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IBM Consulting by Degrees

Global perspective from IBM’s graduate consultants

Tag: CbD

Training – Round 2 Blog Post

One of the many cool things about the CbD program is that we go through training every six months for two years.

Your very first two weeks on the job will be training, then six months later, then six months after that, and then six months after that.

Each training session covers a different topic. I just completed my second round of training and it was entitled, “Think on Your Feet.” It was an enlightening course, which taught skills on how to answer questions, speak succinctly, and organize thoughts. It was only two days long and it took place in North Carolina.

Training is worth your while for many reasons. First, you learn a few useful tips and tricks to use in your career. Second, you can put a new certification on your internal resume. Third, it’s a nice break from your usual schedule. Fourth, you get to reconnect with a lot of your peers whom you may not have seen since the previous training session. I was able to see a few friends whom I had met six months earlier. It was awesome to catch up and see what everyone had gotten up to during those six months. Additionally, old friends can introduce you to new friends. This is great from a social and a networking aspect.

As I mentioned, my most recent training took place in North Carolina. However, it was right when the final of the March Madness basketball tournament was happening. For those who don’t know, North Carolina was in the final! A large portion of us CbDers went out to a bar to watch the game (photo attached).

After two quick days it was time to go home. I said goodbye to some people, as I wouldn’t see them again for six more months. As for my fellow New Yorkers, many of us had the same flight back home.

All in all, training is enjoyable. It’s kind of like going back to school for a short stint and being joined by a few friends.

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CbD Graduation day 2016

How about travelling to new places and meeting new people? It sounds good right?

Well, this is what happens in IBM. This time, we travelled to Madrid, for the Consulting by Degrees (CbD) Graduation Day.

Every year, graduates, from all over the world, who successfully complete the 2 years of their CbD training, graduate. This year, the SPGI (Spain, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus and Israel) Consulting by Degrees team came up with the idea of organizing a really big event for the Graduation day. Luckily, CbDers from the SPGI have been invited to attend the event in Spain, along with several European Managers.

The event took place in the IBM Client Center in Madrid on Friday May 6 th 2016. The CbD team had prepared some really good stuff for the day, with all the graduates preparing videos and material to present.

Just the day before the event, CbDers from Portugal, Greece and Cyprus arrived to Spain. Later that evening, some Spanish CbDers organized an informal gathering party at a pub; a very good opportunity for us to meet our colleagues just before the event.

The day had come and everything was in place. By 9am we arrived to the amazing Client Center of IBM. Everybody was there; IBM executives, Service Managers, the SPGI leaders, Consultants and Graduates. The Client Center, an incredible place, was a place full of life, full of energy and interesting stuff. Even selfie sticks and accessories for pictures were available to ensure the best experience for the guests.

The selfie competition started from early in the morning, with all the graduates trying to attain the perfect shoot for the winning selfie. By the end of the day, the SPGI CbD Manager, María José Sánchez Aranda and her team had to choose the “big four” of the best selfies and give awards. Twitter had gone on fire as all participants were continuously posting selfies and tweets.

The event had officially started with the warm welcome message of the SPGI Executive Manager, Marta Martínez. The agenda was fully covered by activities of videos from GBS, GTS and Software team, presentations from the graduates, the selfie competition, teamwork activities and of course food and networking!

The main objective of the event, which at my opinion has been successfully achieved, was to get social and create new connections of managers and graduates in each country. The spirit was fun and positive during the day and we were able to meet other CbDers and listen about amazing stories in IBM and life in CbD. It is nice to think that there is a possibility of working together someday. Even more important was the fact that we were able to meet and introduce ourselves to important people in the company such as Leaders from Services and Industries across Europe. IBM as a global and accessible company has the capability of uniting countries and brings its employees together.

But because one image is equal to 1000 words, have a look on some of the pictures and don’t forget our hash tag on Twitter #IBM_SPG_GradsDay16.

Disability Support @ IBM

It’s always daunting when you’re a new grad looking for a job, scheme or placement. You wonder if you’ll be good enough for the role and how it will suit you. This is even more pronounced when you’re disabled or have a long term medical condition.Obviously it’s illegal for a company to discriminate based on disability but it’s still pretty scary as a disabled person entering the corporate world!

I am disabled. When I was applying for graduate schemes I was so worried that my health would affect a potential employer’s view of me even though I was never asked if I was disabled in the application process. I was concerned if I didn’t mention my disability during my application that I would appear dishonest to IBM, but I also didn’t want to mention it and thereby put them off me by seeming difficult.

In the end I found myself telling IBM during my interview. The response was that I didn’t need to worry and that individual projects would work things with me there and then. This was such a relief; even though I knew I was qualified and capable for the scheme, i’d still been so scared of being judged!

Since joining IBM, I have undergone an occupational health assessment where IBM talked through my condition and how and when it might affect my working life. They considered my issue individually and together we came up with an agreed list of allowances which have helped me with working here. For example, my condition is aggravated by travel and fatigue so it was decided that I would work on projects which were closer to where I lived!

That and the other couple of allowances agreed upon have made so much difference to me as a person and employee. My current project understand that on bad days I may need to work from home and trusts me to be reasonable with this. I am deeply grateful to work at such a caring company and have been so pleasantly surprised with IBM’s reaction to my disability, with after all, doesn’t make me any less capable for the grad scheme!

I hope this reassures any potential applicants with disabilities that IBM really will care about you as an employee 🙂

Until the next time!

-Ruth, Technical [email protected]

IBM are very open about their understanding of disabilities as you can read here;

Leading With Impact: Amsterdam

One of the best bits of being on a grad scheme is all the training opportunities and IBM is no exception. Last week I got to spend three days in Amsterdam with two of them being full days of Leading with Impact training.

A lot of my original grad intake were on this training which was especially nice as I hadn’t seen them for a while as we had been spread out across the country on our individual projects!

I flew over to Amsterdam on the monday and luckily met one of my fellow grads getting the same flight as me which was nice. Once we’d touched down and checked into our (business class!) rooms we had the afternoon to explore around which was amazing!

Posts about CbD written by Peggy Poon, IBM Consulting by Degrees, and ibmcbdblog