I'm Georgina Macrae and I'm a Technical Specialist in the Storage Technology brand.
What made you decide to come to IBM as a graduate?
I was looking for a client-facing, sales-orientated role. IBM sellers have a long-standing, great global reputation. I was thrilled to be able to join part of that world-class team.
What hints or tips would you give to those who are interested into applying to IBM as a graduate?
Register for the e-mails from recruitment because different roles open at different times of the year, and only for a few days at a time. I applied in September, the whole 5-step process passed within one month, and I started in January. I did not apply whilst I was doing my finals at uni (but you can if you want to!) and I nevertheless had a job within six months of graduating, which was great.
Be confident; if IBM is right for you, your application will be great. I didn’t have a long list to write in the online question “please list your relevant technical experience”… When I saw that question on the form I thought ‘ah well, I’m not going to get far in this process’ with my BA in English Literature. I’m really glad that I still applied, because here I am! Many of the new-hires within my technical role have non-technical degree backgrounds. There’s lots of learning on the job.
What has your career journey at IBM looked like so far? (e.g., previous roles, training)
One of my favourite components of the graduate scheme has been the Global Sales School. It is an important ingredient in making IBM Sales world-class. It is taught by sales advisors who are generally very experienced and successful sellers who have retired and want to give-back as advisors for the love of it: they love sharing their expertise and nurturing future talent. I met a great mix of IBMers, and worked through the eight-or-so modules of the course alongside other work. It is very valuable training.
My role on paper has stayed the same in my two years at IBM but my projects and day-to-day tasks have changed somewhat. I’ve helped with events, worked on real client sales, given presentations, and I’m currently focussed on inter-brand messaging.
For example, cyber security and cyber resiliency are rightfully ‘hot topics’ at the moment. Cyber-attacks have increased through the pandemic. The IBM Storage portfolio has many important messages in this space, so we’re pulling them together. We are also talking our ideas through with members of the IBM Security team – because IBM have their own brand of security products and offerings, which come at a different part of a client conversation. Our offerings can work well together, to give our clients a stronger overall cyber resilience.
What hints and tips would you pass on to a student about to start the IBM Recruitment Process (online application form/CV, online numerical test, video interview, assessment centre, matching interview)?
I went through the IBM Recruitment Process before the pandemic, so it may have changed a bit. Always tailor your CV for the role you’re applying for. Think about where your experiences align with what IBM is looking for, or what your role would entail, and see whether that brings natural emphasis to parts of your CV.
I quite liked the process, especially the fact that there was no recorded interview. The online tests were game-like, rather than embedded in scenarios or exam-like, which I had tackled in other organizations. The assessment centre was relatively enjoyable, too. I felt able to focus on the task I was given without feeling in-the-spotlight or uncomfortable about it. So be as relaxed about it as you can be. And learn some basic details of the company – a technology you like, the CEO, the last CEO, things like that.
What’s the best thing about your current role?
Variety. I always seek teamwork and get the most satisfaction from being in a team, but my job is especially great because I work with a number of different teams on different things. Different brands, different geographies, different levels of management, differently sized projects. IBM really feels like you can bring unique value to what you do. There’s a shared goal (in my area of the business, selling storage hardware and software) but many ways to work to help with that goal.
What’s the best thing about being at IBM?
The IBMers! I had six weeks in offices before the pandemic enforced working from home. It was difficult to know what to do, when we (the graduates I started on the same day as) were so new to our roles and to the business as a whole. But managers knew that, quickly created new projects, and made sure that we were kept busy. I shadowed most of my team virtually, which was strange, almost like cold-calling: ‘Hi I’m new can you teach me things?’. But I needn’t have feared, because everyone has been lovely and now I feel that I have both friends and colleagues I can turn to for help. It’s not just what you know, but who you know.