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Ask, Learn, Grow: The Secret to Getting a Job You Love

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By Prapthi Cariappa Kayapanda (4 min) 

I joined IBM as an IT intern three years ago. Our specific role was not decided on the first day of internship. Two days after the internship began, I had a meeting with my manager where we discussed about my previous experience and the courses I had learned during my masters. A day after the discussion, I was given the role of a Quality Assurance Analyst intern and I was disappointed. One of the main reasons for me to quit my job back in India and move to the US for my masters was that I was a Quality Assurance Analyst at India and I was not passionate about this role.

On the day my manager at IBM gave me this role, I was contemplating between being open with my manager and letting him know that I wanted to be a Business Analyst (BA) or ignoring my passion and taking up the role of a Quality Analyst. One of my friends gave me this advice: “If you do not ask, the answer is always a No”. This has stayed with me ever since and I follow this daily in my personal and professional life.

The next day I went back to my manager and told him about my passion for business analysis and the skills I possessed, telling him why I thought I could be a good BA. At the end of the meeting, he agreed to give me the opportunity to be a BA along with the responsibilities of Quality Assurance Analyst. I was excited and started reading about the responsibilities of a BA and completed some online courses on business analysis. I did not have all the required technical skills, I enrolled for some courses on IBM’s learning website. I asked questions and the senior team members were always willing to answer my questions and they promoted a culture of learning. At the end of my internship, I realized that I was ready to be a full time BA based on the skills I had, the knowledge I had gained through reading and doing online courses, the experience from my internship project, and guidance of my manager and other team members.

If I had not discussed my passion with my manager, I would have regretted this each day and I would not have been in a job that I was passionate about. In IBM, regardless of the position an individual holds, they are always willing to listen and give you the opportunity to do what you love.

After two years of being a BA, I wanted to take up more responsibilities and challenges and started to explore the area of offering management. After completing courses and receiving badges on offering management by using the resources on IBM’s learning website, talking to my manager and mentors, I decided to become an Offering Manager. I applied for jobs internally, interviewed for this position and I was offered the job. I have been in this role for 4 months and it has been great so far.

Learning has played a major role in my career. I spend an hour each day reading about a certain topic or doing online courses, that help me in my professional life. IBM is a great place to work, for people who love learning and are looking for opportunities.

About the Author
Prapthi Cariappa Kayapanda is an Offering Manager based in Raleigh, North Carolina. She joined IBM in May 2016 as an IT intern while pursuing her Masters in Information Systems from Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. In February 2017, she started working full-time as an IBM Business Analyst, and has since moved to her current role as an Offering Manager. Apart from continuously learning, she is also passionate about rock climbing, zumba, and hiking.

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