IBM Summit Program: Weeks 3&4 | Alyssa J Cori: IBM Summit Program: Weeks 3&4

July 19, 2017

IBM Summit Program: Weeks 3&4

Check out weeks 1&2 here!

Happy one month anniversary to me! It’s absolutely wild that I have been in the summit program full time for an entire month. And I am enjoying each passing day more and more. Last week was short because of Independence Day (fun fact: it’s my favorite holiday), but never fear, that doesn’t mean that I have any less to write about.
Another two weeks have passed and now I have been at IBM for an entire month! Check out this post for more on Astor Place, tons of valuable training, and expensive Manhattan salads
The main project I was focusing on over the past two weeks was a course designed for sellers about the emerging trends and corresponding IBM solutions that have been identified across various industries. Think: blockchain, connected devices, and utilizing private cloud. Top leaders in the company were video interviewed as they went over how to discover clients who could benefit from these insights, how to address potential objections, and the high level details to know. Each section concluded with a quiz, and while I did well and got most questions correct, I felt just AWFUL when the little cartoon person that accompanied the assessment frowned at me (note: I am not being facetious here, I really did feel bad for the poor guy). This project took hours because of how much information there was to get through, but I did finally get it checked off of my list and learned a lot from it.

Another on-going project is running my stream’s monthly team meetings. As dedicated readers will know from my last post (don’t feel bad if you have to go and reference the previous post, just make sure to tune in every two weeks from here on out, please and thank you), the summit program is ongoing, with new groups of people starting every few weeks. We are organized into streams and I was asked by my manager, along with two other summits, to lead our monthly team calls. We will have the first one in person next week in Schaumburg (more on that later), and I am excited to share an essay with my team from Thomas J. Watson.

There’s this great book my father found (if you want to learn more about him and his incredible book hunting skills, read this post) called Men, Minutes, Money that is a collection of speeches given over the course of Watson’s 42 years as Chairman and CEO. This first essay that I am sharing is a speech given to the sales class of 1930, and I’ll be sure to write about the key takeaways in the next post after I discuss it with my peers. I have no doubt they will draw additional insights from it that I will want to express to all of you!

As part of the summit program there are activities called “experience accelerators” that we have to complete in territory to learn more about our future roles as full-fledged sales people. I was able to meet up with my friend Jon, who went through the summit program a year and a half ago, to learn about the CRM system IBM sellers use and he gave me great suggestions for how to make the best use of the tool. Another experienced seller, Sean, invited me to shadow him during his cadence meeting with his manager. This is when he went over his pipeline and expectations for the next quarter and the next half. It was great to catch up with him again and gain an even better understanding of the relationship between sellers and their managers.

Seeing colleagues from last summer continued as I got to catch up with Kristin, who is a Watson Customer Engagement seller, Taylor, who is so generous with including me during his meetings, and Tim (special shout out to him for always reading the blog!). I also got to meet one of the summit interns who is a fellow theater enthusiast and awesome lunch companion, Tyler! Another intern, Allison, recognized me from my blog posts and I got to have another great lunch conversation. One of the highlights of the week was meeting up with my manager from last summer, Dennis. I could not stop smiling as we filled each other in on what has been happening over the last year and I didn’t realize how much I missed asking him questions every day!

On Monday of this week I had the chance to go down to Astor place (as you’ll remember, my interests lie with cognitive technology, so I try to get down to the heart of it as often as possible) for a health talk. Bethany Hale is the EA (executive assistant) of Lori Steele, the Global Managing Director of Healthcare and Life Sciences, and is a health coach with TONS of great advice on healthy eating. I was so inspired that I bought this salad for $15…welcome to New York. Check Bethany out on Instagram for all of the food inspiration.

This is actually coming to you from Astor place, as I am down here yet again. Laura, a millennial corps and Watson Health aficionado, was kind enough to host me for the day and answer all of my questions about what she does and how she handles life as a young professional (and we may or may not have also discussed our favorite types of punctuation marks…can you guess that mine are parentheses?).

Finally, about me alluding to Schaumburg earlier. Much of my time has been spent preparing for my fist Global Sales School challenge where we have to do a series of role plays, and organizing practices for my fellow Manhattan summits. We’re traveling to Schaumburg next week, which is near Chicago and I am beyond excited! A special thank you to Lindsey, Rachael, Tyler, and Jordan for helping me prepare. I can’t wait to get back to you in two weeks to let you know how it went.


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