My IBM HRLDP Experience — An Opportunity to Understand my Strengths and Interests

 Today’s blog on the IBM Human Resources Leadership Development Program (HRLDP) series features Gao Song, a University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign graduate.  Gao joined IBM HRLDP in 2011 and is now HR Partner in IBM China.

Gao Song

What was your most rewarding or challenging experience during the program?
I would say my first role in IBM was probably the most challenging. The challenge was not much about the work content but rather the “work environment”. I was the only one based in China and all of my teammates were located in the US which made me very nervous about how to “fit in” to the new team and new job. Looking back now, the first important lesson I learned was to “meet with your team”. I was encouraged by my manager to invite everyone on the  project for a one-on-one discussion to get to know them better, to see what they were working on, and also get the opportunity to ask career-related questions. I learned more about my project and my company from my team members than I would have from any power point presentation. It was also a quick way for other people to get to know me. By doing this, I not only learned more about my job, but also felt much more confident about myself and my career within IBM.

What did it take to be successful in this program?
Reach out and learn: Don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for advice. For those who want to join HRLDP, the program provides a very good resource for you to reach out, even to executives, as long as you are clear about what you are asking for, just reach out, and learn. You will find you can learn much more than you would ever learn from any book.

Join IBM HRLDP and work with extraordinary and insightful individuals in an environment that cultivates creativity and individuality.

How did this program influence your career choices and development?
The rotation enabled me to see the different functions of HR, provided me with the opportunities to explore my potential in new HR areas, and helped me to understand my strengths and interests. Also, the program gave me the opportunity to hear first-hand from high level executives about their business insights and career advice which were very helpful for me to develop my career in HR.

IBM HRLDP is designed to support extraordinary individuals in their growth as HR leaders.

If you are considering a career in HR, take some time to check out IBM Human Resources Leadership Development Program– Insight from the Program Manager’s Experience and don’t forget to read our other HRLDP stories.

Learn more about IBM HR Leadership Development Program

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One thought

  1. What valuable lessons…I love how you can always ask for help and how 1:1 get-to-know-you time with someone, whether in person or by phone, is a powerful way to build relationships and create the foundation for great work. Congratulations on your graduation from HRLDP! All the best with what’s next, Gao Song!

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