Position and responsibility:
My official title is a Senior Consultant for IBM’s Global Business Services. However, I am currently acting as the Continuous Improvement Lean Leader for the Communications Sector. I interact with Sector and Account Leadership to help drive strategic initiatives around increasing profit margins and revenues or decreasing costs. I’m currently working with about 30 accounts and driving more than $1M in savings per quarter.
My current position is 100% remote since I work with accounts located all over the country. Being able to work fully digitally while maintaining effectiveness has been extremely difficult. I’ve had to revert back to some business basics in order to overcome this; including effective emailing, agenda setting, note taking, and time management. Additionally, I personally call each of my accounts routinely to establish rapport.
Preparing for a professional career:
I pushed myself to cover all bases: summa cum laude, summer internships, studied abroad, extracurriculars, job fairs, and networking events. Securing my job came down to two things. 1) Getting the interview by attending a GSCOM workshop event and submitting my resume to IBM through an alumni. And 2) Killing the interview, which I attribute to a life changing book I read about landing your dream job (“Automatic Wealth for Grads…and Anyone Just Starting Out”).
Internships and prior experience:
During my undergraduate career, I held 1 internship and completed 2 Capstone projects. My internship was as a Business Operations Analyst for the Executive Operations Group at Uline. My Capstone projects allowed me to be an Expansion Consultant for BarberWind Turbines (International Business) and a Six Sigma Consultant for Siemens (GSCOM).
Connecting study abroad with an international career:
I studied abroad in Shanghai, China at East China Normal University for my Spring Semester of my Sophomore year. I studied both Spanish and Mandarin while at USC. Understanding lingual and cultural differences has been immensely helpful when working for a global company. I am currently building leadership programs for IBM in China, Australia, and Brazil – a success that would not have been possible if I didn’t understand the nuances of cross-culture experiences.
All leadership roles within SOU give you a glimpse of what life is really like in the business world. Every initiative is similar to project management and problem solving. SOU definitely gave me the platform to develop an idea and drive it through to fruition whether it was a cultural dinner or a new policy. These are skills that I use everyday in my line of work.
Interests and hobbies:
I am an avid water-skier and traveler. But on the day-to-day I like to read, exercise, work on my cooking, and play with my pup :)
Advice to brothers:
Find your passion and chase it to the ends of the earth. Don’t let people’s expectations or what you think will land the job define your college career or your life thereafter.