by Devan Joshi
IBM’s commitment to CSR played an influential role in my decision to join this company. As an intern within GBS one year ago, I was impressed with how well CSR is built into the internship experience. Every other Friday, our entire class would come together to attend different events run by Be Epic and other CSR programs.
As I had interviewed with different companies, I think a lot of them loved to sell their extra-curricular related activities by talking about them, but I loved the way IBM involved us in them right away. These events were ingrained into the internship experience because they are a significant part of the IBM experience. As I talked with recent hires, it clearly stood out to me that IBM encourages branching outside of your work to take the time to give back to a cause you are passionate about.
One of my favorite days from last summer was when our entire internship class attended a youth summer camp. We tutored the kids in the morning and played sports with them all afternoon. It was an awesome day and the kids were so thrilled that IBM was spending time with them.
Service and giveback work have always played an integral role in my own life, and I’ve found there are mutual benefits to serving others. It’s not just one group serving another, I see it more as both groups helping each other. While we were helping kids solve basic math facts, they were allowing us to foster a community within our intern class. For each different event we had that summer, our class grew stronger because we continued to build our relationships beyond the day to day work environment. Soon enough, these strangers who I knew as other interns in my class became my friends.
One of the most appealing reasons I wanted to become a consultant was the aspect of service. When you take away the big signing deals and money from it, I think it comes down to a client having a problem, and us wanting to help… nothing more than people helping people. We break these complex problems down by empathy and by figuring out where they struggle most, and our success relies heavily on a client’s success.
Whether it was at that summer camp a year ago or in the stakeholder interviews I’m sitting in on now on my first project, I am continuing to see the ways that service is a key component of being an IBMer. I’m really proud to be starting my career at a company where people can still take time to prioritize what it means to be not only a good consultant, but a good volunteer too.