Each woman nominated for a feature interview answers a few short questions about IBM and her career. Here’s what Kerrie has to say about working at IBM.
What made you decide to work for IBM?
The people: I worked on joint projects with IBM before joining the organisation and saw a high degree of professionalism in its dealings with clients and in how people interacted with each other. I was very attracted to the focus I saw, the intelligence that went into the solutions developed, the respect that people showed to each other, and what IBM was able to achieve for a client’s business as a result. I decided that this was a place I wanted to work!
Have you had any valuable mentors or sponsors? How have they helped you in your career?
I have had many mentors over my career and they have all helped me enormously and in different ways. I tend to get a mentor when there is a specific area I want to develop, and the areas I’ve wanted to develop have changed dramatically over the years. And this means that I’ve needed different mentors over that time.
I believe that if you are clear in what you are looking to achieve with a mentor and can develop an open and honest relationship with someone on this basis, then you can really develop and grow. My last mentor really tested me on my career options and made me think much more deeply about where I wanted to go in the future, as well as my fit to certain jobs and countries – he made an invaluable contribution to different choices I made on roles.
Has IBM opened the doors to any new experiences for you?
Absolutely! I have had many formal jobs while in IBM, including being in industry sales, complex SI delivery, regional general management and country management. I find that IBM will take a risk on you for new roles, and I haven’t always seen that risk taking from other companies. I also learn and have new experiences with every client I work with – I find it fascinating to learn about the work that our clients undertake and to be part of improving their business through our projects.
What advice would you give to our new IBMers?
Get connected. It’s always important to have a good network to do not only the job in front of you – there are always people in IBM willing to help if you need it – but also to be aware of changes that are coming and how you can be most effective through this.
How has working in a global society impacted your career?
Working in a global society has been very positive for my career. For starters, being able to draw on the skills and expertise of people around the world has helped me bring out the best of IBM for our clients in both sales and delivery activities.
In a more personal sense, I am now on my second assignment – I am from Australia, have worked for three and a half years in New Zealand and am now working in China. It has been a great opportunity for me to be able to work in different countries and with different cultures and I have significantly grown my professional skills as a result. It has also been a marvelous opportunity for my children, to learn a new language and make friends from all over the world.
This content originally published on facebook.com/WomenatIBM