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Motivated by Learning and Leading: This is Why I Stay at IBM

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By Melanie Dauber (4 min read)


When I joined IBM after college in 2016 I realized that the beginning of a new career was far from predictable. There was no longer a syllabus of what was scheduled to be taught – and it was up to me to structure each week’s curriculum, find my tutors and define the criteria for success.

Throughout both my undergraduate and IBM career I work to always ensure that I am learning and leading.  As a full-time student learning new Computer Science concepts, I was able to find opportunities to teach both as an undergraduate teaching assistant and as a technical instructor for the Girls Who Code organization. This passion of learning and leading is one that I’ve carried throughout my IBM career as well.  IBM partners with Girls Who Code and hosts Summer Immersion Programs and year round classes at local schools.  As an IBM Mentor during the summer immersion program I was able to work with girls going through the college application process and talk to them about studying Computer Science and starting a career in Technology.

But learning and leading didn’t stop with Girls Who Code. This value was one of the reasons I joined IBM as a Technical Specialist. After completing the Summit Program in 2017 I’ve had the opportunity to return and present at New Hire Orientations on alumni panels, give IBM 101 presentations and be a Connections Coach to help ease the new hire transition – and provide some hints and tips for success.

Through my current role at IBM I’ve been able to collaborate with IBM sales teams to define, design and detail the technical aspects of client solutions. In my day to day job I get to educate my clients on IBM’s capabilities to accelerate their journey to cloud, the API economy, event-driven architecture, containerization and agile integration architectures. This gives me the ability to get hands-on experience and constantly learn new innovative technologies and teach them to our clients in creative ways.

For me this post did not write itself because of why I joined IBM – but why I stay at IBM.

Where I fall on the spectrum of learning and leading shifts every day. I work daily to put together my ‘Board of Directors’ – my mentors that help me create my professional development plan and the steps needed to achieve my goals.

I joined IBM to work for a company that builds technology to solve problems on a global scale. I stay at IBM for the great team that I have coaching me towards my goals. They create guidance and a platform for me to try new things, feel uncomfortable and grow at a pace I never could have imagined. I can always ask questions and help is only a phone call or instant message away.

At a company of 300,000+ employees I have the ability to have coffee with Blockchain experts, participate in Technical Book Club and cross-team programming projects – every day can be completely different with the freedom to learn what interests me.

What I have loved about my time at IBM is that anyone’s voice can reinvent the way that we work. As I go through my days I have the ability (even as an early professional hire!) to identify gaps in our processes, come up with new ways to solve them and get them implemented across the board.

As my three-year anniversary approaches this August, I am so excited to see what is in store for my career at IBM as I continue to work with such passionate people – and meet new ones every day.


About the Author
Melanie Dauber is a Hybrid Cloud Integration Technical Specialist for the Financial Services Market. She joined IBM three years ago through the IBM Summit Intern Program and returned after graduating from Emory University with a degree in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics.


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