LinkedIn Posts Archive 2018-2019. Documenting my IBM Journey for year 1.

Rather than publishing on my blog, I’ve been publishing directly on LinkedIn. A lot of the posts have had great engagement, so I’ve saved them here for safekeeping. Below each post I’ve copied and pasted the text, but you can just ignore that. This post was May 2019 so all the dates e.g. (10 months ago…) are dated from that point.

Friends, what impact do you think free snacks have on employee engagement? 🤔 IBMers, how do you feel about the free snacks?
#Comedy hashtag#News hashtag#Puns hashtag#EmployeeEngagement IBM
To me, small perks like these make a difference! And to see one of the largest technology companies in the world offer a perk that is most often found at the smallest technology companies in the world… to me that represents a shift in culture. If this gave you a chuckle, give it a like. I may make more videos about every day business life in the future. 😊

Some people love to watch sports competitions. Me? I love to watch business competitions! 🎬 What a great show! If you see the photo in the top right, the judge pretended he was on a phone call, got up in the middle of the presentation, then sat back down just to see the competitor’s reaction 😂.
The scenario was about installing network infrastructure into a building, so the competitor said “hey your customers get phone calls at random times, look how he has a phone call right now…” haha loved that comeback. Although the student I was coaching did not make it to the finals, they were close!
They said they learned a lot and will give it another shot next year. And I’ll be ready to train them again… like Yoda waiting for the Return of the Jedi hashtag#B2BSales Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University
Ryerson Sales Initiative

I have officially ‘landed’ on IBM
‘s Data Science team. Here’s a picture expressing the way I feel about it: 🚀🌕 Data Science isn’t rocket science – in simple terms its helping clients discover insights from their data to improve business decision-making. Lead by experts Lee Cratchley
and Robb Corrigan
… it’s gonna be a great year of tremendous learning and exploring new heights. “I feel like a boy playing on the seashore, diverting myself now and then to picking up stones and shells whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.” – Isaac Newton If anyone in my network knows any other experts I should be learning from, feel free to tag / let me know! hashtag#IBM hashtag#DataScience hashtag#Analytics hashtag#IBMSummitProgram

Sales training? Everyone’s got a method. Software demo training? Rarely taught, but critical for tech workers 💻! Last week I attended Demo2Win, a two-day workshop that teaches professionals how to effectively demo software. Learning: Imagine you are showing your manager a report, a customer your software, or even a friend a new app that you love… here’s a proven methodology you can follow: Don’t just jump into “showing” right away! 😲 1️⃣ TELL them what you are going to show them in simple 1-2-3 steps (Or else they might get caught thinking.. ok where is this presentation going?)
2️⃣ SHOW them (Avoid saying “click this or that”. Say “If you want to…” Focus on their intention, not features.)
3️⃣ TELL them the benefit. Answer the most important question – SO WHAT? Demos are to help people see what they can achieve, not to show how a technology works. Thanks for the workshop & for awarding my demo with a mobile tabletop. Now I can stand while I demo like a pro 🤵 If anyone is working on a demo, feel free to reach out – happy to share more of what I learned to help you out. 2Win! hashtag#IBM hashtag#IBMSummitProgram hashtag#GlobalSalesSchool

Our final project for IBM Global Sales School was a written proposal + 30 minute presentation to a panel of judges roleplaying a client. Applying our learnings from the previous six months, and working together in a hotel room til midnight for two nights, Team Red was able to deliver and score 1️⃣ First Place in our class Here’s a 3 minute cut-down version of our 30 minute presentation. I’d love to show more but we can’t give away too much to future students of the program =)
When I was graduating I selected IBM
over various options because I believed it to provide one of the best corporate sales training programs in the world. I can now affirm it to be true. ✅✅ The past six months of training have been so valuable and jam-packed with unique offerings delivered from the best, all across the USA ✈️. I felt the need to capture a piece of it in video form before it was all over. I’d like to thank Team Red for a memorable finish and the Summit Program Management for providing what I wanted and more out of a New Graduate Program 🙏. I look forward to bringing this solid foundation to our clients as I transition to the field over the next 6 months. hashtag#IBM hashtag#IBMSummitProgram hashtag#GlobalSalesSchool

IBM Global Sales School: Trip 2. “Dad had taught me that a good businessman has to be an actor.” – Thomas Watson Jr. A few months ago we had our very first ‘Mock Sales Calls’, where we have former IBM
sales executives roleplay as customers. These ‘Sales Advisors’ act as VPs of various companies and we apply everything we learn in the classroom to simulate a live business meeting. The focus is on gaining a deep understanding of the client’s business problems and discovering ways to solve it. Accelerated learning requires a very fast feedback loop – people fixing your mistakes immediately after they are made. That’s why after each presentation we stop as a group and ask “What did they do well? – What could they do better?”. We then rotate presenters, and do it again. And do it again. And again. And eventually you forget you are even acting, because leading a professional engagement becomes natural! Great training and great fun 😊 Top photo: David Glenn (Wins an unofficial Oscar for best actor) Kailyn S. Max W. Eric M. Bottom photo: David Simms (provided an extra fun challenge, by roleplaying an angry customer with me) Right photo: Isabella Sanchez with Eric Billups – great listening skills right from the first call! hashtag#IBM hashtag#GlobalSalesSchool hashtag#IBMSummitProgram hashtag#EnterpriseSales

As one of the volunteer Judges at the DECA Invitationals today, I’d like to give a shoutout to Domenic Salituro
, whom I offered a near-perfect score for delivering an excellent presentation demonstrating confidence, creativity, and a business acumen. DECA Inc.
is a business simulation competition, with lightning fast preparation – only 15 minutes. He came in and sat across from me with a stack of looseleaf paper, where he had hand-drawn graphs of revenue projection, market share, a Bloomberg statistic on acquisitions, and various facts from the case. Throughout the presentation he held up the pages and flipped through them one, by one, almost giving me a manual ‘powerpoint presentation’. Impressive creativity and resourcefulness! The kicker? He’s only in first-year!! I felt invigorated to witness such potential. To close, I asked him why he chose Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University
– and he mentioned it was recommended to him because of ‘co-op’. You made the right choice my friend. I came here under the same recommendation. Make sure to seek out Laura Henshaw
=) You have five bright internships ahead of you and a potential gold medal at DECA Nationals one day – keep thinking outside of the box!

Top Gun Award # 2️⃣! ✅✅ This is the second and final half of our formal product training, and the 💎 recognizes top 10% of the class. A week before, I told my managers I had the intention to try and go for the win. When you share a goal with others it can give you a healthy type of pressure to work harder because you are no longer doing something only for yourself, but also doing it for others. It might give you an extra dose of motivation. Find what ‘motivational tricks’ 🧠 work for you! • Topics covered: IBM Services (Consulting and Technology Services), Watson Health, Watson Talent, Watson Customer Engagement, Watson IoT, Bluewolf, Blockchain, along with a series of Summit Alumni and Senior Executives serving as our role models. Coming from various backgrounds like golf caddies, manual labor workers, TV actors, but all carving their own paths within the company to reach their potential. Don’t forget to align your joy (smile) with the objectives of the company you are working for! IBM
hashtag#GlobalSalesSchool hashtag#IBMSummitProgram hashtag#TopGun

Spent the weekend at the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University
as part of the IBM Sponsor for the QBET Conference. Last year I competed in the competition component, this year a judge! It’s nice to go full circle. It happens at all stages of our lives. Babies grow up to be babysitters. Students become teachers. Children become parents. Sports players become coaches. Mentees become mentors. The guy competing in the case competition joins the company, rewrites the case instructions so it’s easier to cut, then comes back next year to judge it. Full circle ⭕. You don’t always have to go and complete the loop – but it’s rewarding and a bit surreal when you do. Had a good time watching students put together their best presentations, and was well taken care of by the team – ☕ Madeline Jackson & 📷 Jacob Wolfe! hashtag#IBM

Top Gun Award! ✅Ranked within Top 10% of scores in the final written examinations. The focus of this 5-day boot camp is 50% product training, 50% career education… and 100% free food at the hotel buffet! • Offerings we covered: Hardware (Data Processing, Data Storage), Cloud, Managed Services, Analytics, Business Automation, Blockchain, Financing Deals, Compliance, etc. 🎯 • Career topics we covered: Focus on putting your client first in building a long term business relationship – and your quota will take care of itself, how technical sales and salespeople support each other, managing your visibility as part of career advancement, and a day-in-the-life of an IBM NA Executive. Always exceeding expectations with delightful surprises ; like a birthday cake being brought out for one of our classmates in the middle of the week, and a video from the class manager’s 8-year old daughter wishing us a great trip. Looking into this crystal ball (cube), I foresee myself applying to come back as a speaker next year 🔮. IBM
hashtag#IBMSummitProgram hashtag#GlobalSalesSchool The IBM Summit Program

My grandfather was complaining to me that his phone bill was too high, so I offered to call in to help. After talking to two customer service reps, one retention specialist, and one account creation rep, I saved my grandpa $50/month 😊. I even got them to throw in a technician to help with installation on the bundle deal, just in case he couldn’t figure out how to plug in the router.
After going through two months of corporate sales training at a very professional level, it is HILARIOUS to talk to other salespeople. I really appreciate businesspeople who really take time to understand your underlying needs before making suggestions. The first couple reps just tossed out random upsell offers that were irrelevant to the reason I was calling, “But for another $50 you can 4K TV with HDR!” Maybe it’s just a numbers game for them. I know how that feels. Safe to say, I am glad we are learning to think strategically like in a chess game, rather than statistically like in a dice game.
#IBM hashtag#GlobalSalesSchool hashtag#sales

IBM Global Sales School: Trip 1. On the first day of training, lead by Dave LaPenta
, we took a DISC personality assessment. Surprise! 60% of the class identified as “I”, 20% as “D” and “S” and “C” as 10% each. Certain jobs have certain archetypes, so it is no surprise that much of the class fit into the ‘people person’ category! Our class is 50+ students of the top grads of US/Canada, including business degrees/MBAs. This model is helpful for not only understanding how you communicate/behave, but also as a shortcut to finding out to motivate others. If you are meeting with a:
• Dominant: Allow them to feel in control, get to the point and focus on objectives.
• Influencer: Allow them to feel stimulated, show enthusiasm and encourage collaboration.
• Steadiness: Allow them to feel supported, show appreciation and build a stable environment together.
• Conscientious: Allow them to feel knowledgeable, be logical and systematic in your approach. (My best understanding so far, feel free to share your opinions) What did I score? Over 90% on the “C” category. People have often commented on my thoughtful approach to communicating and the thoroughness of my work. Want me to help analyze your personality? Reach out! (I find this fun) Comments / Ideas? Feel free to share.

Week 2 at IBM – Flown out to New York to the IBM Learning Center (IBM’s unofficial school) for a week of training. Among the cool things: • Very professionally run orientation covering IBM’s history, values, organizational structure, and an overview of enterprise sales lead by Sales Leaders of 20+ years experience.
•  Solid hour long discussion on diversity, inclusion, and how people “cover” at the workplace. Clear 50/50 gender balance, not just in new-hires but also in management present (rare in tech).
• Meeting other 50+ other Summit Hires from across the States for both the Sales / Technical Sales track.
• Strong emphasis on internal networking. Class is stopped 5-6 times/day to break out into an open reception to chat with your future coworkers.
• We’re given a yearbook with photos + fun facts of our entire cohort so we can keep in touch. Feels like school all over again 🙂
In University, you pay tuition to learn. Here in Global Sales School, we are getting paid while we learn. IBM making a great investment in future talent. Feels good to be immersed in a group of people fit for a high performance culture and potential to make an impact on the bottom line. And this was just the first week of class!! hashtag#GratefulEveryday IBM

I have returned to IBM
 Canada. Not an intern this time 🙂 First day, of a long journey through the Summit Program. Goodbye Ted Rogers School of Management
 I have officially left the nest. Over five years you taught me how to flap my wings and keep a high altitude in the business world. I am ready to fly.

2017 – The Year I Taught Myself Investing & Trading

Me: Hi, I placed an order to buy to buy one share of IBM but the order is not going through!!

Questrade Helpline: Sir it’s only 830am, the stock market doesn’t open until 930am.

Me: Oops!! Wow, the things they don’t teach you in business school 😳

I believe that everything in life is a skill. If you are unsatisfied with some area of your life, chances are you lack a skill in that area.

Tip: Most books are available free at the Toronto Public Library.

For me, I lacked skills and knowledge in investing. Business school teaches you how to read a balance sheet, but they don’t teach you how to buy a stock. So I taught myself.

Learning investing is never really ‘urgent’ – most people wait until they’ve accumulated a bunch of wealth and then scramble to figure out what to do with it. Many people hire a financial advisor to figure it out for them. I decided to the opposite. I figured by learning all of this now, the moment I have a windfall of cash I will know what to do with it. I will be able to be my own financial advisor.

Besides that, every working professional has some edge on the market – doesn’t hurt to set aside a small amount for speculative plays 😉

.“If you read three books on any one topic, you are basically an expert compared to the general population”

If you want a book recommendation, give me a shout!

End of IBM Summit Internship

I never win those case competitions at school – but here is a competition I thought we had a fair chance at. We presented to the President of IBM last week and won first place.

I made the most of EVERY opportunity this internship had to offer. I wore a suit & tie every single day. I volunteered to run the blog and published 7 posts. I read Thomas Watson’s biography on my spare time. The video unintentionally went viral at work. I published an editorial for I don’t drink, but I still showed up to every social.

When my manager said he was gonna go verbally spar with a corporate lawyer over a multi-million dollar negotiation, I asked if I could just come and listen and he let me. He called the lawyer a cruel baby-seal clubber and still won the deal. We laughed.

Anytime someone said “I’d be happy to help, just reach out” or “I think you should talk to this person” I did just that, and followed-up to meet for a chat. It didn’t matter if that person was another intern, a manager, or an executive. They were worth the time and I prepared so I was worth their time.

An internship is often like university. You are not remembered for all the things you do in class, you are remembered for all the things you do outside of class. Be outstanding.

I would have not done anything differently over those 15 weeks. I am returning back to the Ted Rogers School of Management – Ryerson University for two semesters and I’m done!

An Inspirational Video to Wrap Up The Journey

Over the past 6 months I taught myself how to use Adobe Premiere to create the video below. I couldn’t think of a better way to express the journey from Summer 2016 until now.


People don’t believe me when I tell them it took 50 hours of editing. It really did. Every subtitle, is handmade, every photo resized, every effect, manually added in. Though I admit most of the time spent was learning how to use the software, and experimenting with concepts.

The many, many drafts involved in the process.

I reverse-engineered how to make a viral video from online tutorials and put many elements of that into the piece below. I sent it out to three people for feedback prior to release (thank you very much to Roxine Kee who reviewed both the first and second drafts) and took their feedback to improve the piece.

The result?

10,000 views within 24 hours. 

And to date: 23,000 views, 674 likes, and 132 shares.

The video was leaked to my workplace and received comment from the President of IBM Canada. The Dean of TRSM also left comment.

What I’m really proud about is all the shares. To create content that people feel like is worth talking about is a sure hallmark of success.

But anyway, the video speaks for itself. I am glad to capture this point of my life in a 4 minute video. You never know when it will come up in the future,

Persistence: Applying to IBM’s Summit Sales Program A Second Time

If I learned one thing from working in sales, it’s that persistence is key. Sometimes you are the right person, but simply are reaching out at the wrong time. You can’t give up on your first attempt.

I dedicate this photo to everyone who has applied to the same job twice.

Bonus points if the job website still has your old application on file, lol. Second time should be a charm as I am significantly more qualified (8 months of sales/marketing experience) than the last time.

Brian Tracy: A Great Personal Development Author

There are a million personal development books out there these days, so it’s hard to sort the gems from the fluff. A heuristic to solve this is find authors who were the pioneers of their disciplines, and have written books that stood the test of time.

Brian Tracy (1944-) is like the Jedi Master (grey hair included) of self improvement books  He’s a best selling author who’s wrote over 70 personal development books. Crazy right? But it shows he’s truly dedicated to his craft.

The first book of his that I read was Eat That Frog, which is a 100 page book which distills all the best personal development book into a simple paperback.

I prefer his writing over other authors since he is highly pragmatic, and focuses more on action rather than mindset.

Here’s an excerpt from another one of his books, Million Dollar Habits where he shares his inspiring background story.

When I could no longer find a laboring job, I got a job in straight commission sales, cold calling from door to door and office to office. For a long time, I was one sale away from homelessness. If I did not make a sale that day, and get my commission immediately so I could pay for my room at the boarding house, I would have been out on the street. This was not a great way to live.

Then one day I began asking the question, “Why is it that some people are more successful from others?” Especially, “Why is it that some salespeople are more successful than others?”

Looking for an answer to that one question, I did something that changed my life and began the formation of a habit that profoundly affected my future. I went and asked the most successful salesman in my company what he was doing different than I was. And he told me. And I did what he told me to do. And my sales went up.

I soon developed the habit of asking everyone, in every way possible, for the answers I needed to move ahead more rapidly. The Law of Cause and Effect states that every cause has an effect.  If you do what other successful people do, you will eventually get the same results that they do. And if you don’t, you won’t.

Brian Tracy, Million Dollar Habits, 2004.

I relate to this story quite deeply because I remember one day while working last Summer, my roommate asked me if I could cover the grocery bill because he didn’t have enough money. He showed me his bank account statement with less than $10 in it. He had expected to make a sale that week, but didn’t. A week or so later, I also recall us high-fiving each other because we had both made a sale that day. and we went out to go eat Popeyes chicken together.


Brian Tracy tours the world speaking and teaching. I hope to catch him the next time he’s in Toronto!

Door To Door – Day 97: I Completed The Program! A Summary.

I can’t believe I worked for 4 months in door-to-door sales!

I did it! I completed the program. I did not quit. And in the end, I succeeded.

As my coworker Victor drove me home, I stuck my head out the window and screamed ‘I CAN SELL!’. Adrenaline and excitement coursed through my veins.

Here is a summary of my entire Summer on one excel sheet:


Each row represents one work day. There were 97 work days.

Each colour column represents a habit.

Colour Description Beginning of Summer End of Summer
Blue Did I wake up at 8am? Slept in Consistent sleep schedule
Purple Was I happy? I hated myself and my job I learned to be happy regardless of results
Orange Did I talk to at least 20 people? I couldn’t talk to at least 20 before giving up on myself I talked to less than 20 because I would be too busy with appointments
Light Blue Did I work my absolute hardest and push myself to do more when I feel like giving up? I gave up on a regular basis I enjoyed work enough that ‘working hard’ just felt like talking to people
Green Did I make a sale? Average: 3 sales/month Average: 3 sales/week

It is beautiful to see that not only did the sales improve, also the daily habits and attitudes towards the work.

What I am most proud about is this here:


Over the four months I:

  • Knocked on 1817 doors.
  • Talked to 1201 people at their doorsteps.
  • Delivered 112 presentations sitting inside someone’s home
  • Made 25 sales (9 of those made as a team effort)

This is my greatest career achievement.

I look at these numbers and am proud of myself for what I have done. I do not regret this experience one bit.

I was willing to do what others were not willing to do, in order to gain skills that others do not have.

It was hard as heck but I have something I can look back on every single day and tell myself ‘I’m proud I did that’.

  • I found my ‘why’.
  • I learned valuable skills that will help me in the rest of my career.
  • I have a moment to look back at in my life to always feel proud about.

Thank you for joining me on my long journey. I hope that you were able to live through my experiences by reading my posts. This is one chapter completed, until I’m onto my next grind!


Door To Door – Day 96: Building A Team and Passing The Torch.

When we graduate high school, our social circles disperse as everyone travels their own path in pursuit of finding their calling.

From time to time we cross paths with old classmates, but the conversations usually don’t last longer than a quick ‘hi’.

Last month I was struggling – and had two old classmates reach out to offer advice as they were both working in the same field. We rekindled high school memories, exchanged crazy customer stories, compared products, and finally compared commission pay rates.

Fast forward to last week. I get these guys flown out to BC. I give them the best two day training I can, and cook them fried bananas for breakfast. The result?

Chris closes a deal his first day working solo. Drops a 3-bomb in his second week.

Markus drops a 2-bomb in his first week and reaches 6 deals by 2 weeks.

Super proud to watch these guys tackle a new career opportunity and even surpass my abilities.

As I leave this job and return to school, the ‘Toronto underdog’ torch must be passed on – and I couldn’t be happier to pass it on to a couple of old classmates… that I never thought I’d be reunited with.

Door To Door – Day 86: Bouncing Back Up As A Team

PhotoGrid_1471449870911Photo: Customer named Natalie we helped out. She said the security and fire protection would give her peace of mind for when she travels, and the doorbell camera would help her screen the front door for strangers.

Before you even touch a door in BC, you have to get fingerprinted. They have pretty strict licensing out here. Without a license, I couldn’t work the first week. So I was paired up to work with my buddy Nova Mehta, the top rookie in Canada last season.

A Harold and Kumar working together, we had customers laughing out of their pants. Jokes like:

– “I’m here to set you up with a smart home, the asian guy is here to do your dishes”
– “Honestly tell me, which looks cooler, the white hat or the black hat?”
– “When you call for customer service, you get my direct line… you’re not talking to a call centre in India with one of this guy’s cousins”

Best part is, we closed a total of 8 deals in 8 days. There’s amazing consistency when you put great minds together.

Nova’s name made a reappearance, as Top #11 in all of Canada that week.


Now that the week is over and my license is in,  I’m off to work solo for the 11 days I have left here.