When my friends and family found out I was joining IBM their initial reaction was “what is a Politics and French graduate doing joining a tech company?” The answer was simple. I wanted a job where I could work with a diverse group of people, explore different opportunities and challenge myself. Consulting and IBM has certainly allowed me to do that!
I joined IBM in September 2020, in the midst of a global pandemic, and felt somewhat odd sitting in a smart shirt in my bedroom starting my job completely virtually. This was not what I was expecting when I applied to say the least. I expected to be travelling up and down the country, meeting clients and colleagues and whilst this was not the experience I had, the world learnt to adapt and I was still able to fulfil my ambition of working with wonderful and diverse teams. Indeed, one might say that Covid-19 even facilitated this as thanks to Webex, Microsoft Teams and Zoom I was given the opportunity to work with people across the world with ease! Funnily enough, I was able to meet someone I had worked with for 4 months who was based in Spain whilst on holiday in Madrid.
One of the best things about consulting is that you are encouraged to seek out work that interests you. After having worked in 3 different industries and 2 different types of roles I finally found the role which was a perfect fit, where I was working as part of a big team and where I really felt I could make a difference. I am still working on this project today and I absolutely love it and how unpredictable it can be. It can therefore be a bit hard to give a day in the life, but here goes…
Day in the Life
I am one of those annoying people who wakes up at 5:30 and cracks on with their day. I like to go to the gym to blow off some steam and then go and get a morning coffee and whip up a breakfast before logging on at around 8:30.
I am currently a Scrum Master working with the Scottish Government. A Scrum Master is a project manager in an agile environment, facilitating the work performed, especially by eliminating obstacles to the completion of tasks and achievement of goals. I lead my teams daily stand up at 9:30 where we run through our progress, flag any blockers, and call out any dependencies. I love stand ups because we have a fun team and they always end and finish with some funny anecdote or other. The rest of the morning will involve chasing up any of these blockers or dependencies and doing all I can to enable my team to work to the best of their ability.
My teams are spread across a multitude of different geographies, so being mindful of people’s working hours is key As a result, I catch up with my India-based colleagues in the morning and make sure that should they need anything when they log on the next day, I can sort this in my afternoon.
Every other week a sprint will end and a new one will start. This means planning retros where we discuss what we liked about the sprint and how we can improve, sprint planning where we outline what we will do next and demos where we showcase our fantastic work to the key stakeholders within the Scottish Government.
I am extremely passionate about wellbeing, giving back and networking so often my afternoons will involve work for the People Board we have on our account. This varies from hosting Team Learning Hours (I recently ran a cooking class for the rest of the team!), to engaging with charities to raise awareness and funds. In the past weeks, the lovely people at Euan’s Guide gave a talk on all the fantastic work they’re doing and this past weekend, as an account team, we raised over £2000 for Children 1st by attempting to cycle a whopping 5000 miles. Whilst the 3 spinning classes I did were horrible, it was for such a fantastic cause.
All in all I love consulting for 3 main reasons: 1) I get to engage with, learn from and share experiences with a diverse group of people on a daily basis. 2) No two days are the same 3) The opportunities are endless and you are encouraged to be ambitious, seek out what interests you and step out of your comfort zone!