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Back to 2004-08

My job offer at IBM

I applied for a job at IBM Hursley recently.

As I am a nearing the end of my PhD, I had to go through the graduate selection process, which sucked away a couple of days of my life. The first stage was an online test, designed to test our logical thought processes or somesuch. This was followed up by a visit to IBM Hursley. Nice place. They performed some more tests and there was a group exercise, which was quite fun, although I couldn't help but think that the day was a waste of time for me. Nonetheless, I got to visit an old friend from university who works at IBM, which was nice!

I was subsequently invited to the second (final) stage of the selection process, which was a day at some posh house. I'd have been worried if I hadn't made it to this stage, quite frankly. I was at a conference in London that week, so I had to catch a 6am train to get there and still managed to be a few minutes late (oops), so that didn't get me off to a great start. The group exercises, tests, interviews and so on were really quite fun in a strange way. Each person had to give a ten minute presentation about why they had an aptitude for a career in IT, so that gave me a great chance to plug my skills and show what's been keeping me busy for the last few years. Incidentally, saying you've written an O'Reilly book really seems to do wonders in job interviews.

I already had job offers from other companies by this point, so that probably helped to keep me calm throughout the day. I felt like it didn't matter if I didn't get this offer. Because some of these other offers were about to expire, I told IBM that I needed to know very soon. And they did, which was nice!

I was wandering around London and was just making my way through Trafalgar Square when my mobile rang. I was told I had been offered a job at IBM. Hurrah :) It's always a nice feeling to be offered a job, and it was certainly different to be told the news whilst standing in Trafalgar Square.

Despite the fact that I'd like to work at IBM, their remuneration was nowhere near as much as some other places were offering, so I decided to ask if they could offer more. I was told not, so I declined their job offer.

I then received a phone call asking why I declined. I tried to phrase it a better way, but, "It's not enough money," only has so many variations. They subsequently offered me 2000 more, which got me tempted. I guess they wanted me...

Anyway, to cut another story short, I ended up declining this new offer because it was still not enough. It felt like a strange move and I was worried about the fact that I might be missing out on something good here. I accepted a job offer from a different company.

Yesterday, I got a shock. I received a letter from IBM:

With reference to [blah blah blah]. As you were made aware at the time this offer of employment was subject to you achieving a 2.1 in your degree. Unfortunately as you have not met this condition of employment, we regret to inform you that we will be withdrawing our offer. I would like to take this opportunity to wish you well in the future and thank you for interest in IBM.

What?! Firstly, I declined their offer, and secondly, I got a first class degree (In case you don't know, that's better than a 2.1; in fact, it's the best possible result).

I'd better let them know they made a mistake. Despite this mix up, I'm really quite keen to consider working at IBM in the future :)

15 Aug 2004 - 11:25:29 BST
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