1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Job title: Bluemix Garage Office and Communications Manager. I am in charge of organising (from start to finish) all client visits to the Bluemix Garage, and to manage the logistics surrounding these and billable projects. I am the liaison with WeWork, communicate daily with my team and IBMers from other departments.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learnt how to use Bluemix (IBM's Platform As A Service), as well as how to use a vast array of IBM tools (primarily for admin). I have also become a more self confident person, and have improved my presentation skills.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
The work I do is vital to my team, and I feel very needed; this makes me more motivated to do well and I am very happy where I am. My team is lovely, the environment we work in is very cool and it exceeds my expectations.
4. How valued do you feel by IBM?
As it is such a large company, it's difficult to feed valued by anyone further than two 'ranks' above you. I do, however, feel incredibly valued by my team, my managers, and many execs who I have frequent communication with.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The IBM side of my degree apprenticeship is pretty well organised. My induction was great and informative, there's an incredibly range of training available to me and support, and my team is very supportive when it comes to taking time off for my studies. The university side is also well organised, but because it's a logistical nightmare it can be slow at times (understandably).
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I receive a lot of support from the staff at the university, however, they're not always able to understand the issue I'm having because it'll be a very IBM thing.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I don't have regular meetings scheduled with my managers, which is unfortunate, but I know that when I need to talk to one of them, I'll be able to reach them and they'll be happy to help.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
I've been renting a flat in East London this academic year, and my salary does not cover it. I've spoken to multiple managers about this issue, and I always get the same runaround. As an apprentice, we're supposed to get a pay rise every 6 months, but myself (and a few others I've spoken to) have only had one official pay rise in the year and a half we've been apprentices.
I'd be okay with it (to a certain extent) if I could just get an explanation why it's not happening.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
YES! There are many company events and communities I have joined - for example, the EAGLE community for LGBTQ+ employees, and the Girls Who Can community for empowering women in the workplace.
9a. Would you recommend IBM to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
Being the massive and pioneering company that it is, IBM is able to offer them any role they want to experience. In just my team alone, I've got designers, developers, architects, project management etc. at my fingertips.
There's just so much potential.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to IBM? *
Be honest and have passions. The application process is long and arduous, but it's only so that they can find the best of the best! First you'll have an online application where you complete a CV type document and a personal statement and an online aptitude test; then you'll go to an assessment centre, then a presentation, then an interview and finally an offer!
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