Working within the recruitment team, as I do, you absorb a lot of knowledge about the recruitment process in general. Having only been a school leaver myself a few years back I thought I’d share my top three tips for landing yourself your dream career, with a little help from the IBMers on our school leaver schemes.
Tip One – Research
Finishing school and diving into the unknown is a pretty daunting prospect, particularly when like most of us at your age you’re not 100% sure about what you want to do. But that’s okay, because these days you have the answers literally right at your fingertips (or your thumb depending on how you use your phone). Intermediate apprenticeships, advanced apprenticeships, higher apprenticeships, degree apprenticeships, gap year programmes, work placements, work experience and university. There are so many options out there, but it’s up to you to find them, take control of your future and make sure your decision is informed and is most importantly, right for you. The best kind of research is hands on, take Sarah Naylor our IBM Apprentice for example…
“I first heard about the IBM apprenticeship when my school took a visit to the Hursley site in Winchester to shadow some of the apprentices. Before this visit, I had every intention of going to university as most people seemed to think this is the only option for those who have just completed A-Levels. For me, I had no idea what I wanted to do and was very open to exploring the different options available to me after I had finished school. After having a great few days visiting IBM I was set that the apprenticeship route was right for me and the following February when applications for a Business Specialist Apprenticeship opened I was quick to apply.”
– Sarah Naylor, HR Apprentice
Tip Two – Take your time
There’s no need to rush when it comes to decisions about your future! Most apprenticeships tend to run for two to three years, so it’s not a choice that should be taken lightly. The average amount of debt that University students leave with is around £35,000 - £40,000, again, a huge cost if it’s not something you’re necessarily sure about. Izzy is on our Futures scheme, which is essentially a gap year after college, meaning you get an experience of the work place and can figure out what really makes you tick! Whether you convert to become an IBM apprentice or leave after the year is up to start a job or university, it’s up to you! No strings attached!
“I always knew I wanted to take a gap year after college but wasn’t exactly sure what to do during it. A lot of my ideas involved the kind of “typical” gap year – travelling/backpacking etc. but then I found out about the IBM Futures scheme. I thought this would be a more valuable use of my year as I could build a strong network, gain more work experience which I thought would really add value to my CV and most importantly it gave me time to think about and explore what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Now 6 months in I’m keeping my options open, I’ve applied to university to study History and Chinese and am considering applying to the degree apprenticeship at IBM.”
- Izzy Holt, Global Technical Solutions Future
Tip Three – Don’t take the easy option
After the struggle of GCSE’s and A-Levels you’re probably hoping that things are going to get a little bit less stressful once you leave college, and for some school leavers that can be the case! But for our School Leavers they are doing real jobs with real responsibility which means they are also gaining the most from it. Megan has even taken on the extra responsibility of doing a degree whilst completing her apprenticeship…
“Going down the Degree Apprenticeship route is great! The Government and IBM cover the cost of my Degree, I still get a salary so technically I’m getting paid to go to University and I’m able to soak up all the knowledge and skills in both environments. However, it’s not an easy ride, there are plenty of University students who struggle without having to balance going to work for one of the biggest technology companies alongside it all! It can be stressful and difficult to keep up and it will only work if you’re willing to put in the hard work and dedication. If you are prepared to do this it comes with plenty of opportunity, gives you the chance to learn loads of new stuff and kick-starts your career.”
- Megan Murray
If you want to join our team of enthusiastic hard workers then click this link and start your IBM journey: http://www-05.ibm.com/employment/uk-en/