Meet Cecilia: Consultant, People Manager, and Proud IBMer
Meet Cecilia, a Senior Salesforce Consultant from Slovakia. Hear more about her position, what led to her current role, and some of her recent projects and interactions with clients.
How would you describe your role as a Senior Consultant?
Operating as a Senior Salesforce Consultant, my key responsibilities include gathering business requirements, providing technical analysis, preparing designs, and completing Salesforce configurations. While my day-to-day duties focus heavily on coming up with tech-focused solutions, client-faced communication plays a crucial part in my role. On top of these core responsibilities, I also involve myself in preparing training materials, further demonstrating how much variety I have in my job.
Overall, I love my position because it enables me to experience the complete involvement from original idea to final implementation within a given project. Namely, upon beginning a project, we often start from scratch to ensure the solution is customized for the client. Thus, the project journey is easy to map and watch progress, which is a part of my job I enjoy greatly.
How did you end up in your role?
After I finished school, I commenced my career at a start-up company. This was a totally different work environment compared to IBM, mostly because it only had 5 to 10 employees. After gaining some very beneficial experience working at a small start-up, I switched gears and started working at IBM in 2017 as an Administrator/Consultant, focused on main system configurations.
While I really enjoyed this role, I am the type of person who appreciates new challenges, moving forward, and gaining new skills. Therefore, I jumped at the chance to become a Senior Salesforce Consultant when the opportunity presented itself.
Within the Salesforce role, I’ve been able to gain multiple certifications and a lot of unique experience working with motivated clients on exciting projects. Once again, I reached a point where I wanted to learn something new and upskill my abilities, so I began learning more about technical architecture and database design, both of which have been important aspects to my current role.
I am just the type of person who loves to try new things. IBM’s vast offerings in education and learning, role diversity, and internal mobility have enabled me to continue growing and exploring, while at the same time, mastering my current position.
Can you describe some of your projects?
As I mentioned earlier, I have the opportunity to work on a wide variety of projects, from retail to petrol, and even dairy production firms. Currently, we are working on a digital transformation program for an oil and gas company headquartered in Hungary. From a business point of view, the main goal of the project is to deliver an innovative solution that will improve customer loyalty and frequency of visit. This goal is being assessed, along with external factors, to ensure a thoughtful and innovative solution will be recommended to the client.
Another client we worked with included a dairy producer in Denmark where we worked side by side with farmers to understand production methods and how products reach the end user. It was so interesting to see how all the products were produced, as well as the people behind the process.
How have your skills developed throughout your career?
This is an interesting question because I’ve found that some skills have different levels of importance depending on where I was in my IBM career journey.
For instance, upon starting my career, technical skills were most helpful as they enabled me to better understand what I needed to do in my day-to-day job. Namely, having a background in HTML, CSS, JAVA, and database systems was invaluable throughout the development phase of the projects I worked on.
As my responsibilities shifted to consulting, people skills like communication and active listening became more important. Learning to listen to clients is vital, as all good business analysts must first understand the problem to know how to transform requirements into solutions.
I remember my first client meeting; I went in with 20 questions I had fully prepared and expected to go through them systematically to build an information bank. After the second question, the client and I both realized it was not going to work and that we needed an open and flowing dialogue where questions could be proposed, and the client had the freedom to diverge. This was an invaluable skill I could only learn through practice.
One way you can develop Salesforce-specific skills is through IBM’s Your Learning education hub, where IBMers have access to tailored videos and programs ready to equip employees with the key skills needed for their jobs, as well as other unique courses like ‘Design Thinking’, which I found extremely applicable to our department.
What do you like best about working at IBM?
Within the Salesforce team, I would say we’re more like friends than colleagues. It’s an amazing feeling when you know you can rely on someone, and everyone is comfortable working with each other. Within our team, I’ve noticed that people are less hesitant to suggest new ideas or ask to try something new, both which are important growth behaviors that fuels our team.
As a manager of around 20 people, I am constantly trying to instill this mindset into my team, not just to ensure optimum motivation, but to also foster personal and career growth.
Discover your potential as an IBM Consultant
If you’re interested in the work Cecilia does as a senior consultant in Salesforce or want to learn more about our other roles in consulting, please visit our consulting careers website. If you don’t see any open roles that align with your skills and interests at the moment, consider joining our Talent Network to receive updates on new job opportunities and future career events.