Kat Hoile – Sales Graduate IBM

How old are you and when did you join IBM?

I’m 27 and joined IBM when I was 25, at the beginning of the first lockdown!

What is your current job role?

I am currently working in IBM’s Technology Support Services in the Sales function. My remit primarily covers clients in the Industrial sector, as well as the Energy & Utilities and Banking & Finance sectors. My team and I are responsible for new business for Multivendor Hardware and Software maintenance in clients IT estates.

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

Although I had already entered the ‘working world’ as a graduate a few years prior, I came across the role at IBM on LinkedIn.I had been working previously for an Eventscompany that hosted the largest tech event in the UK, which was actually sponsored by IBM and it all stemmed from there really. I knew that I wanted to get into Sales, and I knew that I wanted to work in tech. When I delved into more about IBM as a company, it didn’t take me long to decide to apply -and the rest is history!

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

As a graduate, whether you have previous work experience or not it can be pretty daunting trying to decide what to apply for. I would say my top tips if you’re interested in applying for IBM are firstly -understand what the company does and its direction as this is applicable for all areas of the business.

Secondly, of course you need to try and identify what area of the business you might enjoy and therefore apply to. However, my advice would be don’t overthink it, and go with your gut –what’s there to lose? I didn’t know if sales was going to be for me, but how do you know if you don’t try?

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

I am currently three quarters of the way througha two-year graduate scheme in TSS, which has been fantastic so far! For me, the opportunity to work for a longer period within one business unit has allowed me to delve deeper and build up my experience across the full sales cycle. At IBM there is so much on offer to all employees by means of education, training, and support. Since starting, I have completed IBM Global Sales School and various other great courses which are globally recognised both in and outside of IBM.

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

My advice would be – don’t overthink it. I was always nervous about applying for graduate schemes as opposed to other entry level roles due to all the testing pre-interview. I think this might be why some people might not apply at all, but like with anything, you don’t know until you try!

Take some time to read through everything you need and ultimately, remember to be yourself. You’ll be fine! If you need or want support ahead of this, try reaching out to current graduates like myself or other IBMers who I am sure would be willing to help answer any questions you may have. Worst case is you have some new connections on LinkedIn!

What is the best thing about your current role?

I would say the best thing would be working in TSS as a business unit. Many people say their team are great, but in TSS it’s not just my immediate team, but the rest of those who work in this area are like one big family. Everyone is extremely friendly, welcoming, and always willing to lend a helping hand. I also love thenetworking aspect of my role, liaising with such an array of people not just in IBM but also our partners, clients, and suppliers.

What is the best thing about being at IBM?

There are many great things about working at IBM, but I would say the best things are the people and the culture. As I mentioned before, I have always felt driven and supported by the people I work with, and this makes a huge difference in my day-to-day. The company culture has been unmatched compared with anything I have experienced before, and I am motivated and inspired to succeed with the continuous time and investment I receive from my colleagues at all levels.

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