“You don't hear things that are bad about your company unless you ask. It is easy to hear good tidings, but you have to scratch to get the bad news.” Thomas J. Watson.
We all love good news, right? To hear that all is well and that we are on the right track. Something I admire about Ginni Rometty (the CEO of IBM) is that she is constantly seeking honest feedback. In particular, from the millennials of IBM. As a member of the Millennial Corps, I found out about a discussion at Astor Place concerning the recent FastForward 20/20 meeting. At FastForward 20/20 a group from the Millennial Crops presented to Ginni and other executives about relevant issues for the younger generation in the organization and proposed solutions.
When I arrived at Astor Place (the home of all things Watson), I was blown away by how different the vibe was from my office at 63 Madison. There were large whiteboards, post-it notes, and standing desks all over the colorful space. It felt like a tech startup (or, at least, what I imagine a tech startup must be like) much more than an over 100-year-old company. I think it is wonderful that there is such variety, not only in the organization, but even in the same city. Something that was discussed in our small group was that there is a feeling of separation among offices and that in-office engagement could be increased. Last week I alluded to a project that would make use of my blogging/web interest, and it is actually aimed at addressing this very issue. Now I have met more people who can make this a great initiative and I am looking forward to maximizing the second half of my internship to work on it!
In fact, I experienced three Manhattan offices over the course of Monday when I went from 33 Maiden Lane in the financial district to make prospecting calls, up to 63 Madison in Midtown for an intern meeting, and finally to Astor Place in the East Village. I am grateful to be able to experience so much of Manhattan this summer and am falling more and more in love.
Another project I am looking to get involved in is writing cognitive references. When a company makes use of IBM’s cognitive ability, their story can become a reference for future clients. Through interviewing the company, an IBM team will craft the story to be used by the salespeople. I am excited to learn more about our cognitive business and, of course, to write even more.
As this week brought the close of the first half of the year, all of the salespeople were incredibly busy finalizing their deals. To remove us Summits from the madness and give us time to get to know each other better, we were sent to a Yankee’s game. This was my first major league baseball experience and I quite enjoyed it! I was sent in circles around the stadium (two security guards could not seem to agree where the section on my ticket was…), but on the plus side it gave me the opportunity to check out the behemoth that is Yankee Stadium. While I didn’t watch much of the game, for I was too busy chatting, I was glad the home team won! I can hardly believe that the internship is already halfway over.
So far my expectations have been far exceeded, and I look forward to the remaining five weeks with great anticipation.
P.S. Here’s a prospecting update since I know you are all anxiously waiting for it and probably can’t believe I haven’t mentioned it until the end. Things have been going quite well in one of the accounts I am working on (I’m actually securing meetings!), while with another I haven’t been getting the response I hoped for. Onward I press in the prospecting world as I am refining my approach with each subsequent call and email.