Getting Oriented

Welcome back to our IBM Consulting by Degrees blog!

Following my previous posts, I will now go further on personal experiences about the IBM Consulting by Degrees Graduate Programme.

I became part of IBM last July and during the initial orientation week, I had the chance to meet some of my new colleagues (including senior managers) in a graduate event that took place in Athens and was organized entirely by IBM Greece. There was a presentation about the programme and the development opportunities a graduate has through that as well as the experiences that other fellow graduates had so far. There was also a talk about IBM’s overall structure and stories from senior managers about moments that mostly enjoy during a project or even difficulties they meet and hints how to overcome them.

The idea is that whatever the service line you belong, IBM’s culture is to motivate both graduates and experienced professionals to engage with knowledge, take initiatives and learn from that process. In addition, all people are very willing to help you engage with IBM’s processes and give you instructions to make the most out of them. From the first day, I had the chance to cooperate with exceptional IBMers in terms of quality, professionalism and integrity; values that IBM possesses throughout the years.

Furthermore, I had a formal meeting with my manager during the orientation week, which helped me orient my work, gave me an overview of the projects undertaken at the moment and how graduates are expected to contribute in the early stages in order to gain skills and grow personally and professionally. He gave me invaluable tips for the future projects I would be involved and I am very glad to have practiced them with success. Among others, there is a mandatory course that new joiners should attend, which gives guidelines about IBM connection pages, how to become visible and some general networking principles.

To conclude this post, if you are interested in any of the topics discussed above, please feel free to comment.

Until next time,

Georgios

georgios_skourletopoulos

 

A General Overview of the IBM Consulting by Degrees (CbD) Graduate Programme

Welcome back to our Consulting by Degrees blog!

Before I go further to this week’s post, I feel the need to thank the regular authors of this blog – Peggy from Sweden, Ruth from the UK, Zuzana and Austin from the US – and those that act as guest authors. Without their contributions, this blog would not exist and I feel very proud just being part of this team and representing Greece as a CbDer through this blog. And of course, many thanks to all our readers that find this blog as the step to learn more about IBM’s leading graduate programme and the perspectives a young professional can have through this. This blog will continue to grow over the coming weeks and months and we will continue to share our thoughts and experiences about IBM and the Consulting by Degrees Programme  in general, so please stay tuned!

Following my introductory post “Hello from Greece !”, I feel that it would be very useful to define what this graduate programme is all about, especially for those that are not aware of it. Consulting by Degrees (CbD) is a two year, entry-level leadership development programme that was launched in 2009 from IBM Global Business Services (GBS) and has a global representation. The candidate’s background is not of major importance; more important is the leadership potential and aptitude you should have. The programme is divided into four quadrants – Foundation, Breadth, Depth and Promotion. As a CbDer and part of the global Consulting by Degrees network, it is crucial to define yourself as a consultant during the Foundation phase and get a deeper understanding on what makes you essential to your clients. You  will have the opportunity to participate in a range of project roles and activities, and get on-the-job learning. During the last two phases, the programme provides training to build leadership skills and expertise on a specific area of interest before the CbDers proceed to the next level.

IBM is so committed to personal and professional development and Consulting by Degreesis a proof of that. The training can be either classroom or online-based from recognized instructors in their fields, not to mention that within a few weeks since joining IBM, I got to travel to the UK to receive training as part of the programme. Being a consultant means that you should be impactful and committed, act in a professional manner and surprise your client by producing constantly better work in terms of quality. Teamwork skills are essential, because you will definitely find yourself cooperating with other members in a team and learn from these talented experts. So when you participate in a project, make the most out of it and learn as much as possible.

To conclude this post, if you are interested in any of the topics discussed above, please feel free to comment.

Best,

Georgios

georgios_skourletopoulos

 

Hello from Greece!

Hello and welcome to this blog,

I am Georgios and I joined IBM Greece on July 1st, 2015 through the “Consulting by Degrees” (CbD) graduate scheme. I am a Foundation Strategy Consultant within IBM’s Global Business Service Business Unit and Business Analytics & Strategy (BA&S) Service Line. I am also a member of the IBM Big Data and Business Analytics Center of Competence located in Athens. My experience is great so far as I have had the opportunity to meet very talented and helpful people and in some cases work with them in projects.

I come from a Computer Science and Digital Marketing with e-Commerce background, so finding a company that I would practice what I learnt throughout my degrees was a priority. IBM is a global organization that gives you the opportunity to take initiatives, learn so many things and get involved in so many projects. Being a CbDer and, subsequently, an IBMer is a way of life. I am proud of being part of this global team and contribute to make the world a better place. Because this is what IBM does: the world a better place!

My training is at the IBM headquarters in Athens, Greece and what I found when I entered the graduate scheme was just impressive! It is just great and very inspiring to see IBM’s history in the walls of the ground floor next to the Executive’s Room. Additionally, the training is second to none from experts in their fields and there are also so many virtual classrooms giving you the opportunity to interact with other CbDers all across the world and participate in networking and other activities.

I got involved in an international initiative (PoC) so far and I am now working on my first client project in Athens. I was lucky enough to get training on the IBM Cognos BI, IBM SPSS Modeler and IBM SMA Cloud Business Solution.

I look forward to posting more about my IBM and CbD experience through this blog!

Best,

Georgios

georgios_skourletopoulos