Badington House School


Published Wednesday 5th of June 2013 09:37:46 AM

IBM puts ACS students through gruelling graduate tests and they pass with flying colours.

ACS Cobham recently enjoyed a visit from Caliean Hargrave, IBM's Further and Higher Education Client Manager and his recruitment team for a special mock-IBM recruitment day with students.

The schools won this special IBM recruitment day following the ECIS Technology Conference 2013 held at its Cobham campus last March and where Cailean was also a keynote speaker. In addition to the recruitment day, ACS also won access to IBMs vast hardware and software catalogue, which will be used as part of ACS' student programming activities.

Based on IBM's famous grueling graduate recruitment process, 17 students from the High School were put through their paces with a set of difficult challenges that tested their employability skills including critical thinking, adaptability, collaboration and leadership.

During this 'Mock Assessment Centre', students worked on the challenges over two hours testing both their logistical and logic skills under pressure. At the end, students were grilled by Cailean and his panel about their answers and also about their higher education aspirations, replicating the process graduates go through.

In the final challenge, known as the 'IBM Smarter Planet Challenge', students faced a real world problem where they had to find a workable solution in under three hours. Groups then pitched their ideas using video to the panel.

Caliean commented on the day's activities:

"IBM recruitment has not run an event like this is at a school before, it was the academic excellence and the confident impression learners made on my first visit that drew me back. Despite our incredibly high expectations of these students, I was astounded at the innovative, entrepreneurial and intelligent contributions from all.'

He added:

'I have personally delivered the mock assessment centre to hundreds of third year university students and have not seen the level of skill, adaptability and assertiveness that ACS learners showed. I can say with conviction that I would have recruited 30 per cent of them if they had degrees in their hand - and we take on just one in 100 of university applicants. I can be sure all students would meet the IBM global standard before course completion. This is not a programme we will roll out to the schools market, but we will continue a partnership with ACS given the outstanding opportunities they are creating for young people. "

Richard Harrold, Assistant Lower School Principal at ACS Cobham and the day's facilitator added:

'The IBM recruitment process is notoriously challenging and I felt the students handled the pressurised environment excellently. This has been a valuable opportunity for students to experience the demanding technology industry and they should all be immensely proud of what they achieved in the day.'
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