How IBM Set My Foundation for Success

‘Foundation’ is a campus program in IBM UK responsible for several Early Professional schemes including Work Experience, Apprenticeships, ‘Futures’, University Placements, and Graduates. The award-winning Foundation programme has been running for over 25 years and manages all aspects of career development of the early professionals for the full duration of their placement or, for apprentices and graduates, in the first two to three years of their IBM career.

Every month, IBM UKI gives out the General Manager’s Foundation Outthink Award, in recognition of IBMers who are leading the way in Outthinking. In January 2017, Charlotte Hutchinson received this recognition. We interviewed Charlotte about her Graduate role, why she chose to apply to IBM, and what winning the award means to her.

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Charlotte at the EveryWoman in Technology awards in Feb with her Task Manager and her Graduate Manager

How has being on the Graduate Programme helped kick-start your career?

I started off my IBM career as a placement student which was a great starter for me as it gave me real responsibility working with large IBM clients and support specific areas of their software. I thoroughly enjoyed my placement year, so I applied to come back as a graduate. Being both a placement student and on the graduate scheme at IBM has allowed me to develop my technical skills and have real responsibility. I frequently go to client sites and it’s rewarding to see how IBM’s services that I have worked on are solving their business problems.

Why did you choose to apply to IBM?

IBM was my first choice when applying for the placement scheme. As I was studying computing, it was very important for me to work for one of the leading technical companies. I wanted to work for a massive brand and industry leader that would enable me to work first hand with clients in technology vital to businesses. Additionally, the variety of opportunities IBM offers means I stay engaged and constantly feel challenged.

What do you currently do for IBM?

I work as a Technical Consultant in the IBM services team, where I specialise in a product called API Connect – an API lifecycle management solution which allows developers and businesses to easily create, manage, run and secure their APIs. I work with clients to deploy the software, design their API architecture, and develop APIs and services specific for them and their business need. Additionally, I develop and customise their API portal, this is their ‘shop window’ where third party developers will go to see what APIs are available.


During my time as a graduate I have also assisted many world-wide teams by running workshops, events and educating both IBMers and customers.

Outside my day job I also work for a month a year on the Wimbledon Championships and AELTC contract as a ‘technical Trojan’. Here I am responsible for building, deploying and supporting the several hundred PCs and peripherals deployed by IBM around the site for commentators, players, press, IBM C-level clients in the hospitality areas and our own core scoring operation.

Winning the ‘UKI GM Foundation Outthink Award’ means a lot! It’s great to be recognised for all the work I have done so far in my IBM career and with helping our clients.

Charlotte is a Technical Consultant for IBM Cloud in the UK.

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