By Andal Alwan
As an Associate Partner and people manager at IBM, I can appreciate the amount of investment the company has made to attract the best and brightest talents. I think the Consulting by Degrees program- IBM’s global leadership and development program for entry-level consultants – has rightfully chosen to target graduates who are creative, out-of-the-box thinkers – talents who can help us transform into a cognitive and cloud platform company.
I always feel proud when I see fresh graduates grow in their consulting careers. The Consulting by Degrees program ensures that they are exposed to a full spectrum of project experience and development so that they can launch and accelerate their careers successfully.
I had started my career in a business graduate program too, and I just want to share four pointers which have best helped me in my career journey through various organizations, especially Big Blue:
- Express your views When I was a fresh graduate, I was pleasantly surprised by how my opinions were considered and heard by my senior managers. Now that I am a manager, I can confidently say that the leaders in IBM are always keen to hear your opinions and views. So never be afraid to voice your opinions. You might just have shared words of wisdom!
- Seek out opportunities – A large organization like IBM offers a plethora of opportunities. Do your research, network widely and identify the opportunities that may best match your interests.
- Be flexible in your career goals – Sometimes, I come across graduates who are very clear on what they want to do. While this is a good trait, they can miss out on contributions where their work may be more visible. Whilst having clear goals are good, try to be flexible too as you may never know how a project that is ‘not-so-interesting’ at first, may be an opportunity where you may thrive.
- Adopt the right attitude –Have you noticed that some people always get the best exposure and opportunities? From what I’ve observed, these folks turn out to be the ones with the right attitude – the ‘can-do’, ‘go-getting’ and ‘stretching to help’ spirit! Seek out opportunities to work with a wider range of projects, even if it is a small role. These are all opportunities for you to show that you are eager and for the leaders to see your attitude and abilities!
Andal Alwan is an Associate Partner and Consulting by Degrees leader for IBM Global Business Services. You can find her on Linkedin
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