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IBM placement launched Steve’s career

Steve Moss

A work placement with IBM provided Steve Moss with the foundations for a career in HR management, which is about to take him Stateside.

Steve graduated from BU with a BA (Hons) in Business Studies in 2016. Having impressed the team at IBM during his placement year, he was accepted onto the company’s HR Leadership Development Programme and will take on his next role at the company’s New York office in early 2019.

Reflecting on his decision to study at BU, Steve said: “The biggest draw for me was the industrial placement. When I came to visit BU I was impressed by the big brand names which the university partnered with and the opportunities it presented to gain paid work experience. When I was applying to university there was lots of talk about the competitive nature of the graduate jobs market. I wanted to give myself the best possible chance of securing a good job when I finished and I felt that the year in industry would put me in a strong position.

“When I started the course I was pleased to find that this focus on industry filtered into all other aspects too. It wasn’t a case of spending three years studying the theory and one year of practical work. The projects we worked on reflected real-life challenges, we met a host of employers and I was able to build my soft skills through extra-curricular activities such as the Global Talent Programme.”

When it came to the rigorous application process to secure his IBM placement, Steve was grateful for the support of BU’s Careers & Employability Team. Having made it through a series of online tests and interviews, he took up a role with the workforce management team based in Portsmouth. As the 12-month placement came to an end, he went on to join a special group of IBM interns from around the world for a three-month assignment looking at how the company could maintain connections with former employees. The project culminated with a trip to New York to present their findings to the Global HR Leadership Team.

Steve said: “The placement year was an incredible experience and to be offered the opportunity to return for my first graduate role when I finished at BU was a brilliant outcome. I had always been a pretty average achiever at school, and I remember my teachers questioning whether university was the right option for me at all. But through a lot of hard graft and the right environment I achieved more than I ever thought possible. The whole journey of starting university and then entering the workplace was seamless, which is all I could have asked for.”

As a BU alumnus Steve now works to maintain connections with his former university and has become IBM’s ‘campus lead’ for the institution. This involves supporting current students to take up internships with the company, providing mentoring and promoting vacancies. He said: “We know that BU turns out talented graduates and we want to make the most of that for the future of our business.”

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