Name: Harriet (Hatty) Willsher
What is you current job role?
Service Designer in IBM iX Customer Transformation – Junior Management Consultancy Apprenticeship.
What made you decide to come to IBM as a school leaver?
I particularly enjoyed business and psychology at college, so I was keen on a career working in business but in a role that would allow me to explore my interest in psychology. I knew didn’t want to go to university because I was bored of classroom learning and I was keen to apply the theoretical knowledge I had gained so I applied for apprenticeships.
A few things about the apprenticeship at IBM really appealed to me: being a consultant and working on different projects excited me because it would mean that the work I would do would varyand I could try different roles to find my fit; the opportunities to travel and see different places –as a global organisation with offices all over the world, IBM offers the opportunity to travel within the UK but also globally; and the fact that IBM sits at the forefront of the technology industry which is imperative in the world we live in because the world is becoming increasingly reliant upon technology!
As a Service Designer at IBM I am able to satisfy my interest in both business and psychology because I am designing services for businesses based upon the end users needs and wants which allows me to work with users to understand how they think, feel and behave in response to different stimuli.
What hints or tips would you pass to those who are interested in applying to IBM as a school leaver?
Do your research about the different areas of IBM and what they do – it is a huge company with so many different career opportunities so investigate those areas and see what appeals to you!
Don’t be put off if you’re not technical or don’t have specific skills – you will have transferable skills that you will have obtained throughout your studies, from extra-curricular activities that you have done, from part time jobs. IBM will teach you the specific skills you need – they are looking for competences, work ethic and a keen desire and attitude for learning!
What’s the best thing about your current role?
Making a difference! As a Service Designer I am responsible for reimagining services or creating new services that meet the needs of the end service users. Therefore, I am designing valuable service experiences for people! Moreover, I work within public sector which means that I am designing services for citizens of the UK which gives me a sense of gratification in giving back to the country! I also love that as a consultant I work on lots of different projects so my work is varied!
What support was available to you when starting at IBM?
When I first joined IBM, the support I had was a Foundation Manager who provided support with all aspects of my apprenticeship, a buddy (an existing apprentice with some experience in the business to help navigating IBM) as well as the apprentice lead within iX who could help with specific iX questions or concerns. As well as peers; the apprentices that I joined IBM with formed a strong support network as we all settled in together.
Other apprentices also helped in providing support and guidance! IBM also has lots of communities of like-minded people that you can join such as the Apprentice Community, Service Design Community as well as programmes to support employees such as mental health first aiders and counselling.
What’s the best thing about being at IBM?
The people! At all levels, IBMers are so happy to support you in gettingto where you want to be if you let them!