My IBM Corporate Service Corps Experience. Creating Meaningful Solutions with Passion

By Steve Pearson

IBM Corporate Services Corps (CSC) 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 this edition, we will be sharing the experiences of Steve Pearson, thought leader in Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs at IBM during his CSC assignment at Angola.

In 2015, I was deployed to Luanda, Angola as a participant in IBM’s premier leadership development program: Corporate Service Corps. I was featured in Business Insider as one of 17 global IBM “Rockstars” who is helping to change the direction of IBM based on my impact in Angola. My project was with The Ministry of Health of Angola where my CSC team established strategies to decrease inefficiencies in the nation’s hospital management system. The team made recommendations for hospital funding models, identifying pros and cons of each model, taking local environmental, socio-economic and cultural realities into account.

While on assignment I also had the unique opportunity to help create an IBM Corporate Service Corps Community Service Day partnering with University of Agostinho Neto. This is the largest University in Angola and has numerous institutes of higher education that are housed in campuses spread across ten of the 18 provinces in the country.  The particular campus our team volunteered at is focused on an engineering discipline and has over 5,000 students pursuing a degree! The CSC team concentrated on skills development with an emphasis on cloud, analytics, mobile and social. I personally led leadership and life skills sessions and one of my key messages to students was: “You have to have confidence in what you say, who you are, where you are going and who you are leading:  Your confidence grows from belief in yourself”!

Steve students

Participating in the IBM Corporate Service Corps was a once in a lifetime opportunity to apply my passions by creating sustainable solutions to help solve some of the most pressing issues facing communities.  What stands out to me about #IBMCSC is that it is focused on the development of people just as much as the impact of the work the participants do.

I was privileged to surround myself with excellent people, where every team member had something that he or she was passionate about and was determined to doggedly pursue. It fostered an environment where everyone set an example for one another and led by committing whole-heartedly to every pursuit.

Steve's team

It was a phenomenal learning environment for me where I let my imagination have no limits, and expanded the boundaries of my comfort zone by thinking audacious thoughts that led directly to action where my team created meaningful solutions to help Angola and its citizens!

Read more about Steve’s CSC journey.


Steven Pearson is a thought leader in Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs at IBM and has expertise in corporate social responsibility, nonprofit management, K-12 education, and economic & community development.  In his current IBM role, Steven serves as the public face of IBM to the external marketplace and community to advance corporate thought leadership by strengthening IBM’s community relations, government relations, media relations, and the public perception of IBM in North Carolina, South Carolina & West Virginia.

Take some time to read the experiences of some other IBMers during their #IBMCSC assignment across the globe here..

To find out more about IBM’s Corporate Service Corps, visit IBM CSC website

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