What made you decide to work for IBM?
As a mathematics major I knew I didn’t want to pursue my PhD or a teaching career, but didn’t know what other opportunities existed for math majors. So, I signed up for a spring break externship through Brown’s alumni office where based on your interests, they match you with a Brown alum who works in a potentially interesting field for your major. I was paired with Carl Thomsen, an IBM system engineer in Washington, DC. After shadowing Carl for a week, he introduced me to his management and I was offered a summer internship. After my second summer working as a summer intern for IBM sales, I expressed interest in working for IBM on the west coast. I interviewed and was offered a full-time systems engineering position in the San Francisco Data Processing Division sales office working with process and petroleum and retail clients, left 2 years later to earn my MBA at Stanford, then resettled into IBM for the beginning of my 35+ year rewarding journey with IBM.
What is your biggest accomplishment at IBM?
I created and developed the Global SMB Marketing Management organization, interpreting the newly developed marketing management process in order to identify the target market and best offering investments for IBM Global Services, then the Server and Software Brands, to increase their market share with small and medium enterprises. Mission accomplished. The organization still stands though naturally has grown and morphed in relation to the marketplace and IBMs’ evolving business strategy and needs.
Has IBM opened the doors to any new experiences for you?
As a member of the Global Relationship Management Business Process Reengineering Team in the ‘90s this opened three new opportunities to me that have been key to my development and success: As the American member of a seven person global team, I developed and exercised invaluable cultural intelligence while working and traveling with my teammates from around the world. For the first time, I was able to view IBM from the top down, understanding all of the business units and processes and how they must work together for IBMs’ success to the marketplace, stakeholders and employees. As we completed the Relationship Management Business Processes, having traveled to each of the IBM geographies, I gained insight that the strong IBM culture generally supercedes country culture with respect to how we do business within IBM as well as the marketplace.
What makes you proud to be an IBMer?
Our values. I’m very fortunate to work for a company whose values ensure our excellence and respect in the marketplace and whose values so closely align with my personal values. IBMs’ values extend not only to the employees and our clients but to our communities, partners and stakeholders. I’m very proud of IBMs’ contributions to solving the business and societal challenges of the world through smart people, excellence, trust and personal responsibility, customer service and innovation. I am, indeed, proud to be an IBMer.
How has working in a global society impacted your career?
My IBM career provided me with my first opportunity to obtain a passport and travel outside the United States. Not only did IBM business travel provide me the opportunity to become a “global citizen” in the 90s’—way ahead of globalization, but enriched my (and my family’s) life in immeasurable ways. Little did I know that the “cultural intelligence” I developed would give me a leg up as IBM and the world became truly “global”. Fast forward to seven years ago, when I had the opportunity to join the IBM Market Development Team, whose mission is to ensure Multi-cultural in the U.S. and women owned businesses worldwide, are aware of IBM’s complete portfolio of business solutions, services, software and hardware. My prior international travels and the cultural intelligence I gained is so beneficial in my current job. I frequently speak to and work with businesses owned, led and influenced by women worldwide.
**For more information on IBM, women at IBM, or to view our open positions, please visit: https://www-03.ibm.com/employment/jobs/women_at_ibm.shtml