9 months ago
Lori French Age: 21 Conversation Analyst ibm apprentice lori  

What made you decide to apply?

I applied for the IBM Apprenticeship scheme because I wanted to start growing my development skills practically, working on actual projects and solutions, all while studying and growing my business network.  

If you joined as a Futures or Apprentice student, how did you make the decision to go straight to work after your studies?

This was easy for me because I knew as an apprentice I would still be studying, just while also gaining invaluable work experience – essentially getting the best elements from both work and School. All IBM apprentices spend 20% of their time on academic learning, and the remainder on practical work assignments, and so you are guaranteed to come out of it with a great deal of knowledge from both disciplines. Overall I think apprenticeships are opportunities to go beyond traditional academic routes, and have found it to be the perfect avenue to challenge myself as an aspiring software developer.  

What hints and tips would you pass on to a student who is also looking to go straight to work after their studies?

My greatest tip for other students considering school leaver programs would be to do your research. You first need to consider what you want to do, and I would recommend utilising online quizzes to help steer you in the right direction. After you know this, research the best avenue to obtain this ‘dream job’. For a great deal of them, there are a multitude of fantastic apprenticeship programs that give you one of the best starts to enter this career. It’s your job though to find them, and I recommend applying for them as soon as you can as the recruitment process can take up to a year for major businesses.  

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

Since starting at IBM I have been working on a conversation project, training and assisting in the creation of a chat bot, for over seven months. This has been really fascinating and I have learnt a great deal about how Watson works, as well as the programs Watson Assistant and Conversation Studio. I have also made many great contacts within this practise, as well as Robotics Process Automation, and intend to develop on Cognitive projects for the remainder of my apprenticeship.

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

My best advice for people starting the IBM apprenticeship recruitment process would be to differentiate yourself from other applicants. A great way to do this is through considering why you want to join IBM – what projects have they done that interest you? If you can demonstrate a real excitement for the company, and the solutions they build, it will reflect very well in interviews. This can even influence the later projects that you are assigned to! For example, due to my enthusiasm for Watson, I was chosen to be placed on a Cognitive/AI project!  

What’s the best thing about your job?

The best thing about being a Conversation Analyst is getting to understand how Watson Natural Language Processing works in detail. This is the technology which enables computers to understand unstructured data, which comprises over 80% of all information. Getting the opportunity to understand this, shaping it to fit client’s needs and seeing this solution deliver immense value, is a very rewarding experience that makes me excited to go to work.      

What’s the best thing about being at IBM?

I think the best thing about IBM is it’s innovation. It has obtained more patents than any other company for the past 25 consecutive years, with a record 9043 patents in 2017. As a result, IBMers work on exciting, cutting edge technology that is changing today’s world. It makes the work we do very exciting, the culture we live in agile and dynamic, and finally pushes us to think outside of the box and challenge ourselves.

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