Current employer: IBM UK Ltd
Current job title: Infrastructure Specialist
Current location: IBM Hursley
“The best thing that I have done for my career was making the decision to go to university!”
Tell us about your career path since graduation.
Since graduation I’ve been working through the IBM graduate programme, starting as a technical solutions specialist working with Big Data appliances such as IBM PureData for Analytics (Netezza). I’m now in a permanent position as the lead infrastructure specialist in the IBM Business Partner Solution Hub where we work with business partners to enable them on IBM technology.
Has your career path changed since graduation?
Job title and responsibilities: yes, but career path: no. I work in IT and have a focus on hardware and systems, and have done so since graduation.
What is the most difficult thing which you have faced in your career?
I’ve had lots of challenging moments, but the most difficult thing is to maintain currency with technology as it evolves. Keeping ahead of the curve to support customers and partners is crucial to my role, but there’s still a day job to do too.
What is the best, most exciting or fun thing that you have done in your career?
The best thing that I have done for my career was making the decision to go to university. I was a mature student, having left school with few qualifications, so after working for some years and finding myself in IT, I wanted formal training in the field. My time at University was great, and it’s resulted in me working at one of the largest IT organisations in the world.
What, if anything, would you do differently if you could?
I’ve had lots of different IT jobs, from installing networks to database development, so I have a very broad platform of skills. The one thing I’m definitely not is a developer, and it would be good to improve on those skills, perhaps learning more programming languages.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get in to the same line of work?
Persevere. You need to have patience with yourself and employers: things don’t happen immediately or automatically. But if you want something and work hard for it, you can achieve your goals.
How did studying at Plymouth help you?
The quality of life and education in Plymouth was amazing. Being able to get to some of the best beaches in the country, yet having a well provisioned city centre campus meant that I found Plymouth to be a fantastic environment in which to learn – and have fun.
What is your favourite memory of studying at Plymouth?
Working with my friends on group projects. We’d have discussions about our plans in a local pub, then head to one of our houses… There would be people in every chair (and on the floor) all working on different parts of our solution, all talking, having fun, and ultimately producing great results.
Do you stay in touch with other University of Plymouth alumni or lecturers?
I keep in touch with friends I met in Plymouth, despite us now being spread across the country. My course leader and I keep in touch through LinkedIn.
Would you recommend undertaking a course with University of Plymouth, and why?
Yes, absolutely. The lecturers are great and the campus packed full of great resources. Plus Plymouth itself is a great city to live in whilst you study.