By Mariano Aragunde
IBM Corporate Services Corps program gives IBM’ers the unique opportunity to develop their leadership skills, by going on a community-based assignment in an emerging market to help communities around the world solve critical problems. In the past few weeks we have shared the experiences of Mariano Aragunde from the IBM HR team in Latin America as he goes on assignment in India. This is his concluding piece
So, the day finally came: we finished our project, delivered all the materials, and presented our results to our clients; UNICEF and the Chhattisgarh government. They were delighted, and keen to start implementing our marketing strategy to help the poor families in India. This will have an impact on millions of people’s lives. I still can’t fully grasp what we’ve accomplished. We made a difference. A big one.
Later in the evening, after our presentation meeting, we had our final dinner and Holi celebration, all four teams working in Raipur. Our clients told us how much they appreciated us for all the work we have done. And I want to bring some words from one of them, who said:
“When I first saw you coming to work for us, I thought ‘Oh no, I have to teach Agriculture to three foreigners’. But instead of that, I found three IBMers”.
So, mission accomplished! I’m so proud of what we have done, but I also leave Raipur with the deepest sense of humility and gratitude. Doing work like this makes you realize what really matters. What it means to serve others, to be nice, to be homesick, to eat home-made food made with so much love that you can taste it.
Goodbyes between the team members and clients are starting now as each one of us fly back home with tears of joy. Because we arrived as strangers, and leave as true friends spread all over the world.
This whole experience has truly changed my life. And I’m writing it with tears in my eyes as I recall how every single person was receptive and open to us here in India- clients, IBMers, and CSC partners. It is truly overwhelming how much you learn about others and about yourself.
I have not enough words to thank them for this experience: my colleagues, the IBM support team, our clients, and every single person who painted our forehead and gave us masala chai.
I will now depart for a three week vacation traveling across the country. I learned to love paneer, cricket, spicy food, and street traffic.
India is great!
Take some time to read the previous editions of Mariano’s experiences in India here if you missed it.
Over the next few weeks we will be sharing more stories from IBM’ers about their CSC experience. Subscribe to our blog or come back regularly to read these.
To find out more about IBM’s Corporate Service Corps, visit IBM CSC website
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