Systems Engineer at IBM

Start Date:
Winchester (Hursley)
Programme Type:
Gap Year Programme
£15,000 annually
Review Date:
June 2016

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


I'm a Systems Engineer in a department handling source code for some of IBM's recent acquisitions. My day-to-day is spent automating processes, working on projects to develop our infrastructure, handling server vulnerabilities, and working on departmental tools to support the acquisition process. I'm very involved in high level architectural decisions for our server environment.

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


I've learnt more in this last year in IBM than I have in the last 5; the amount of technical skills I've learnt is too long to list. Outside of my technical ability, my confidence has come a long way. I feel like I've hit the ignition on my career as the skills I've learnt enabled me to land a job outside IBM, despite having no relevant [to IT] formal qualifications.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?


After 2 months I loved my job, but I thought it was just the honeymoon phase of a new job. It turns out I couldn't have been more wrong.

I love the challenging nature of my job, and how I'm treated exactly like a regular IBMer rather than an intern.

4. How valued do you feel by IBM?


In my department I don't feel like an intern. I'm free to make decisions that have consequences for how the department operates, as my manager and team trust me. I'm often approached by colleagues for insights into some of the areas I work in.

On a company-wide level I have some mixed feelings, but this likely due to the transformation IBM is undergoing. Personally, I have no complaints.

5. How well organised/structured is your programme?


The scheme is well organised, and I have no complaints about the structure. It's fairly hands off, and outside of some occasional events or meetings, it's up to you to manage your progression. Personally, I enjoy this freedom, as it means all the progression I've made has been self-determined and in the areas I want to move into.

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


I don't receive any training because I'm a Futures placement. However, I have managed to get myself into a few courses and educational opportunities around Hursley, all of which have been fantastic.

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


I don't receive much support myself, but I know it's there if I want it. I have regular contact with my Early Professional Manager, whose job it is to develop me as an intern, and who has been extremely helpful.

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


It meets my costs and then some.

8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?


The student community at IBM Hursley is large and vibrant, which I've heard is something that's echoed by IBM Southbank. Hursley has tons of opportunities.

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


9b. Why? *

IBM has kick-started my career and developed me as a person. Every day has been enjoyable,

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

You get out exactly what you put in. If you work hard and go for opportunities outside your role (such shadowing, projects in other departments, giveback) you'll go far.

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