DCMS blog

London Tech Week 2021: IBM apprenticeship is ‘best of both worlds’

Lori French

by

Lori French

Cloud Engineer, IBM Technical Garage

Finding my role at IBM was a happy accident. I was looking at IBM’s website and their graduate roles, as I knew I wanted to become a Technical Engineer but assumed it was only possible through getting a Computer Science degree first. To my amazement, I saw they offered apprenticeships that didn’t require a degree. To me, it sounded perfect – developing real client solutions was always what was most exciting to me and I didn’t have to wait 3+ years to be able to start doing it! 

It is worthy of note that some people disagreed with my decision to take on an apprenticeship. People had just assumed I would go to a Russell Group University to study full time instead. However, I don’t believe I could have had a more interesting and challenging start to my career than through joining the IBM apprenticeship! 

Adding value

Through working with so many exceptionally talented apprentices in IBM, I have got to see first-hand the value they add to this business. They are the next generation of technical talent, delivering excellence on key client projects and becoming invaluable assets to many project teams. They are also changing the culture, bringing new perspectives and backgrounds to an industry that prides itself on innovation. 

Best of both worlds

I would absolutely recommend an apprenticeship to other young people! The Degree Apprenticeship has enabled me to get my foot in the door at a leading global technology company, allowing me to work on innovate projects that genuinely excite me, all while receiving formal academic tuition. It is the best of both worlds and I personally believe there is no better start to a career, or role to stand out with on your CV. 

Lori French

It can also lead to the most incredible experiences. My Degree Apprenticeship has allowed me to develop innovative chatbots that are used by over 100,000 users weekly, which have been showcased at THINK in San Francisco, as well as be awarded my own patent and even work at Wimbledon. It’s a testament to how much IBM invest into developing their early professionals and makes me incredibly proud to be able to call myself both an IBMer and Apprentice.