CbD Graduation day 2016

How about travelling to new places and meeting new people? It sounds good right?

Well, this is what happens in IBM. This time, we travelled to Madrid, for the Consulting by Degrees (CbD) Graduation Day.

Every year, graduates, from all over the world, who successfully complete the 2 years of their CbD training, graduate. This year, the SPGI (Spain, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus and Israel) Consulting by Degrees team came up with the idea of organizing a really big event for the Graduation day.  Luckily, CbDers from the SPGI have been invited to attend the event in Spain, along with several European Managers.

The event took place in the IBM Client Center in Madrid on Friday May 6th 2016. The CbD team had prepared some really good stuff for the day, with all the graduates preparing videos and material to present.

Just the day before the event, CbDers from Portugal, Greece and Cyprus arrived to Spain. Later that evening, some Spanish CbDers organized an informal gathering party at a pub; a very good opportunity for us to meet our colleagues just before the event.

The day had come and everything was in place. By 9am we arrived to the amazing Client Center of IBM. Everybody was there; IBM executives, Service Managers, the SPGI leaders, Consultants and Graduates. The Client Center, an incredible place, was a place full of life, full of energy and interesting stuff. Even selfie sticks and accessories for pictures were available to ensure the best experience for the guests.

The selfie competition started from early in the morning, with all the graduates trying to attain the perfect shoot for the winning selfie. By the end of the day, the SPGI CbD Manager, María José Sánchez Aranda and her team had to choose the “big four” of the best selfies and give awards. Twitter had gone on fire as all participants were continuously posting selfies and tweets.

The event had officially started with the warm welcome message of the SPGI Executive Manager, Marta Martínez. The agenda was fully covered by activities of videos from GBS, GTS and Software team, presentations from the graduates, the selfie competition, teamwork activities and of course food and networking!

The main objective of the event, which at my opinion has been successfully achieved, was to get social and create new connections of managers and graduates in each country. The spirit was fun and positive during the day and we were able to meet other CbDers and listen about amazing stories in IBM and life in CbD. It is nice to think that there is a possibility of working together someday. Even more important was the fact that we were able to meet and introduce ourselves to important people in the company such as Leaders from Services and Industries across Europe. IBM as a global and accessible company has the capability of uniting countries and brings its employees together.

But because one image is equal to 1000 words, have a look on some of the pictures and don’t forget our hash tag on Twitter #IBM_SPG_GradsDay16.




Elena Panagiotou


IBM Cyprus: The Recruitment

Anyone willing to join IBM?

If yes, then my recruitment story may be interesting to you. This is my first blog post attempt and I really hope that you will like it.
But first… Did I introduce myself?

About me.
My name is Elena and I joined IBM a year ago (April 2015) in the Consulting by Degrees Program as a Consultant in the Interactive Experience service line. By September of 2013, I had completed my studies in UK in the area of Computer Science and IT Management. Then I started to work in Cyprus as a Digital Marketing Executive till the IBM offer.

The Story.
I used to drive by the IBM’s premises, wondering how cool it would be to join such a renowned firm. Cyprus has a limited market of good companies. Imagine a tiny island with thousands of local companies but very few international businesses to work in. I was looking for new opportunities when I saw an advertisement in LinkedIn about two new job positions of IBM in Cyprus. I kept myself calm to read the jobs description in order to find out if any of them meets my interests and qualifications. Soon, I realized it would be the first graduate scheme that has ever been run in Cyprus. Plus it was even more awesome that it was an IBM’s scheme. They were looking for consultants in the Business Analytics and Interactive Experience service lines. I got so excited when I realized that the Interactive Experience job was a perfect match with my interests and exactly what I was looking for; I couldn’t wait to get invited. So, I prepared the perfect CV, asked for some recommendations and sent the application with fingers crossed.

A few days later I got an email from an IBM recruiter advising me that I had to take the IBM’s CAT tests in order to move forward with my application. I had three days to study and take these two tests. The first one was a mathematical problem solving test and the other was a number series test, consisted of 60 questions.

After a long weekend I finally took the tests, and a few weeks later I got the so much desired invitation for the assessment day, at IBM’s premises. Yey! An assessment day at IBM usually takes two days. But in Cyprus, due to the small size of the country, only two graduates were going to be selected, so one day was enough.

The preparation for the assessment day included lots of videos on YouTube in order to understand how the assessment day works in other countries, what activities are usually involved, the proper dress code for IBM, and of course practice for the interview!

My assessment day at IBM was an unforgettable experience. They treated all the 11 applicants so well and they were trying to make us feel comfortable. The day was divided in four parts.

First the Introduction, so we could get first contacts with the managers and meet the other applicants. Secondly, a group assessment; we were divided into groups and were given a problem to solve in 40 minutes as a team. At the same time, observers from IBM could assess our problem solving skills, communication skills, attitude and way of thinking.

Then, we were examined individually in a presentation session. Each applicant was given a client request that had to be later discussed in a meeting with him. We had 20 minutes to read the problem and prepare a short paper-based presentation about IBM, how IBM would help the client and answer possible questions.

In this part of the day, IBM provided us a quick lunch and rest time so they could decide who would pass to the interview stage and who will go home. Almost immediately after the results, it was my turn for the Interview. HR and Management were all there, ready to discuss and ask.

Two weeks later, the phone rang to inform me that the final decision was made and I was selected. During that moment, I was the happiest person ever! And it was great to have the opportunity to experience such an ideal assessment experience at IBM.

The Recruitment journey in Cyprus took no more than 2 months. IBM Consulting by Degrees is global in more than 50 countries. There are a lot of new opportunities out there. If you would like to find more, I would suggest the CbD page and our blog, or feel free to contact me directly.

Thank you for reading my post. Till the next one, be well and positive!


Elena Panagiotou