You don’t need a specific IT degree to work in computing. Meet Bart who works as a consultant for IBM.
I studied Physics at Durham University and joined IBM’s consulting graduate programme almost two years ago. I chose consulting as I am good with people and enjoy solving problems, both of which I think are important qualities in this field.
IBM seemed like a good place to start – very prestigious and established with diverse work in a number of industries. Although my background isn’t in computer science, working at IBM has given me numerous opportunities to pick up technical skills. I have been involved in areas like automation, analytics, web development and cloud application development. In addition, I have had a chance to be part of teams employing agile and DevOps techniques. The experience I gained during their graduate scheme has given me a strong foundation in consulting and technology.
IBM offers a host of training opportunities. I have obtained a number of certifications so far and have attended useful core consulting skills courses. Many times I found the best way to learn is to find ways to add value on my projects by driving to implement new tools and practices. It’s amazing how much you learn in the process and I have always been given space to do this by management. The opportunities are there, just remember that sometimes you need to show a bit of initiative to seize them!
One of the best things about working as a consultant at IBM is the culture and community aspects. Before joining, I viewed IBM as an old school corporate giant and was fully expecting to have to wear a suit and tie on a daily basis. In truth, most of the time the atmosphere, as well as the dress code, is very relaxed.
During my time at IBM I have met a number of inspirational people and have been lucky enough to work with some of them. This has definitely helped me shape my career plans and aspirations. One thing to add here is that no matter how senior, people are very approachable and down to earth so they will find time to speak with you and give advice!
Finally, probably my favourite thing about my time at IBM is the graduate community. I have made some amazing friends here and the fact there are frequent graduate events (social or otherwise) shows the company really cares about us.