IBM Summit Program: Weeks 17-19 | Alyssa J Freitas: IBM Summit Program: Weeks 17-19

November 1, 2017

IBM Summit Program: Weeks 17-19

Check out weeks 1&2, 3&4, 5&67&89&1011&1213&14, and 15&16 here!

Welcome back after 3 whole weeks! There has been a lot of travel (I'm writing this from the Palisades, NY) the past couple of weeks and some great training lessons to share, so let's jump right into it.
Click to read now or pin to save for later! The training is getting intense at IBM. Here's what the past 3 weeks have held
During week 17 I was in Dallas for software tools, financial, and communication training. The first day was focused on the tools I will be using as a seller with software in my portfolio. From looking up what solutions clients have installed, to generating quotes for new orders, we went through the process and practiced case examples. Little did I know I would spend the entire next week dedicated to generating quote orders, so this training could not have come at a better time.

The second day we learned how to leverage financial information in our sales calls. IBM uses a third party report that gives us insight into where a company needs to improve and how implementing certain solutions will impact them financially. This would be the focus of a presentation that we had to give at the end of the week.

The next two days my team focused on studying Regions Bank and evaluating where IBM could help the most. We studied their publicly available information, as well as leveraged the third party report to generate a hypothetical solution to contribute to their key goals. We had to get up and present individually on-the-fly two times and were filmed and critiqued. I loved it and felt like I was back in my theater days where improv was the norm!

My team and I also had to create a presentation to pitch our ideas for Regions Bank to a panel of non-IBM business professionals. We only had an afternoon and evening to put the entire presentation together and rehearse before we headed to the Tower Club the next morning. When we walked in I felt like I was on The Apprentice. With wood paneling, chandeliers, and boardrooms around every corner, I expected to hear "You're fired" at any moment.

Our team presented third out of four, so we had a good amount of time to psych ourselves out beforehand. When the seven of us began, it was hard to tell how the judges were feeling. We asked them questions and engaged them, which they did in turn. We helped one another other out as questions about the solution, impact on their business processes, and financials were thrown our way, and when we were done, I wasn't totally sure what to think. I was happy with our performance and the other teams impressed me as well.

When it came time to announce the winners and our team was called, I was extremely happy (mostly because the prize was a book and that is the best possible prize ever)! Our coach and Summit manager, Angelo, was also glad to continue his winning streak :)

Back in New York the next week (it was a miracle that I got home without any delays), as I alluded to earlier, my main project was generating quotes for a conversion of service with my landing team. As IBM acquires companies to add more capabilities to our portfolio, we have to convert existing customers to IBM's system. This requires new quote order forms being generated and there is an in-depth process, with lots of seeking approval and justifying pricing and discounts.

Aside from this project (which is nearly done. I wasn't kidding when I said it's in-depth!), I also got to connect with a former Summit who is now a technical leader in blockchain and got to meet my second line manager, the VP of Watson Financial Services, in person. I love that there is always someone new and interesting to meet, and how wonderful every IBMer has been with sharing their time and knowledge.

This week I've been in the Palisades, NY for another round of Top Gun training (you'll remember Top Gun training from this post), this time focused on Services and Solutions. We've been learning about the consulting services of IBM, as well as the technical services we provide to support our solutions. We've had a variety of speakers that have imparted business and technical knowledge, as well as life and career advice.

Two standout presenters were Adam Mastrelli and Issac Chung who shared their life experiences and framed them so we could all bring their lessons of perspective and working hard into our own lives. We also heard from the General Manager of North America, Stephen Leonard. He had great stories that illustrated how important it is to have a challenger mentality and to lead with a unified effort of IBM when serving our clients.

At the very end of the session, Top Gun awards were given to the top 10% of the class based on our quizzes and final test. My landing teammate Logan and I both received a Top Gun award and it was an awesome way to end our training.

-AJF
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