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Credit Suisse Celebrates IBM zSystems Apprenticeship Graduates

Credit Suisse Celebrates IBM zSystems Apprenticeship Graduates

Pictured: Virtual and in-person attendees from Credit Suisse, IBM, and Franklin Apprenticeships
Pictured: Virtual and in-person attendees from Credit Suisse, IBM, and Franklin Apprenticeships

Credit Suisse Raleigh celebrated the graduation of its first cohort of IBM zSystems Apprentices in September 2022. Senior leaders within Credit Suisse, IBM, and Franklin Apprenticeships came together to celebrate graduates who completed their Registered Apprenticeship Programs and received certificates from the Department of Labor.  

“I am very impressed with our apprenticeship program,” said Kevin Walker, Managing Director and Head of Credit Suisse Raleigh. “These skills are important and can be difficult to find.” 

Credit Suisse turned to the US IBM zSystems Apprenticeship Accelerator to build its talent pool in its IBM Mainframe Infrastructure team.  

“Our talent progression for the IBM Mainframe team had industry challenges,” explained US Mainframe lead Frank Cortell, who has worked on the team at Credit Suisse for 25 years. “This apprenticeship program is a great solution to those challenges.” 

Credit Suisse was an inaugural employer of the apprenticeship program, which launched in January 2021. Meredith Stowell, VP of Ecosystem, IBM zSystems, applauded the bank as a trailblazer for taking a chance on a new way to build its talent pool.  

“When we were developing this program, we wondered if large companies would really hire people without four-year degrees,” Stowell said. “Credit Suisse stepped up, proving that apprenticeships are highly effective at opening the door of opportunity for people without prior experience or education in tech.” 

By offering an apprenticeship program, Credit Suisse added a diverse group of outstanding apprentices to its IBM Mainframe team who developed their skills over the year-long program. 

Pictured (left to right): Meredith Stowell, Kim Nichols and Anu C.
Pictured (left to right): Meredith Stowell, Kim Nichols and Anu C.

For example, Anu C. previously worked in a dental office and always dreamed of working with computers but didn’t have a path into the field. Juggling her day job and family commitments, she worked late into the night to complete her IBM Pre-Apprenticeship Program, which qualified her for an IBM zSystems Apprenticeship with Credit Suisse.  

“Anu is a quick learner and capable of juggling a lot of things at once,” said Britt Launius, Anu’s Professional Success Coach from Franklin who supported the apprentices and managers through the program. “She always has such a positive perspective, and it is truly a joy to work with her. Her ability to get a lot done and excitement to learn has contributed to her success in this program. She will absolutely go far in this career.” 

Anu said, “Thank you to everyone I’m sitting in front of today. Franklin, IBM, my manager, my team… in this one year, they’ve taught me so much. And still, they are teaching me.”  

The value of learning both professional and technical skills was a recurring theme at the ceremony. 

“I learned a lot from the program and the team,” explained Wesley S., a veteran of the United States Army. “I look forward to continuing to expand my knowledge and my career here at Credit Suisse.” 

Pictured (left to right): Wesley S. and Kim Nichols
Pictured (left to right): Wesley S. and Kim Nichols

Former teacher Joseph L. expressed his gratitude to his managers and the company as a whole for offering the apprenticeship program. 

“Thank you, Credit Suisse,” he said. “If you hadn’t taken this risk on us, we wouldn’t have had this life-changing career opportunity.” 

Each manager also spoke about their experience, celebrating the graduates’ perseverance and progress throughout the year-long program and sharing stories about the journey.  

“Congratulations on the hard work you all put in, day in and day out,” Cortell said. “We look forward to you continuing your growth and will support you in your future endeavors at Credit Suisse.” 

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