Ben Davis: Futures Gap Year Scheme - Business

Ben Davis: Futures Gap Year Scheme – Business

Current Job Role: Business Operations – Technical Sales Management EMEA

What made you decide to come to IBM as a school leaver?

I’ve always wanted to have a technical career (I studied Computer Science at GCSE and A level and programming is something I’m really passionate about) –I found out about IBM through Young Professionals and I really liked the sound of the Futures scheme. Especially with COVID-19 and all the confusionas to whether universities would actually be open, having a year of working and learning seemed like a great idea. As I’m into my computers, I already knew quite a bit about the history of IBM (for example, IBM’s work on the System 360 computer which helped put man on the Moon) and I thought it would be really cool to work for them.

What hints or tips would you pass to those who are interested in applying to IBM as a school leaver?

I can think of a couple important ones. Firstly, make sure that you do your research; it’s important to find out as much about IBM as you possibly can (what markets IBM operates in and the products it offers) as this shows you are really interested in what the company does and what IBM stands for – make sure you learn the three IBM core values off by heart!

Secondly, make sure to create a LinkedIn account and make this look as professional as possible; you can also follow IBM and IBM employees on here and ask them questions about life at IBM. Lastly, try to do as many courses relating to the area of work you hope to pursue in IBM – there are loads of great free courses available through sites such as Udemy and FutureLearn.

What’s the best thing about your current role?

The best thing about my role is networking and getting to meet new people; I’m in a global role so I get to meet people from across the world. I also get the chance to speak with senior figures within IBM and it’s interesting to hear their stories and experiences. I also really like working flexibility as it gives youa chance to have time to yourself and maintain a work/life balance.

What support was available to you when starting at IBM?

My task managers were always at hand to help me if I needed it; there were a lot of induction conferences where I was able to meet the Foundation Managers who were also on hand to help. Also, IBM offers employees with a lot of support programs through foundation which you can reach out to or get involved with.

What’s the best thing about being at IBM?

At IBM you are constantly learning and seeing the world from different perspectives; I really like the number of courses and other learning materials provided on YourLearning through sites such as Udemy and Cognitive class; Quantum computing is something I’m really into and I have been lucky to talk to Quantum ambassadors and gain insight into the field. Hopefully, next year I will get the chance to travel more which I am really looking forward to.

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