Apprenticeship Scheme there are increments in my salary which will help.

8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?

10/10

There are many Giveback opportunities which take place outside of work so that you can develop a wider skill set not so much specific to your current job role. There are many emails which get distributed to apprentices explaining the piece of Giveback, and many take place in the local community to either improve something or to help.

9a. Would you recommend IBM to a friend? *

Yes

9b. Why? *

The on-the-job training that I have received is definitely the best out of all of the various apprenticeship schemes I have heard about. IBM is such a huge company with lots of different routes for different career paths, and whilst in Foundation as an Apprenticeship you are encouraged to look into other areas and gain insights in to what department/s you may wish to go in to further down the line. When you are an IBM'er you are treated exceptionally well and treated fairly, and there is a very much 'team work' ethic through out IBM.

10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to IBM? *

The assessment days can seem quiet daunting, which I definitely felt as I had to prepare a presentation. The assessment day for me, on the day, felt more like a few informal chats with various IBM'ers who just want to get to know you as a person to see if you make the right fit in to IBM. After the assessment center and then when you are invited to an interview, the interviews are again, more informal chats. I had two different interviews and both questioned me about the different aspects of my CV and how I thought my previous experiences could help me in that role. The interviews are more to see if the job role will fit you. Some advice I would offer is to not be afraid to take a job you think you have no knowledge in. Joining a technical role which also has business aspects to it creates a much more dynamic and varied role which makes it much more interesting with different topics to learn and develop skills in. The training available will support you through the role and you are not expected to have any knowledge prior to starting, you are a blank slate.

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