IBM Summit Program Experience – 7 – Recruiting at Universities

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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!


IBM Summit Program Experience – 5 – Top Gun Systems & Platform

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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!

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• 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 #IBMSummitProgram #GlobalSalesSchool
The IBM Summit Program

IBM Summit Program Experience – 3 – Training Kick-Off

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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.

IBM Summit Program Experience – 2 – Orientation in NYC

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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!!

#GratefulEveryday IBM #GlobalSalesSchool

IBM Summit Program Experience – 4 – First GSS Sales Call

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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!


IBM Summit Program Experience – 1 – First Day

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.

Link to original LinkedIn Post:

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 not have 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.