1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Cloud Enterprise Z Series (Mainframe) Test Co-Ordinator - Working in Disaster Recovery. Have to setup Customer systems to allow them to restore backups if their production system if a disaster occurs. Also setup these systems for customers to test their disaster recovery procedures, and also provide ongoing technical support.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Had no experience of mainframe before coming into this role, or any of the programming/operating languages that were used on this platform (JCL, MVS, SDSF etc.). Have also learnt a lot about how a big business works, and the restrictions and benefits of working within one. Have been on a few courses already regarding developing business skills. Lots of online learning has also been undertaken.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I really enjoy my programme with regards to my job role. The team I work with are all really nice, and the work is challenging and interesting. Due to location of site, and age of team, social life has suffered, but was expected, and I value having my role more.
4. How valued do you feel by IBM?
Very valued. Clearly a lot of money goes into the training program for apprentices, and they pay a very competitive salary for apprenticeships. Feedback from my team/management is very positive, and they really seem to appreciate me being with them. Am being given more and more responsibility, which shows trust from my team and IBM.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The overall apprenticeship scheme has a very good and effective structure, however, I am in a group of 5 people who are the first apprentices into this specific business area, so we are kind of acting as guinea pigs with regards to job role training and development. It is far working well, but a lot of the structure has come from playing it by ear, and also from the feedback from apprentices as to how we think the program is going.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
The training provider being Highbury college, I have heard nothing directly from them. This may be because I am still relatively new (6 months), but otherwise all the communication come from within IBM foundation.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
A lot of support is given through the mentor and buddy schemes that IBM run. You are never in a position where there is nobody you can talk to about an issue, such is the vast network of support that runs through the whole of IBM, not just the apprenticeship program.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
For myself still living at home, the base salary is adequate. However, due to some people having to move out of home due to the location that they were based, it has been a struggle. My colleague had to move from Manchester to London for their role, and on top of new rent, petrol etc. they are only just scraping by.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
The 'Giveback' scheme is a really good initiative for volunteering, whether that be within/for the business, or charity work. The IBM social clubs are also a great way to meet other IBMers nearby, and loads of great events are always on offer.
9a. Would you recommend IBM to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
It is such a great company to work for, who wouldn't want to be an IBMer. There are such good opportunities, skills to learn, people to meet, it would be beneficial for anyone!
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to IBM? *
If you can do a mock assessment centre at any point, it is definitely worth it. When you're being assessed, just talk and be how you would be in that type of situation normally.
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