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Meet Rani Nimmagadda from Hyderabad in IBM India. She is the Global Systems SE Center of Excellence Leader for the sales management support function. As part of her 9-year career with IBM, she has been involved in various roles. Recently, she has been instrumental in setting up the Sales Management Support team for the Systems team in Guadalajara, Mexico. In this interview, Rani talks about her career journey in IT consulting and her advice for women in tech aspiring to leadership roles.
Tell us about your IBM career journey.
I have always enjoyed being a problem-solver. I therefore ended up in consulting, where I have grown and moved through the ranks. When I resolve a problem or maximize the potential of a program, I feel very content. It gives me immense satisfaction to help my team achieve its goals when we work together to drive successful business outcomes. My current scope of work extends to leading business transformation and change management initiatives. I frequently mentor new managers and employees to help them define and achieve their career goals.
How has IBM helped bring a sense of purpose to your career?
I would put it down to a “best-in-class learning culture”. IBM has oriented me to be a self-driven learner.
Additionally, IBM has helped me pursue my career aspirations aligned with IBM’s strategies. The level of empowerment and autonomy to learn and build on your skills is tremendous. I have had the opportunity to work on multiple projects, stretch assignments, and mentoring opportunities. All of these have helped me apply the knowledge gained through formal training, as well as challenge myself to build on new skills, and test waters in new dimensions.
Additionally, the self-driven culture helps you nourish your passions. To groom oneself and be challenged for bigger things fuels my sense of purpose in my career. IBM encourages me every day to bring my best and ‘to be what I can be’.
What advice would you give to women looking to start and grow their career in technology?
I can relate to this question as someone who never thought they would be in the technology field. After starting my career, I found myself to be pleasantly surprised. There are multiple opportunities in engineering and technology fields for women. You should approach them with an open mind. Often people only think of coding or technical opportunities. But the field is so dynamic that there are many opportunities created daily and it is critical to apply your current skills to the role that you are tasked with and provided added value. Always build on transferable skills and persist until you succeed.
I often fall back on my personal favorite quote from Calvin Coolridge: “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not. Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not. Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not. The world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent”.
How do you balance the role of an IBM leader and a full-time mom?
I am proud of IBM and the way it offers flexibility for women to manage their careers, especially with young mothers. Work-life balance is an elusive goal for me as a working mother with two young children. I believe in Work-Life Integration and being able to integrate my work schedule along with my personal priorities. This has helped me find my rhythm in my personal life. For me, it’s about prioritization and making the right choices.