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IBM Z Apprenticeship Graduates Make Waves at Kyndryl

IBM Z Apprenticeship Graduates Make Waves at Kyndryl

Building on its long history of developing talent, Kyndryl, the world’s largest IT infrastructure services provider, has embraced the IBM Z Apprenticeship program to continue to build its world-class talent pool. 

This month, Kyndryl collaborated with IBM and Franklin Apprenticeships to celebrate the energy, passion, and achievement of the company’s first group of IBM Z Apprenticeship graduates. 

“The IBM Z Apprenticeship has actually exceeded our expectations,” said Ben Diaz de Leon, Vice President, Delivery Leadership at Kyndryl. “All of our clients want to talk about talent, and we are dedicated to bringing in the next generation of Mainframers. When I explain the IBM Z Apprenticeship program, our clients want to know more. I have yet to encounter an executive that says, ‘That’s a bad idea.’” 

Addressing the graduates, Shelly Meierarend, IBM Z Global Skills Leader at IBM said, “Today, we celebrate a success that was many months in the making – an achievement where you earned your apprenticeship status through dedication and hard work. It involved substantial technical education, hands-on experience, and on-the-job learning. As graduates, you now have the opportunity of a lifetime to work in an industry where a critical business application truly makes a difference in our daily lives.” 

Before completing his IBM Z Apprenticeship, Norton H. from Riverdale, GA, earned a degree in software technology and worked for several years as a developer, mainly focused on Java. He wanted to learn some new languages and discovered the IBM Z Apprenticeship program as a great way to expand his knowledge and try something new. When he was invited to an interview at Kyndryl, his now manager Keith Porting, Associate Director and Delivery Manager, asked Norton for a good time to schedule the meeting. Norton responded immediately with one word. “Now.”

 “IBM is the world’s oldest and largest technology company,” explained Norton. “It has been responsible for many innovations and has the largest industrial research facility in the world. Kyndryl is considered IBM’s greatest spinoff and it is welcomed by many investors in the technology community. It was no mistake that I jumped at this opportunity. I am incredibly grateful to Keith for his support, and to IBM and Franklin for this program.” 

“Some of Norton’s greatest traits are being adaptable and flexible,” explained Marlon Carcamo, Norton’s Professional Success Coach from Franklin Apprenticeships. “Each weekly session with him was a learning experience – technical or professional. Norton, I admire your eagerness, your commitment to the program, and your commitment to IBM and Kyndryl. Your traits are hard to find which is why you stand out so much.”

Another graduate, Jospeh O. from Cedar Park, TX, came to the IBM Z Apprenticeship after working at a cable company as a call center representative. He was always interested in the technical aspect of his job and that interest prompted him to make a change and build his technical skills as an apprentice. Joseph’s strong people skills and his willingness to raise his hand to take on new projects set him up well for success in his apprenticeship at Kyndryl.  

“My apprenticeship was like drinking out of a fire hose,” Joseph said. “So, I stayed well hydrated!”

In fact, on top of working through the challenging IBM Z curriculum and completing his core job responsibilities, Joseph volunteered to work on a major change project. He became so integral to the project team that he even covered for the project manager when he was out of the office for a week. 

Keith explained, “If Joseph puts his mind to something, he plows through it. This was an incredibly complex project and Joesph has been identified as one of the key people who were essential to its success. Everyone who has worked with him speaks very highly of him.” 

Marlon commented that Joseph’s positive and proactive approach will take him far in his career, explaining, “Joseph is incredibly smart and well-spoken, and he always makes the best of any situation.” 

Richard Blonde-Schmidt, Director of Delivery Management at Kyndryl, summed up the graduation celebration with an apt analogy. “You are like aircraft sitting on the runway getting ready to take off. And as you can tell from the headphones, Keith is your air traffic controller. I’ve been flying the mainframe mission now for 43 years, and I just wish you the best as you take off on your career and soar.” 

Click Here to learn more about the IBM Z Apprenticeship program.

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