IBM Human Resources Leadership Development Program– Insight from the Program Manager’s Experience

In the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing a series of articles about IBM’s Human Resources Leadership Development Program (HRLDP). Our journey begins this week with Laura Casale, Program Manager of the IBM HRLDP.

IBM Human Resources Leadership Development Program – Insight from the Program Manager’s Experience 

By Laura Casale

In the mid-1990s, local HR Leadership at IBM’s Research Triangle Park in North Carolina saw an opportunity to enhance early professional growth by rotating HR professionals through various functional programs such as compensation, recruiting, and benefits. This “HR Rotational Program” formed the foundation of what has now become a first-class, global leadership program known today as the IBM Human Resources Leadership Development Program (HRLDP)


As the program manager, I have the privilege of helping to develop and grow the next generation of HR leaders at IBM. Our program seeks to attract and select a diverse group of top talent from leading universities to join us in our goal of delivering innovative HR solutions to complex business challenges.

The program offers both experiential learning and formal training through the different rotational assignments, including one international rotation, stretch projects, team leadership experiences, executive mentors, and annual Learning Event. Participants develop a strong professional network within and across the company and many friendships blossom amongst colleagues from all over the world. I have seen breakthrough thinking and innovative solutions come from the HRLDPers – which never ceases to impress senior leadership. They are often sought to join teams working on high stakes projects for their fresh and agile perspectives and are leading many programs at all levels in the company.

It all begins with an HR internship that offers exposure to our company, our people and what we do. Successful interns receive opportunities to join IBM and the HRLDP following their graduation. From the moment they join, interns and HRLDP are learning, collaborating globally, solving complex business challenges, receiving ongoing feedback to bring out their best, demonstrating their passion for success, thinking conceptually, and evolving personally and professionally to become authentic leaders.

Our program graduates go on to do great things. Many now serve in executive roles throughout the company and give back to the program by directly mentoring current participants and sharing their time and talents in various HRLDP initiatives. The IBM HRLDP has a strong community that continues throughout their careers.

I invite you to follow the forthcoming blogs to learn more about the program, the experiences, and what HRLDP graduates are doing now. Perhaps you’ll even envision yourself in the HR Leadership Program at IBM.

Laura Casale is Program Manager for IBM HR and GM Leadership Development Programs.

Learn more about IBM HR Leadership Development Program.

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