A Day in the Life of an IBM Customer Engineer
If you are interested in technology and looking for an entry level job, then the IBM Insight Days may be just what you are looking for. There are three days in London, Warwick and Manchester in late May/ early June. The events are an amazing opportunity for people who would like to work in the technology industry but don’t necessarily have coding skills or aren't quite sure about taking the University route. We spoke with Marcus and Ben who attended the event last year and now work as Lenovo Engineers for IBM, just to get a taster of what the experience could be like for you…
When asked how to describe working with IBM in three words, Marcus and Ben asked if they could have four! After a little deliberation we agreed, and those words were: “Enjoyable, adventurous, challenging and supportive”.
Marcus: “In the IBM Customer Engineer role everyone gets a company car - mine is a Ford Focus - and generally you work independently. In the morning you get a list of places to go, all of which are usually quite large companies, such as Vodafone and Microsoft. Predominantly it’s Lenovo laptops we repair, but it can be a mixture of hardware from laptops, desktops to slow-end servers. It varies from day to day.”
We then asked what route both Marcus and Ben took to get where they are today.
Ben told us: “Well, after school I went to college to do a BTEC in mechanical engineering, but after a year I decided college wasn’t for me. I didn’t fancy Uni either, and I just heard about the opportunities IBM were offering via my family, and that was that!”
Marcus: “I did GCSEs then A levels, and then I applied to go to Uni to study Law. But at the last minute I thought ‘actually that looks rubbish, I won’t last 6 months!’ What I really wanted to do was get some on-the-job experience, I felt three years actually working on-the-job was much better than 3 years at Uni.”
Both Marcus and Ben told us that you need to have good customer facing skills for this role, as the job involves driving to where you are needed, meeting people who really need your help and solving their problems.
Another skill mentioned is confidence. However, Ben explains: “Confidence is definitely something that can be learned while on the job. I thought I was going a certain way in my career, but all of a sudden that changed. And honestly, I didn’t have any idea about how to fix a laptop until the training at IBM! Simply having a logical mind is a big help and if you are willing to pick stuff up, learn new things and have enthusiasm, then that’s pretty much all you need.”
We then asked what advice Ben and Marcus would give to someone applying to the IBM insight day.
Marcus: “Take it all in, enjoy it and have fun! You get to meet all the managers on the day and they are honestly really friendly. We also met some of the engineers too at our Insight Day, they brought some laptops down and said ‘Right, here’s a couple of screwdrivers’ and we learnt something there and then, taking them apart. If you are friendly, interested in tech and you like fixing things, then I couldn’t really think of a job that’s much better to be honest.”
Ben: “Don’t let the shadow of a big company scare you as they can really take you places. IBM is huge and no matter what you are doing at first you can think ‘This is great what I am doing right now. Even if in 5 to 7 years’ time I may want to be doing something else.’ The job at IBM really does set you up for that future.”
Find out more and sign up for the Insights Days here!