In this year-ender article, Seye Oloruntoba, Enterprise and Commercial Marketing Leader for IBM Middle East and Africa, shares 10 personal moments from 2016 where she felt very proud to be called an IBMer.
In the course of the year, I have had lots of moments when I felt really proud to be an IBMer but these are 10 of my proudest “I am an IBMer” moments from 2016.
- When IBM appreciated great work – Early in the year I got a phone call from my Marketing VP. He called to appreciate all the great work I had done in 2015 and to talk to me about a new career opportunity that would allow me expand my experience. That one phone call moment made me realize just how much IBM values its employee contribution to the business, and I felt really proud to be an IBMer.
- When IBM promoted career development – Taking on an international assignment has been one of my personal goals for a while now. This year I had the opportunity to take on a new role in a new country outside my home country as part of a Global Assignment programme. The move provided my family and I an opportunity to live, work and relate with people from all cultures across the world in one of the most exciting cities in the world – Dubai. Loving every moment!
- When IBM provided an opportunity for networking and ideas sharing – In summer, I sat in a room full of Senior Executives from the Marketing function and had the opportunity to expand my network while contributing to the redesign of the function. In those two days’ work session in New York, I couldn’t have felt prouder to be part of a company that values the ideas of every employee.
- When IBM promoted creativity – Sometime in April, IBM organized an internal ideation competition where employees had to form teams and develop an idea based on its cognitive technology. It was one of my proudest moments to have led the MICA Cognitive build team and watched other colleagues work so hard together to bring their ideas of life. I couldn’t have been prouder of a company that promotes creativity and innovation and provides an opportunity for employees to be intrapreneurs.
- When IBM truly encouraged work-life balance – Every time I was able to attend a school play or participate in a bake sale on a work day, I felt super proud to be a working mom. IBM has in the course of the year allowed me to schedule my work in ways that I can still enjoy special moments with my family. My kids love what I do and where I work and though their knowledge of what IBM does is really minimal I love the way they say “mummy works at IBM”.
- When IBM supported employees’ health– In the last quarter of the year, the Global Corporate Challenge programme was launched to encourage employees to get moving. Mid-way in the competition my UAE team – 7 Nations, won the Mini Challenge between South Africa and UAE. In that moment I realized I had achieved one of my two personal health goals – to maintain an average of 10,000 steps per day. Thanks to the added pressure of working in teams, I have an extra reason to take a walk every day.
- When IBM invested in its people – Over a course of 4 days, IBM invested in training over 1,000 employees on key solutions and new trends in a beautiful location in Dubai. The magnitude of investment required to bring the team together from across Middle East and Africa, and the time spent in learning and networking, validated for me the value IBM places on its people. I left the session with a renewed sense of pride and belonging to such a great company.
- When IBM celebrated people – Every time I met people who had spent 30 years in a company I often wondered how they kept their motivation and interest in that company. When I received my “3 Years of Service” celebration email from IBM I felt teary-eyed as memories of my time spent flooded my mind. It wasn’t just that I had been a name in the company’s HR books, I was an individual whom IBM knew and valued. It was really good to feel wanted and a part of something bigger. And now I know why people spend 30 years with a company that cares.
- When IBM improved how we learn – When IBM announced Watson’s partnership with Sesame Street, I actually did two thumbs up. As a Mom, I absolutely love the idea of IBM Watson and Sesame Street working together to improve how our kids learn. I agree with the rationale that kids learn at different paces and in different ways, which is what the partnership hopes to address. I look forward with pride at the improvements this will bring to our kids through personalized learning based on each child’s learning styles, abilities, and needs.
- When IBM took on fashion – I don’t think fashionistas saw this coming, but when I read about how IBM and Marchesa showcased the Cognitive dress at the Manus x Machina-themed Met Gala I was really proud. As a Marketing professional I was happy to see a new expression of creativity that allowed the audience to interact with our product in a fun and creative way. Super proud of this team.
So there you have it, 10 moments in 2016 when I couldn’t have been prouder to be an IBMer. Looking forward to more IBM moments in 2017. Come join us and discover what you can do at IBM.
Follow Seye on Twitter @seyeoke
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