60 Second Interview: Business analyst apprentice

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Molly went to a work experience week at IBM where she heard from some inspirational people who encouraged her to be creative. On the spot she decided to apply for the technology giant's working Gap Year programme. She loved it so much that she is now a business analyst apprentice there. She tells us how she got to where she is.

Molly from IBMName: Molly Borys

Company: IBM

Industry: Technology

What is your job? Business analyst apprentice

How long have you worked here? Just over two years; one as a gap year and 1.5 as an apprentice

Education

Scottish highers: maths, English, physics, modern studies and geography

1. What was your very first job?

Working for IBM was my first ever job. 

2. What did you want to do when you were at school?

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I knew it would be something with people and was hoping to do business at university. 

3. What made you want to do your current job?

I found out about IBM through a relative. They arranged for me to go to a girls work experience week. There I learned about the world of technology and was fascinated. During the week we heard presentations from many different women in IBM who were working on interesting projects. We also did group activities and team building.

One of my favourite activities was a Dragons' Den-style competition which encouraged us to be creative and think of a “smarter planet” idea. We then presented this and my group won. This got me really excited about the business world and having this kind of interaction with people.

At the end of the work experience they told us about all the different schemes IBM offers I was amazed at all the different options. At that moment I decided I was going to apply to the Gap Year scheme.

4. How did you get there?

The work experience programme got me interested in IBM and so I applied as soon as I could, at the age of 15. I worked really hard on my application and ended up practising for the assessment centre for two months straight! I really wanted the job.

I think my work experience helped me in the application process as I had a flavour of the "IBM way". This allowed me to write about my experiences and relate them to what I learnt. I would say the biggest support in my application was my dad. He guided me and then sat for hours on end interviewing me and listening to my presentation.  

5. What is a typical day like?

During my time on IBM's Gap Year programme, my typical day was processing contracts (checking the pricing and making sure there were no mistakes) and making sure they are put through our system in a timely manner.

Now as an apprentice with IBM I am running the social media for IBM Scotland, running recruitment outreach for Scotland and much, much more. I don’t travel much which suits me. The team I work with are really supportive and encourage my creativity.

6. What’s the best thing about your job?

The best thing about my job would be my manager, Jean. She supports me through all my work and pushes me to learn more. When I first joined IBM Scotland she sat with me and explained all the processes of the company. This really helped me get a greater understanding of what I was doing.

If I express an interest in doing something different she is the first one to say yes and help me achieve my goals. Having such a full-on manager has really helped me thrive. Jean encourages me to make a difference; with her knowledge and my fresh ideas we have been able to create some really innovative projects.

7. What is the most challenging thing about your job?

The most challenging thing about my job is to try and get everyone on board with the social movement in which the world is undergoing. In the fast-paced world we live in, where people won’t read something if it looks too long and they have to express an opinion in 140 characters, there is a completely different way of communicating with each other and creating a social footprint. With IBM being such a traditional company, not all employees are ready to take this big leap. 

8. What advice do you have for people who want to do what you do?

Search for work experience and go against the flow. Do something different that will make you stand out. My “something different” was that I set up a dog-walking company when I was 13.

9. What things do you wish you'd known before starting your career?

I wish I knew that you don’t have to be an expert on what you are doing when you start [right away]. It is all a learning process and it is OK to make mistakes. 

10. Where would you like to be in 5 years?

In five years’ time I would like to be challenging myself within my careers and love whatever role I am in.

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Learn more about IBM

If you're interested in gaining skills and knowledge but you're not completely sure what career you'd like to pursue, have a look at the brilliant programmes offered by IBM.

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