1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Project Manager + Project Co-ordinator - Working on 2 separate projects for a client; database transformation (PM) and Server decommission (PC). Role involves a lot of progress tracking, with hundreds of different db's/servers being at different stages of the process. I'm in constant communication with technical teams to get updates, and to chase them when we are behind schedule, or approaching deadlines. Also have the responsibility to report back to my senior management, and to the clients as well.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Had never done any PM work before in my old role, so have immediately had to develop a load of new skills. Have dealt with customers at a technical level before, but now am having to deal with them at a management level which takes much more composure etc. Spread sheets/MS Project are also used a lot in this role, so software skills have been developed as well.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
Programme has a really good structure I feel. The different educational courses we get sent on really aid in professional development, and the external courses that are on offer as well are great. 3 years is a good amount of time to have within Foundation to assist you while you develop.
4. How valued do you feel by IBM?
A lot more in my current role than I did in my previous. Foundation has always supported me and so I feel valued by them, however my last business unit I felt did not value me as much as I would of liked, as I felt I was just another resource. The current role I already feel more appreciated.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The organization and structure of the programme is great. The leadership team are brilliant at what they do, and at least one of them is always on hand to assist you. The structure of having development courses strategically placed throughout your 3 years is really good, and means you don't miss too much work time at the beginning completing them all.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I've heard nothing from Highbury College about the coursework I'm completing. To be honest I haven't needed it, and I'm sure I could contact them if I needed to, but there has been no reach out to me from anyone there to ask how I am doing with all the work and if I need any assistance.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Have had irregular meetings with my apprentice manager regarding how I am doing. Have spoken to them a lot more though recently whilst trying to sort out my role change, and did receive a lot of support from a number of members from the foundation team. Would probably like more check in meetings to make sure I'm on the right track.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Salary is good for me as I still have very low outgoings. The travel expenses with my current role are a big help as well. The salary incrementations that are roughly every 6 months so as to match your progression are a good idea, but I am currently 2 months behind on my latest one. Only other frustrating part for me is the role I have taken on was previously done by a graduate, so I'm doing exactly the same work for half the money.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Am yet to discover new opportunities outside of work yet in this new role, but I'm hoping there will be. There is still the IBM club in operation which I am still registered with, and social opportunities are advertised on there frequently so there will be plenty to do outside of work if you wanted.
9a. Would you recommend IBM to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
Their program is excellent, the salary is very competitive, and the opportunities are endless. The ability to change roles and try out new things is great, and having the protection of being in foundation whilst you are still developing your career takes away a lot of the extra stress you could be under at this early stage.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to IBM? *
The assessment centers may seem daunting, but can be easily done. Make sure your presentation is well prepared and practiced before hand. Its only a 1-1 chat so there's a lot less pressure on it. The group sessions, just show you're involved, don't volunteer to lead something you know nothing about just because you want to lead, as that will count against you. Just don't sit silently.
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