In the third of our Digital Apprentice interviews we speak to Josh, who will complete his 3-year Apprenticeship with IBM in February 2016, a few weeks ago he took the time to tell me all about it.
IBM are a multinational technology and consulting company. IBM manufactures and markets computer hardware, middleware and software, and offers infrastructure, hosting and consulting services in areas ranging from mainframe computers to nanotechnology.
Why digital? I chose an apprenticeship in IT because it is such a fast paced industry. There are always new things to learn and also great people to learn from. I am working on projects which are producing things for companies that have not been done before or done in that way to make working life easier for clients.
How did you find out about the Digital Apprenticeship programme and what attracted you to signing up? I found out about the apprenticeship by chance. I had always been interested in IBM and the work they do, so I had a look at careers on the IBM website and discovered the Apprenticeship Programme.
I was attracted mainly because the apprenticeship was with IBM and the learning opportunities looked vast. I knew someone who had been working for IBM for a number of years, so I knew what they had to offer me and what I had to offer them. So far I feel that we have both delivered on expectations.
Tell me about the application process? The application process was a great experience. I had gone through a similar assessment process before and had numerous interviews since leaving school so felt that I could handle it quite well.
Initially, there was the online application which consisted of a CV template and then some specific questions for you to demonstrate certain skills and attributes in different situations. The IPAT Test followed to test your mental skills and then, once successful, I was invited to a half-day at the Assessment Centre at the IBM office in Portsmouth. The Assessment Centre consisted of 2 group exercises, a personal interview, a business interview and a short presentation which was prepared in advance on a specific topic.
The application process was a great experience and I honestly really enjoyed it, especially the time at the Assessment Centre.
Tell me about your average day? I am a Business Analyst on a project which is in the Development phase where the Developers are building a web application for the client. My days at the moment mainly consist of assisting the Developers with their queries on the requirements and helping out with some testing of the system and managing the defects to make sure that they are fixed in time, ready for the client to test the system.
What do you enjoy most about your apprenticeship? Why? I enjoy that I am regarded as a regular IBM employee. I am given real responsibilities with real clients. If you prove your skills and abilities you will be given responsibility.
How long is your apprenticeship & what qualifications/prospects will you have at the end of the training? My apprenticeship is 3 years long and I will have gained at the end of it an OCR Level 3 Diploma in ICT Professional Competence and in ICT Systems and Principles, and a Level 4 Diploma in Professional Competence for IT and Telecoms Professionals and in Computing & Systems Development.
I also have the option to do Level 3/4 in Business and Administration, and a Certificate in Principles of Business and Administration.
What effect has the apprenticeship had on you? The apprenticeship has had a big impact on me both professionally and personally. I have grown in confidence, which is due to the training courses I have attended to enhance communication and presentation skills. I have also learnt a lot from the people I work with, both colleagues and clients. I have learnt a lot about how I work as a person and what drives me to be successful.
What is your ultimate goal in life? My ultimate goal is to never stop achieving. I enjoy being rewarded for my hard work and what I have achieved so far during my apprenticeship – and that motivates me to continue to go above and beyond.