Daniel Watts - Technology Specialist Graduate

Daniel Watts – Technology Specialist Graduate IBM

What is your current age and when did you join IBM?

I am currently 21 and I joined IBM July this year straight from university.

What is your current job role?

I am a Graduate Cloud Engineer from the Technology Specialist Graduate Scheme.

What made you decide to come to IBM as a graduate?

One of the things that really stood out for me when applying to IBM was how much emphasis was placed on opportunities for furthering your learning and developing skills. This is great because I’ve always loved to learn new things and being here for a short time, I have been encouraged to learn as much as I can about the things that I am passionate and interested in.

What hints or tips would you give to those who are interested into applying to IBM as a graduate?

There’s a saying at IBM to “Bring your whole self to work” which means to bring your true personality out and I would really encourage you to hit this home when applying. Show your passions, hobbies and what makes you different from everybody else. Also find real case studies that IBM has worked on and show why you find this interesting.

What has your career journey at IBM looked like so far?

I am currently on the foundation graduate scheme, I have been here since July and the first couple of weeks gets you introduced to the business and a bit of history about IBM, you learn all you need to know and get the necessary training for the tools you need. Then you meet your team and get trained in everything about how the team works and the technical skills you may need. As a cloud engineer, my training has mainly been about the technologies my teamuses and once this is done you can then start on projects. I am currently on my first project which is incredibly exciting.

What hints and tips would you pass on to a student about to start the IBM recruitment process?

Firstly, with the application form I would start by researching IBM and importantly show how you fit IBM’s culture and core values. The online numerical test is pretty similar to a lot of the other online numerical tests you may see,so revise the basics and spend your time reading the question as there might be a key piece of information that is not obvious at first. If you get stuck just move on as it is time limited.

The video interview is your chance to really bring your whole self out, I know it can be daunting but to get to this stage is quite impressive, so you have already done great to get here. Think about why IBM, what interests you about the role,and think about possible technical questions based on the role you’ve appliedforthat may be asked. If you stutter, then don’t worry. IBM isn’t looking for robots!

The assessment centre is just to see how you work with other people and you may have one or two interviews on the day. If there is a group activity then be active and involved but don’t dominate, it’s very impressive if you can bring quieter members into the conversation. The interviews can vary based on the business area, so make sure you revise the role you’ve applied for and why you have chosen this business area. My most important tip for the whole process is to be unique, what about you is different and why is this beneficial?

What’s the best thing about your current role?

The best thing about my current role is the interesting projects and technologies I can use. IBM is very focused on cloud and AI and to be at the forefront of that is extremely exciting. I get to work with technologies that I have never used before, and I get to work on projects that arecompletely different to the projects before which is one of my favourite things about IBM.

What’s the best thing about being at IBM?

Easy, the people. Everyone is so friendly, and you can tell IBM really look at the individuals themselves when hiring which contributes to such an amazing culture. From top to bottom everyone is happy to help, and you are really encouraged to be inquisitive. Everyone I have met so far has been great and they are all genuine, down to earth people. It is good to work with such great people!

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