Amazing Advice in Armonk

So… from my last blog post, you know how much I was enjoying our face-to-face training and project work week at IBM, Armonk… and the rest of the week didn’t fail to deliver!

I am now on a train from NYC to Washington DC – taking a few days off to sightsee, and luckily the train has wifi, so thought I would update you all on some of the other sessions we had – particularly the ones where we were given some fantastic career advice.

The major take home message I got from all of the sessions, is that nothing at IBM is as important than your network, whether this is your vertical network (your managers, managers managers etc!) or your horizontal network (your peers – especially our fellow course participants).

The first session on this was given by Sonya Miller, who is a HR Director at IBM.  I loved her presentation, she has had a long and varied career at IBM, and her passion for the company really shone through.  Sonya told us to always be thinking about our next role – and make sure we get a taste of everything at IBM, whether that is in a different brand, business unit, geography, or discipline.  She also assured us that it’s ok to take risks… sometimes you have to fail in order to succeed. She emphasised the importance of mentors – and how you don’t have to have just one – but different mentors can help you with different things. So now I am on the look out for more mentors – any takers?!

We were then joined briefly by Kim Kispert – who had very kindly changed her holiday plans so she could be with us, and I was really glad she did. Yet another inspiring female to listen to, and thought she really captured our attention. Kim got the class to do an exercise, around what they thought SMART could be an acronym for when it comes to how you want to face your job. There were many (smart 🙂 ) ideas, but here’s what I put:

  • Social (of course!)
  • Motivated
  • Animated
  • Re-inventing
  • Trustworthy

What would you have put? She wrapped up the session by talking about how whatever you do in your career, your heart has to be in it, there is no point just taking a job just to get another tick in the box.  And one comment that really stuck with me – its experience PLUS PEOPLE that you want to work that will result in the best career choices.

I am going to stop there a write a separate blog about the two panel sessions we had in Armonk. Remember you can follow me @RSwindell for all the latest!

In other news…
Here is a quick picture (selfie) of the amazing team two – who after a week with, I love dearly and know I have made friends for life.



About beckyowen

I am a European Social Media Strategist at IBM. I love everything about Social Media, and like testing out new tools and techniques. I am also an on going Weight Watcher, but sadly LOVE all types of cheese and chocolate!
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