1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Job: Application Developer working on performance testing. Daily roles: Software testing, script writing, data gathering Internal interactions: daily stand up meeting, regular conversations with team about performance and jobs/ information to be shared. Communication with apprentice managers and team about training and tasks to complete Responsibilities: Testing of software, creation and installation of automation scripts, maintaining servers currently in use
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learnt skills such as scripting through bash, anisble and yaml deployment scripts, maintaining and monitoring servers. Setting up and running tests across multiple environments and creating automated ways to collect results. Been sent on courses about interacting with clients and how to perform better in an office environment with further sales and software development courses being made available later in the year. Soft skills are often self taught and expected that you will work towards these out of initiave
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
The team I am currently on is a good if small team but easy to get on with and we work in a more relaxed environment. The company takes some time to get used to its internal rules and working practices but quickly becomes easy routine to follow. Culture in IBM is good as it promotes team working and self development as well as an all inclusive atmosphere. The company is different from my expectations but is still good to work for and I am currently enjoying the program even though it des take a few months to get it started properly.
4. How valued do you feel by IBM?
Feedback is a big part of the IBM culture and as such feedback on performance is important. I feel that the work I am currently performing is important and valued by the rest of my team and I am treated as a full employee not just an apprentice and as such I feel that I am being used to perform proper roles and not just given side problems of minimal importance due to my position in the company.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The program is structured but I feel it is very slow to get going. The induction period was well layed out and covered a lot of our pre-work issues and queries about life within IBM. Training is provided but due to the process of getting you quickly into the company and onto a proper role it has been a few months since the end of induction but this has meant that I had time to settle into a role and learn more about how the company worked. Support network provided is very good with seperate managers for apprentices and an entire team to support you should you need help for anything. The program is going through some reforms and so feels slightly less well structured than hoped but seems to be improving now I am getting further through it.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I am not far enough through the apprenticeship to have a complete understanding as I have not yet fully met the training provider (firebrand). From my current experiences having been introduced on a training courses and through email and phone conversations they are ver helpful and provided me with all the detail I need at the moment as well as making it easy for me to contact them with any future quesitons or help needed.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I recieve a large amount of support from my manager. My project manager gives me ample help with tasks and training on anything I am struggling with as well as being very relaxed and understanding about issues or time needed to perform apprentice tasks. I have access to multiple managers for my apprentice issues and a wide support group as well as social aspects through internal chat channels. Any issues I have had have been easily and quickly dealt with and I feel like any issues I may have can be dealt with without much worry.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
My salary meets my costs very easily, I have the advantage of being based near my home and as such travel costs are greatly reduced, this coould be an issue if I was moved to a project further away but expenses for travel and accomodation are provided if required. Costs of food from onsite canteen is more than I would like it too be but is not excessive and will be more reasonable use of salary when I recieve pay increases.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Oppportunities outside of work are available but due to the location (Warwick) these are limited and do not appeal to me. In the more populated and inner city locations such as London then there are more opportunities available. The local area does have access to sports and leisure facilities and is not far from Stratford and so more entertainment is available there.
9a. Would you recommend IBM to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
The apprenticeship is good and the pay is decent for a level 4 apprenticeship. The variety of roles and courses available is large and so there is plenty of opportunity to follow a career that suits you. The IBM work ethics and atmosphere is comfortable and relaxed whilst remaining professional and issues both work and personal are dealt with quickly and in sensible ways that are to your benefit.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to IBM? *
Ensure you are truthful with the information provided and stick to the provided IBM templates. In later parts of the process such as interviews and assessment days be engaging and take part in all activites whilst also showing an interest in topics and a willingness to learn and work together. IBM hires on potrential and willingness to achieve as well as people showing they are happy to push themselves to achieve and don't just hire on skill so even if you didn't achieve the best grades or don't have the best knowledge it doesn't matter provided you are willing to learn and push yourself out there.
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