Company Visit to IBM

Short term travel can end up having a certain element of hedonism. On vacation, efforts are put into total self enjoyment. I’m in Europe for eight months, this is no short term vacation, so hedonistic travel is not going to cut it for me. I need to learn, to experience, to grow and to find fulfillment through elightening activities – which is why I was so lucky when the opportunity to visit IBM formed.

My fantastic aunt Susan gave me her friends’ contact information who works at IBM Brussels. I contacted her and from there we set up a date for myself and other Maastricht students to attend a tour of IBM. Surprisingly, I had difficulties finding students. In total, 7 of us ended up attending. To find these seven people I invited the executive boards of the few major business organizations so the small group that attended was a great group of highly interested students. For the train ride there I printed off some documents to pass around so once we arrived at IBM everyone had at least a basic knowledge about the company and many thoughtful questions resulted!

We were welcomed into the client center of IBM and enjoyed a meeting/presentation with both Ivo and Tine. The presentations were mostly about different aspects of IBM and about the history of the company, the nature of the industry, the future of IBM and personal information about their careers. I really enjoyed hearing Tine talk about the specific projects she is involved in – especially knowing that her education background is Chinese studies. As a students balancing journalism and business, I have no idea what exactly I want to do as a career, so it was refreshing to hear someone who  majored in something totally different from her job talk about the projects she works on with so much enthusiasm and obvious enjoyment of her job.
After the presentations we toured the client facility and learned about different projects, including Watson! Learn more about the Watson Project
We then rejoined Tine and Ivo for a lunch in the IBM cafeteria. This was a fantastic part of the day because we got to ask questions in a less structured/formal setting. The conversation topic shifted from IBM focus to general industry focus to career advice. Many students in the group had just graduated from university and I think the career advice part of conversation was especially beneficial for them.
When I find more time I want to extend this post into more details about everything I learned, but for now here is a taste of the day and a photo of the group with our hosts. Thanks to Tine, Ivo and Susan for making this experience happen!
Posted on by Reagan J Payne in Part I, Uncategorized

One Response to Company Visit to IBM

  1. Aunt Susan

    So glad you had a good day.

    I’m also relieved that you are skipping Istanbul right now. Keep blogging so I can continue to live vicariously through your travels!

    Love you,
    Aunt Susan

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