Accelerating Professional Development for Graduates through the IBM Startwise Program

In the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing a series of articles about IBM’s Startwise program for Graduates in Australia and New Zealand. Our journey begins this week with Cristina Villamayor, Graduate and Internship Program Manager.

Over the next six weeks we’ll be sharing the experiences of some participants and achievements of our current graduate cohort, while exploring IBM’s Startwise Initiative.

What is Startwise?

Startwise is a structured one year program for IBM Graduates in Australia and New Zealand. It enables graduates to get up-to-speed quickly, through accelerated professional development. The program offers comprehensive training, avenues to integrate into the business, lots of fun and some challenging situations.


What are graduates exposed to in the program?

During the first days of employment, graduates attend a two-day induction that introduces them to IBM’s history, strategies, values, and organisational structure. During this time, graduates are also guided on how to manage their careers and are provided with a range of resources to help identify and address concerns or expectations. Orientation is an open, relaxed and fun environment that facilitates learning, increases confidence and allows graduates to interact with peers, build networks and establish business relationships that can last a lifetime.

Monthly connect sessions are conducted to assist graduate integration and collaboration. Topics like diversity and corporate social responsibility, compensation, benefits, and business unit strategies are explored. Following this, a three-month facilitated mentoring program teaches graduates how to select a mentor, maintain goals and manage relationships.

STARWISE.jpgThe Startwise graduate network gives our new employees the opportunity to voice and share opinions, attend mingle events, and improve organisational awareness. We aim to build a fun, collaborative environment designed to encourage networking and help graduates achieve their goals while contributing to IBM’s overall strategy.

After 12 months, we hold the Inferno recognition event, often considered the highlight of the Startwise program. it is a competition that provides top performers with a unique IBM experience intended to fuel development, spur motivation, and increase exposure to executives within an elite environment. Winners are flown to Melbourne for two nights, given marquee access to the Australian Open, participate in sightseeing activities, indulge in lunch with IBM executives, and attend an engaging leadership symposium.

The final component of Startwise provides graduates with the opportunity to simulate executive level decision making through a hands-on, innovative, team-based business acumen simulation. This component enables graduates to gain a greater understanding of how IBM operates and view the organisation from a different perspective.

Does this sound interesting to you?

Applications for IBM’s 2018 AUS/NZ Graduate Program are now open. Graduating students are invited to check out the IBM Australia and New Zealand Graduate Careers for more information on how to apply. You may also follow IBM ANZ on Facebook and Twitter.

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