Free to invent my life

By Joseph Sam

Blog for IBM

“I am free to invent my life.”  – This was the inscription on my first ever fortune cookie; a saying which I discovered to be trustworthy, and has subsequently become my mantra. Indeed life throws many opportunities at us and the choices we make every step of the way constitute the tiny pixels that make up this unique picture of our lives.

Speaking of choices, the careers we choose very much define the course of our lives. It’s a decision that affects your health, wealth, habits and relationships; One that ultimately shapes your outlook in life. I made an awesome choice to join a startup company – only that it’s 105 years old! You guessed right – IBM.

My Goal

I had been fortunate to gain considerable exposure throughout my brief career, having previously worked in multinational organizations across 3 continents: Africa, North America and Europe. I had assumed technical roles in all these countries, and I felt it was time to learn how to leverage technology and turn that into money. Hence, upon completing my masters degree in Engineering Business Management, I sought out an organization where I could fulfill my aim of becoming a ‘Fortune® 40 under 40’ management expert, exhibiting thought leadership in business strategy. Then emerged IBM as the right place to achieve this!

Why IBM?

Coming from Ghana, my ambition was to return to Africa, to help make a positive contribution to the continent’s growth and development; to work in Africa to  impact in African lives. It turns out that IBM shares in the belief that Africa is a key growth market, which is at the heart of the global business evolution. IBM was the place where I could leverage my masters-level business acumen and technical knowledge, international professional exposure  and personal qualities, in achieving important strategic objectives that would empower businesses, people and society. I relished the prospects of venturing into new frontiers, tackling problems and challenges, and helping to build a smarter planet.

“IBM is a large company but with the agility of a small company, where your voice is heard. There is an excellent leadership structure and a culture of continuous feedback that facilitates your personal development.”

My IBM Journey

I first joined IBM as an intern in the UK, and then subsequently relocated to Lagos, Nigeria to assume the role of a Software Offering Manager in IBM West Africa. I help to establish, drive and grow IBM’s business by delivering cutting edge software and cloud solutions across Africa.  In simple terms, my role is to help determine where in Africa we will play and how we will win. As the global leader in Business and IT Services,  IBM offers the scale, the right learning platform and the competitive arena that have aided my personal development and challenged me to go beyond my limits to achieve more.  And did I mention how much fun ‘IBMers’ have together? Here’s a peek!

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The IBM I have come to know,  is one that treasures  ‘wild ducks‘. IBM celebrates each person’s unique individuality so rather than casting you into a mould, you have the freedom to find your fit and determine your own career path. If you’re just beginning your career or looking to re-invent  yourself, why not take advantage of IBM’s global scale and focus on training to grow and build expertise. IBM has recently launched the era of cognitive business, and there are exciting times ahead. Come join us today!



Joseph Sam is a Software Offering Manager for IBM Software Africa Offering Management. You can find him on LinkedIN.

Studying in US or Europe but thinking of a career back in Africa? Check out the LEADing to Africa  or LEAD MEA pages and see how you can become part of the IBM family right away.

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