1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Sales Support Specialist for a team of 8 software sellers within the Security Business Unit. My role consists of providing analytical and operational support for my team throughout the sales process and their interactions with clients, across IBM's security portfolio.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Yes, I have been required to develop a broad, high-level understanding of our Security product portfolio (in order to effectively support them on any given opportunity). I have also developed a general understanding of Selling and Sales; effective selling strategy, how to target potential clients, how to upsell existing clients, etc.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I LOVE the opportunity to work for IBM, especially to be working within the Security Business Unit. I find it very motivating to be working in an area where there is a lot of internal/external 'buzz', cyber-security is constantly in the news, new exciting technologies are being developed, .. it's great fun!
4. How valued do you feel by IBM?
I feel, and have felt, like a regular employee in my job role since my first day. I appreciate this attitude as it inspires me to work hard and feel like I deserve to be treated so professionally. However, on the other side, there is always lots of support available to me outside of my job role - to support with university work, colleague relationships, etc.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
I am well informed of all activities to do with my programme (university residential dates, corporate events, internal training), but am trusted to organise and manage my own timetable - this is professional and I enjoy it.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I receive support from all angles of my training - my day-to-day task manager for my job role, my development manager within IBM and my academic tutor with the university. I feel as though I am very well supported and understand who I need to speak to to resolve issues.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
There is lots of support within IBM: my development and task managers (mentioned in the answer above), but also a business line-specific people manager whom I have regular catchups with to track the progress of my career
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Well enough, and regular pay increases are offered within IBM's apprenticeship scheme - so as long as I work hard, I'm sure I'll be rewarded.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Lots. I am constantly involved in Apprenticeship awareness-raising initiatives, and enjoy the social aspect of working in a company like IBM with lots of young people (other apprentices, interns, graduates).
9a. Would you recommend IBM to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
Because of all of the reasons above! I know I owe IBM a huge amount, not just in terms of the professional skills it has provided but also for the soft skills they have encouraged and allowed me to develop.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to IBM? *
Be yourself, think about what YOU can bring (your strengths and how you effectively manage your weaknesses). Research the company and find out what you are interested in.
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