IBM Cloud and Cognitive Software at IBM

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Start Date:
Programme Type:
Degree Apprenticeship / Sponsored Degree (Level 6/7)
Review Date:
May 2021

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


My role varies from testing the product I work on to developing new features for the product. Each day is different and depends on what tasks I have to do. Usually I have a large workitem to carry out, which I will work on over the course of a few months. The work that I do is meaningful and has an impact on the overall business, which I like.

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


I have learnt many new skills whilst working at IBM. I have learnt a lot from the training courses that all IBM Employees have access to, there is a vast portfolio of courses that you can complete in your own time to pick up new skills. In my role I have gained skills in software development practices such as Agile development.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?


I enjoy the program a lot. The work that I do is meaningful and makes an impact on the overall performance of the department and business. There are many social facilities (although closed due to covid) at IBM that allow you to socialise with others or spend some time on your own projects.

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4. How well organised/structured is your programme?


The program I am on is managed by the University of Exeter. Due to covid things have worked differently this year which has meant things have been a little less organised and structured as they otherwise would be, marks & grades are sometimes delayed due to not enough university staff being availible to mark. Other than that, pretty well structured and organised.

5. How much support do you receive from your employer?


IBM provide lots of support on various aspects of your career, mental health and apprenticeship. My managers have been very happy to allow me extra time away from my work in order to complete my university coursework. IBM also provides mental health support to all those who need it as well as provide support for changes in career direction if you decide the role/department you are in is not for you.

6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?


The university of exeter provides an acceptable level of support when it comes to qualifications, although responses from lecturers to questions are often quite vague and sometimes don't answer your question at all, or even worse, give conflicting answers with each other. I personally feel Exeter needs to up it's game in supporting its students, as late/delayed assignment feedback means that the feedback often comes after the next assignment is due, and therefore cannot be used to improve on the next assignment.

7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?


The first year of Digital & Technology Solutions is fairly basic and lays the ground work to be built on top of in future years. I must admit, I have not really learnt anything that I did not already know either from my role or previous experience in software development, however, I know others have found the lectures very useful towards their roles.

8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)


I am currently the events lead for Foundation Innovation Community, who put on events about innovation, such as hackathons and innovation talks all to inspire other apprentices to innovate and come up with their own inventions. I also take part in outreach, which is either hosting school events at Hursley, or going out to schools and colleges to promote the apprenticeship schemes. I also actively take part in the MakerSpace at IBM, making my own projects.

9a. Would you recommend IBM to a friend?


9b. Why?

IBM is a great company to start off your career at. IBM will provide you with all the support you need throughout your career and makes it easy to change your role if you feel your current role doesn't suite you. IBM will give you tasks that are just above your skill level in order to challenge you and further your knowledge, whilst also having a meaningful impact on the business. At IBM you are not seen as an "apprentice" but instead a fully capable employee.

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

Get in early. The IBM apprenticeships are very competative and we receive a lot of applications. Do your research on the business, this is vital to passing the assessment centres. Do not worry if you don't have any technological experience, there are many apprentices who start in technology roles having no experience who are now very confident in their role. IBM also offers more than just technological roles, we have roles in Design, Business Management and Legal.

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