From College to Consulting – Find out more about IBM’s Consulting by Degrees Program

Students and Graduate Program Series

The students and Graduates Programs series is a collection of blog articles that focuses on the wide range of internship and graduate programs that IBM offers across the globe, highlighting key challenges and particular skills needed to be eligible for the individual programs.

IBM Consulting by Degrees Program

By Sarah Kmetz


Sarah kmetzMy name is Sarah Kmetz and I am the Global Program Lead for IBM’s Consulting by Degrees (CbD) Program. I have been with IBM Global Business Services for almost 17 years.  I started my career with IBM as a consultant right out of school, and have had the opportunity to work with various clients (for example, a fortune 500 Insurance Company, a prominent Automotive supplier, and a leading consumer products company) in a variety of roles.

For the past few years, my role has been to manage the global Consulting by Degrees program– and work closely with our CbD teams around the world.


What is the CbD Program?

Consulting by Degrees is a 2-year leadership and development program for our entry-level consultants – those who have recently finished their University degree. We target top candidates from a variety of majors and backgrounds, and give them the training and experience to become our future leaders in consulting.


This program is a unique opportunity – among the best of its kind in the consulting profession. It offers you the opportunity to work across multiple roles, clients, and/or industries while at the same time developing depth of experience in process, methods, and technology. You will also develop digital skills in emerging areas such as cognitive, interactive experience, and analytics, and gain proficiency in modern, in-demand methodologies like agile.

Agile CbD

As part of the program, you will not only join a close-knit community close to home, but also a global network of over 3,000 Consulting by Degrees participants worldwide.

Participants often spend time together outside of work, whether it be playing on a local sports league, meeting for social events over the weekend, or doing volunteer work to give back to the community.

 What are the benefits of being on the program?

Consulting by Degrees will fast-track your career in consulting and at IBM.  You will have a team of people guiding your career, giving you personalized career planning and mentorship, and providing consistent support in navigating your path through the program and beyond. You are also joining a global company and community, with opportunities to interact with others around the world.

What kind of projects or work do participants get involved in?

You will have the opportunity to work on a diverse range of client projects for the world’s biggest and best brands and organizations. You could work with an international hotel chain or regional sports organization, a local bank, or a global supplier of consumer products. The only thing that is consistent across the program is that you will work as part of team for a client to help them solve problems – beyond that, each person’s path through the program is specifically unique! Your project work could be helping a local University improve their recruitment process, or enabling a major sports stadium to post tweets on the big screen from the fans during the game, or designing the next smart car using new technologies, or even creating the next version of Watson cognitive computing for IBM . . .or anything in between!

What opportunities are there after the program? What have others gone on to do?

Consulting by Degrees alumni are our future leaders in IBM Global Business Services.  They are involved in all areas of our business – from Cognitive to Analytics and Strategy to ERP Enterprise Applications to Interactive experience and Mobile. Our alumni continue to grow their skills and are indispensable to our clients across all industries. We have experts in eCommerce and Cloud, Social Media and SAP . . .the possibilities are endless!

 What are your insider tips for someone considering applying? 

The application process for the program is highly competitive, so it’s important to stand out! We look for candidates with strong leadership and flexibility, with willingness to take ownership of challenging tasks and problems. Effective interpersonal and communication skills is a must, as is being a team player since our client work is in a team environment. We also look for a passion for innovation and developing solutions to complex problems.

How to apply to the program?

Start with our global website – there you will find more information about the program as well as links to apply to positions in any of the over 50 countries worldwide where we are running the program.


We have opportunities around the world, so if this sounds like a great way to launch your career, check our current list of opportunities and apply online.

Sarah Kmetz is the Global Program Lead for IBM’s Consulting by Degrees (CbD) Program. You can find her on Linkedin

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