Reflections on my Corporate Service Corps Experience in Morocco

By Jette Gustafsson

Jette Gustafsson, Sourcing Recruitor Europe
Jette Gustafsson, Sourcing Recruitor Europe

Almost two months have passed since team #Morocco6 split up in Casablanca… I am fortunate to have been participating in the IBM Corporate Service Corps that was launched in 2008 to help communities around the world solve critical problems while providing IBM employees unique leadership development opportunities. By sending groups of 10 – 15 individuals from different countries for community-based assignments in emerging markets, the program has helped over 140,000 people since its inception.

It was an emotional day for all of us. It goes without saying that one month together in new projects, new culture, new people, new everything really gets under your skin. We were twelve people from ten countries, twelve IBMers that had never met before, but after this month all feel like close friends.

Being part of an IBM Corporate Service Corps assignment is a true privilege. I have been proud of this possibility even before I got accepted. I applied twice and before I finally received the mail “you have been accepted as a volunteer with IBM Corporate Service Corps” I have to admit that I jumped right out of the chair, scared my colleagues and made a happy scream! Such joy!

More than two months have passed since I got home from my assignment in Morocco. That means it is almost 6 months since we first started out with our training for this fantastic experience. Looking back it was extremely valuable to go through the training, to get to know each other a little bit, understanding culture and what is expected and much more. We actually talked about the training several times during our stay in Morocco.

Team Morocco6 in the blue village Chefchaoen

Our team was great!  I mean really, really great!  During the full four weeks we constantly treated each other with respect, we had terrific discussions, we supported each other and no one was left out. We all have different skills and this becomes very clear when you are challenged with tasks that have to be solved quickly although they are not within your main skills. It became so clear that networking is key! Not only in the team, but having a network in the entire organisation was so helpful.  “Who can give me more input on organisation and profile definitions? Who knows about processes for defining KPIs?”  Reach out and for sure people do try to help!

Workshop at Innovation day at campus
Workshop at Innovation day at campus

Learning about the culture in the country you visit is of course interesting. But I found it just as interesting to learn about my colleagues’ countries and cultures. When getting close in this short time it felt like any questions were allowed and we learned so much, and we had so much fun doing it!

Before setting off, I thought “how can I contribute?”.  Why would they need someone with skills within Recruitment for a project in Casablanca?  My sub-team consisted of a Service Delivery Manager, a Finance expert and me, none of us were consultants. Our project was a tricky high level organisation change project and it was rather new to all of us. But thanks to networking, available IBM-information, a common view on how we work within IBM combined with our skills we exceeded the expectations of our client and felt both proud and happy that we had produced something that will make a difference to our client.

Tomorrow we have the first call after the assignment and it will be so good to hear the happy voices on the call. #IBMCSC

Want to find out more about being a successful women working in technology? Interested in hearing about IBM’s new technologies? We invite you to watch Silvia Bianchi, a researcher of Social Data Analytics – Cognitive Computing, talking about her work and the new IBM technologies. On June 10, at 9 am (EST) you can watch the livestream directly in our Recruitment YouTube channel. Do you have any questions for Silvia, about her work or about IBM? Leave it in the comments and she will answer in the interview day.

About the Author

Jette Gustafsson has 15+ years of experience in all areas of Recruitment and is still enthusiastic about finding good profiles to join IBM. Currently working as a Sourcing Recruiter for IBM Europe with focus on improving our utilization of Social Media for Recruitment. Follow Jette on LinkedIn and Twitter. Read more on her experiences in Morocco at

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