IBMer Spotlight: Meet Erich Manser

Erich Mansur

We grab a coffee with IBMers from around the world, and share our chat in this weekly spotlight series. This week you can meet Erich, from IBM US.

In the morning, I like my coffee…
Maybe not a popular answer, but I’m more of a Green Tea guy!! No cream or sugar, just a hot mug of Green Tea each morning (especially during cold New England winters!) 🙂 

When I get up to go to work, I look forward to…
Lending my skills to the efforts of one of the world’s leading research organizations, making real differences in technology for all people, and helping IBM lead by example.  

I am responsible for…
Spreading the word about accessibility as a critical need in technology, both inside and outside of IBM. Accessible products can be used by every person, and accessible design is just good design, plain and simple. 

My typical day…
Is rarely “typical”; I learn new things every day, and I get to interact with the most interesting IBMers working on some of the coolest emerging & future tech I’ve ever heard of. The fact that I get to address the importance of accessibility in those projects and conversations is incredibly rewarding.

The coolest part of my job is…
Being able to contribute to cutting-edge projects that have the potential to change what’s possible for people of all abilities. Whether Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Self-Driving or Voice Activated tech, the landscape is changing rapidly and we at IBM are encouraged to think and push forward.

The biggest challenge I have…
Is not getting overwhelmed by the vast expanse of possibility that emerging tech presents. I must constantly catch myself and narrow my own focus to 2 or 3 promising projects at any one time, as taking on several exciting possibilities simultaneously could easily become too much, and prevent meaningful contributions to any one of them.

Most memorable moment in my career…
Receiving a personal response directly from IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, in response to a note I had sent expressing appreciation for IBM’s rich history of putting inclusion & equality first, and urging continued emphasis as we continue to evolve. 

Top piece of career advice…
Embrace humility and avoid entitlement. No matter what set of circumstances you encounter along the way, you leave your mark by how you personally respond. Distinguish yourself accordingly. 


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