Building a Network that Drives the Future – My IBM HRLDP Story

Today’s blog on the IBM Human Resources Leadership Development Program (HRLDP) series features Amy Huber-Smith, a two-time Michigan State University graduate, initially earning her B.A. in Psychology, then returning to earn her Masters in Labor Relations and Human Resources while working full time as a manager in mortgage banking.  Amy joined IBM shortly thereafter and is now a proud alum of the IBM HRLDP.

amy

What was your most rewarding or challenging experience during the program?

I think the time I spent in Talent was probably the most challenging, primarily because it was my first role in IBM. It wasn’t so much the role that I found particularly challenging, but rather having the learning curve of a new role along with the learning curve of IBM. Everything was new to me – the company, my geographic location, the work site, colleagues, etc. When I look back and consider how I anchored myself, it was really about building my network within IBM. The sense of gradually “conquering” that newness was rewarding in and of itself.

What did it take for you to be successful in this program?

I don’t really define my time in the program as separate and distinct from my time in IBM. My past success in any IBM role, whether identified as being part of the program or not, has relied heavily on continually building my network and knowledge base, and then using those things to proactively drive value and clarity. The latter is pretty basic but absolutely critical to ensuring smooth execution. When I think about those colleagues I have the greatest respect for – this is something they do very well.

How did this program influence your career choices and development?

The rotations ensured I was able to gain experience in a variety of roles which ultimately helped me to identify my strengths, weaknesses, and interests. In particular, I am drawn to areas of HR where success can be more easily measured. (e.g., compensation, operations). In addition, having had exposure to the insights from our senior HR leaders influenced me to some degree. i.e., my decision to take on a compensation rotation was reinforced by the fact that it was an area consistently identified by our leaders as a missing link in the knowledge base of our HR population at that time. While that is probably no longer the case, it’s always interesting to gain the insight of someone who has a broad overview to your professional community.


Amy is a Global HR Operations Leader at IBM. She works out of Detroit.

If you are considering a career in HR, take some time to check out IBM Human Resources Leadership Development Program– Insight from the Program Manager’s Experience and don’t forget to read our other HRLDP stories.

Learn more about IBM HR Leadership Development Program http://ibm.biz/IBMHRLDP

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