(from Women at IBM, Facebook)
Meet Raeleen Medrano and read what she has to say about making a difference in her global career, tackling problems outside your comfort zone, and achieving the all-important work life balance
What made you decide to work for IBM?
I joined IBM (in Australia) because it was a large international company and I believed I would have the opportunity to work in many different areas and would have the chance to use what I’d learned in gaining my degree. Now, twenty-six years later, what makes me stay at IBM is very much the same – the opportunity to work on a global scale, and really apply my financial know-how to drive business performance. I feel like I can make a difference every day at IBM, and no two days are the same.
Have you had any valuable mentors or sponsors? How have they helped you in your career?
My mentors and sponsors really have made a difference in my career. They helped me understand the scope of career opportunity at IBM, and helped me believe in myself, and sponsored me for opportunities – they helped me and others believe that I could take on greater career challenges and be successful. They’ve also been there for me when I needed business advice – for example, how to tackle a problem in an area outside my normal scope. Just recently, one of my very first formal mentors, helped me with a client situation. Being in finance, we’re not dealing with clients on a regular basis, and it was really important that I got this particular contact right – my mentor helped me prepare, and helped me role play with the questions the client was likely to ask me about the business. It really made a difference by giving me greater confidence in tackling a conversation where I wasn’t in my comfort zone.
Can you describe an interesting project?
Beginning last year, I’ve had the tremendous opportunity to work on a project to better understand how IBM can be successful in Africa. It has been a terrific learning experience and has given me the opportunity to build on my leadership skills and work with other IBMers on what actions we can take as a company to drive profitable growth in an extremely exciting and emerging market. We gained hands on experience in Africa, and established many new relationships – both inside and outside IBM.
Has IBM provided you with any unique work-life integration solutions?
I’ve been a “working mother” at IBM now for almost twenty years. I’ve learned many solutions to managing work-life integration, and I’ve found IBM to be an excellent partner in that journey. I’ve always found my managers to be very supportive, and also the line leaders that I’ve supported over the years. One of the cool things about achieving work-life integration at IBM is the fact that when you strive for it, it usually enables others to do the same. When I’ve needed to attend to matters outside IBM, for example attending my daughter’s soccer games, I let my team know that I trust them to cover things for me while I’m away. Not only does this help me cover work while I’m gone, it let’s my team know I have confidence in them too. It also let’s them know it’s OK to do the same – and that I’ll cover for them, and they cover for each other when they need time away from the office as well. It creates a positive teaming environment, and everyone feels like they can get the things done that are important to them – inside and outside the office.
What makes you proud to be an IBMer?
There are many things that make me proud to be an IBMer – and one of the most important is the foundation of integrity that we have at IBM. It makes me feel very proud to know that IBM will always insist on doing the right thing, and really make a positive difference in society. Our clients, shareholders and employees can all count on that – and that’s very important.
–Posted by Regan Kelly
Share your comments below – how have you achieved balance with your career in your life?