Whilst completing my A Levels, I became more interested in problem solving which eventually led onto my degree in Mathematics with Education at Derby University. During my degree I decided to complete a year-long placement with IBM to gain workplace experience. Working at IBM opened my eyes to the up and coming technical advances in artificial intelligence, data science and many more. This really sparked my interest and it became clear that I would love to pursue a technical career path. However, I had limited technical skills with only basic MATLAB programming capabilities.

I wondered if I’d be able to pursue a technical role without a technical background. Would a company spend time and money on training if someone else already had the experience? My lack of confidence stemmed from this perception of ‘a non-technical background equals a non-technical career’. However, I chose not to give in and was delighted when I was offered a technology consultant role on IBM’s graduate programme.

My work colleagues encouraged me to pursue my career ambitions and I was given the chance in my second assignment to become a Technical Business Analyst. The role involved designing process flows and gathering user requirements for microservices which was a challenge at first for sure! But my confidence started to grow. I was given the opportunity to conduct functional and performance tests on the microservices we built. Now I can easily explain the workings of the microservices we built and I am working towards the digital badge. I move into a DevOps Engineer role next.

Without problem-solving capabilities, motivation to learn and IBM’s “commitment to equal opportunity” this would not have been possible. Technology is moving at an advanced rate and these three components are necessary to keep up and move ahead of the game. IBM’s graduate programme provides numerous training courses and materials for employees to learn new skills. We are encouraged to take time to develop our skills while ensuring we have a work/life balance. Hence, I’ve discovered this theory of a ‘non-technical background = a non-technical role’ is a myth, certainly at IBM.

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