My Graduate Journey with IBM

Today’s blog on the IBM students and graduate series features George Selby, an IT Specialist with IBM Global Technology Services (GTS) with a focus on Security. George works with the Security Team to deliver Identity and Access Management (IAM), Risk and Compliance and more recently Network Protection with IBM’s Network Intrusion Prevention System (IPS).

In this interview, George  shares why he chose to work for IBM, projects he has worked on and also top tips for graduates interested in joining IBM.

 What attracted you to the GTS Graduate Program?

GSelby.pngI had the opportunity to intern in the IBM Hursley labs in the UK after my Graduate Studies on the “Leading to Africa” program. While there, I had the pleasure of working with wonderful IBMers some of whom had dedicated as long as 15–20 years working for this great company. And though it was a brief 3-month stint, I had good exposure to the world of the “Big BLUE” to such an extent that when an opportunity arose to join IBM Ghana, I didn’t hesitate to take it. I saw it as a great opportunity to not only deepen my IT knowledge but also to broaden my network of experts in my chosen field of IT Security and my interest in Cloud.

What kind of roles/projects have you engaged with since you joined?

I have been privileged to wear many hats since I joined IBM and this has greatly widened my scope and broadened my experiences. My first year was spent in more of a Versatilist role where I did work in Security, Vendor Management, Storage and Backup Support, Project Management among others. All of these were client facing and had tremendous learning experiences.

Where do you see your career going next?

I have set for myself the goal of building competencies in Security Operations and Response, as well as Information, Risk and Protection offering domains of the Security Services. Through this, I hope to be a worthy contributor in driving IBM’s security agenda especially in the Middle East and Africa region.

What do you like about the GTS Graduate program?

The GTS Graduate Program has been helpful in charting the sometimes complex world of IBM. It is always great to have someone to talk to when you get a bit lost in the maze and also when you need some good career advice. A community of like minded, vibrant and enthusiastic graduates is great company to be in. I have had the opportunity of doing some stretch assignments, participating in projects totally outside of my scope of work and they have been enlightening.

How do you spend your time outside of IBM?

Outside of IBM, I like to watch a good movie every now and then or just listen to music across multiple genres, gospel and jazz being my favorites.  I also like to read just about any random stuff I come across as a way of stimulating my brains and discovering new things.

What tips could you share to help potential applicants?

IBM has all you need to succeed as a fresh graduate but it is also a very huge organization and sometimes it takes a while longer to get your feet firmly planted.

Whether in IBM or in any organization, these three stand out:

  1. Be patient but intentional about your career progression and be ready to get out of your comfort zone when need be.
  2. Take networking seriously, it is essential (I wish I had done so earlier).
  3. Be willing to learn and also to offer help, take every opportunity that comes your way and learn from them.

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