I'd like that job: IBM networking

He won an award for being top grad employee - but it's not all about prizes, it's about work as well, you know. What's the job like?

What’s your name?

Cristiano Alberigo



Who do you work for, and where is it?

I work for IBM, which is a global organisation that operates in 170 countries.  In the UK, I tend to base myself out of the London office, which is on the South Bank.  

What’s your job title?

I am an IT specialist, in the IT networking team.

How long have you been doing that, then?

I started this role about eight months ago. Prior to that, I was again an IT specialist, but in the physical security business.

How did you get there?

I joined IBM 18 months ago through the graduate scheme. My first role was in the physical security - digital video surveillance (DVS) team, as a DVS Specialist. I had the privilege of working with “cutting edge” technologies such as advanced video analytics and facial recognition software and using these to build innovative solutions for our clients, most notably, the All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon. Following this role, I transitioned into the networking team as I wanted to develop a broader technical knowledge; Networking is perfect for this, as IT networks are exposed to most aspects of an IT infrastructure.

And your degree?

I got a BSc Hons in Computer Science, from the University of Edinburgh

What’s a typical day like?

One of the beauties of working for IBM is the variety of projects that you can potentially work on. Although my role is that of a network specialist, I am currently working on a major data centre migration programme, which has very little to do with networks, but is nevertheless interesting, challenging, and has an excellent team of people working on it.

What are the people you work with like?

At the moment I am working with a very experienced data centre migration team, including an executive technical consultant and a distinguished engineer. The team is very friendly and tightly knit, and have been very supportive throughout. They have given me numerous opportunities to prove myself, and gradually take on more responsibility so as to maximise what I get out of this role.

What’s the best thing about the job?

I would say the best thing about working at IBM in general is the range of projects you can get involved in with a range of prestigious clients. Secondly I would say the flexibility that comes with working at IBM – I still haven’t got bored of my commute to work as it is highly unlikely that I am in the same office 5 days on the trot!

Much travel involved?

On my current project I am required to travel to Amsterdam for a couple of weeks every month. This is my first project involving international travel, and although it is pretty amazing to be able to travel as part of your job, it is also hard work and can be long hours.  It does mean that I have built up a whole bunch of air miles though!

What do you think you’ll do next?

I think next I would like to see myself continuing to develop my technical knowledge, whilst also developing my commercial understanding. I love being in client facing roles, understanding the client’s problems, their technical and business needs and devising a solution to help address these. I see a move into a consultancy role as something that would give me this blend.

Was there anything you’d have done differently in your career so far?

I think I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect start to my career. Obviously winning this award in the first year of my career has set the bar pretty high for me going forward, but I think if anything, it has motivated me to push myself even harder.

And just for fun, what’s your favourite TV programme?

Has to be 24!

Top nosh:

Spaghetti Carbonara

Top three things I like doing when I’m not being an engineer:

Playing tennis, watching sport, and catching up on sleep.

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