Company of the Week: Consulting by Degree and work at IBM in general

What were your reasons for joining IBM?

I had worked in the field of controlling during my studies. During that time, I realized that I wanted to work with the systems that companies use to conduct their business. I believe that in the future, up to date IT systems and software will become an even more important factor for the success of companies. Therefore, consulting started to interest me and I found IBM appealing due to its inspiring past and current initiatives like Watson. I also appreciated the possibility to work flexible hours as a trainee. IBM is a global company and offers a lot of opportunities to develop in career.


What sort of training did you receive? What is Consulting by Degree program?

After joining IBM’s graduate program called Consulting by Degrees (CbD) I have received a lot of training. The program starts with a three-week long induction course. CbD induction course is a “boot camp” course held for all new graduates joining IBM Global Business Services. The course took place at IBM Hursley in UK. The three weeks were educational and fun! The weeks were filled with lectures, technical labs and workshops. The course gave a nice overview about what is consulting at IBM. We learned basic consulting skills, teamwork, time management and got an overview of IBM’s services and technologies. We learned many new skills during the course that prepared us for our future careers. In addition, the course was also a good opportunity to network with other “IBMers”.

This fall we had a CbD Nordic event that was organized in Stockholm. It was a two-day seminar where we heard inspiring career stories and were introduced to new IBM technologies. It was great to get to know our colleagues in the Nordics! 

Recently, I attended to a week-long SAP graduate course. The course was organized in Bucharest. During the course my understanding of SAP became even deeper. It was great to reunite with some of the participants from the induction course and compare experiences with each other.

The CbD program is a two-year long program that involves e-learning and classroom courses. At the same time, the participants work as consultants and develop skills in real projects. In addition, there are multiple events for “CbDers”. The program is built to give a quick launch for career.

More information about Consulting by Degree program can be found here.


What has your experience in the role been like compared to your expectations?

I have been doing a lot of different kinds of tasks after joining IBM and therefore I cannot say that I have had only one role. Getting into a project quickly after joining IBM was great! Even though, I was mostly assisting our experienced consultants but I also got to collaborate with the client from the very beginning. Working in a real project enhances quick learning and my experience so far has been up to my expectations.


What is the most enjoyable part of your job?

The most enjoyable part of my job is that I get to learn something new every day. Not a single day is similar. In addition, I get to meet so many great people, which also helps in building a network in the beginning of my career.


How do you think you have developed since joining IBM?

I am sure that my technical knowledge has improved a great deal both due to the trainings and the actual project work that I have done. My SAP project understanding has improved a lot after joining IBM. However, there are so many aspects that need to be considered in a project that one cannot understand everything and a lot of work is done in teams. Therefore, teamwork skills are essential for a consultant and I feel that my teamwork skills have also improved.


What hints would you give to a student who’s planning to apply for a trainee-position at IBM?

Be open to new ideas. Be adaptable for changing situations. Be willing to learn new and aim high.


Rasmus Saarnia


About my background:
I joined IBM in April 2016 as a SAP trainee while I was still studying and writing my Master’s thesis.
I studied Accounting in Aalto University School of Business and graduated in July 2016.