Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Ruth tells us how attending IT's not just for the boys! helped her secure her role with IBM!

I attended the ‘IT’s not just for the Boys’ event in November 2014. I wasn’t very sure where I was going post degree; I liked the idea of doing a graduate scheme but wasn’t sure if I’d suit them or who to apply for! So when I received an invitation to apply e-mail from Target Jobs I thought it sounded the ideal networking event for me. Since the event I applied and was accepted onto the two year IBM Consulting by Degrees Graduate Scheme and started in July 2015 as a Technical Consultant!

IT’S Not Just for the Boys Event
There was an application process consisting of a form and phone interview when I applied for the Bloomberg London event. I was super pleased to hear I’d secured a place giving all the big employer names who were attending, such as; Bloomberg, IBM, Deloitte, HP and ThoughtWorks.  The event itself was held at Bloomberg HQ in London which is an amazing building! We were all given had a chance to network with each other before going into the event and the mix of degree backgrounds was really interesting.

The event comprised of several talks from high profile women in the tech world who spoke about their journeys and achievements. It was surprising how many career changes they’d had and how many had only moved into technology careers later on!  There were also team challenges where we got to work with each other and representatives from the attending companies. These challenges includes such things as coming up with a new technical venture for a telecom company and were a great chance to work with new people and ideas whilst getting feedback from the company reps.

The day was finally wrapped up with refreshments and the chance to network with the company reps. I had come to the event most keen to speak to the IBM reps so made my way over there! The IBM reps were really friendly and encouraging and after a short chat convinced me that I stood a good chance with applying to their grad scheme!

IBM Application
I applied for 5 grad schemes, but IBM was the one I really wanted. The first step was a CV check to ensure you met the minimum 2.1 degree. From there I was given the IPAT test to take – a numeracy and logic exam which had me mildly terrified since I hadn’t touched mathematics properly for a few years! However, my revision paid off and I passed the IPAT and was through to the full CV check stage. Shortly after this I received an invitation to an assessment centre in Southbank!

I heard the next day that I’d passed the assessment centre but still didn’t have a job as my CV now needed to undergo a business review. Luckily I only had to wait three weeks to be called up and offered a position starting at IBM Southbank in July as a technical consultant!

Working at IBM
I’ve really enjoyed my time so far working for IBM. I started with an intake of 23 graduates and underwent a month of training down in Hursley before embarking on client projects. Since joining I’ve worked in Edinburgh and London and had the chance to work with some big clients and have also been lucky enough to be sent to Copenhagen and Amsterdam for training which was awesome!

I also now write for IBM as part of an international Graduate Blog, so feel free to have a look to get an insight into the scheme!

Technical Consultant @ IBM

My CbD grad Group
 Amsterdam Training
 Exploring Copenhagen

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