Returning to IBM – Advisory Software Engineer Heather Hwang

– From

Heather Hwang left IBM in California in 1995. That was a time, she recalls, when young developers were moving around in general, and that there was a lot of peer pressure to get out and try new things. Heather joined Oracle as a developer that same year, and from there built a career in companies ranging in size from very large and established to startup.

Eventually, Heather came across IBM again. She was approached by an IBM recruiter and asked to interview for a suitable role in her field. Heather says now that she jumped at the chance and maintains IBM was always a place she had wanted to return to.

IBM logo in white on blue backgroundThe workplace atmosphere and the culture of respect and fairness was something she hadn’t experienced to the same degree anywhere else. It was also a place where, she felt, you didn’t have to leave the company to experience new things.

“IBM is an ocean,” she says. “It’s a place where opportunities run deep, and the possibility to try new things – even change your career – is always there.”

Heather still feels that if you know what you want, and where you want to take your career, then IBM is the place to make it happen. It’s a place she says where you get treated like an adult, with the support you need to achieve just about anything.

Heather is now working for IBM GCG out of Beijing. “The growth markets are where the action is, and IBM is right at the heart of it.”

Why Return to IBM? People, Opportunity, and Professionalism, says Tech. Services Mgr. Edward Wu

by Chris Major, IBM

Edward Wu left IBM for the chance to try something different.

Along with an increase in his annual salary, he saw an exciting opportunity to move to a new industry and to experience a new corporate culture. Edward relocated from Shenzhen to Guangzhou and spent approximately one year with his new company, a major international player in the Food industry.

IBMer Edward Wu

IBMer (and Greater IBMer) Edward Wu

However, even though he was employed in a similar IT role, IT delivery was not a key focus of his new organization. He could sense subtle differences almost immediately. As time went on, these differences in service delivery became more prominent. The high level of professionalism and dedication he was used to seemed to be missing at his new company. IBM, he felt, just “did things better”. The structure and support he enjoyed at IBM were also gone, which he felt contributed to a less focused, less productive working environment. Not an ideal situation for someone ambitious in their career.

The opportunity to grow, both professionally and personally is important to almost everyone. In fact, this was the driving force behind Edward’s move to his new organization. The difference in company size, though meant that the scope he experienced at IBM to move and try new things was smaller now at his new company. He began to question what all this might mean for his personal development in the long term.

Edward’s new workmates were friendly and helpful, but he started to miss the working environment at IBM. For someone who is stimulated by new challenges and ideas, Edward felt he was missing out. Overall, he was getting paid more, but felt he was enjoying his working life less.

During his time away from IBM, Edward had remained in contact with his previous manager. He was approached by this manager when a suitable role came up at IBM and was asked whether he would consider a move back to his old company. Edward agreed, driven by a desire to further his career and start learning again from people he considers to be the “best at what they do”. He soon joined IBM in a similar role to the one he had before he left, and within 9 months had progressed to a managerial role in IT security. Now over a year back at IBM, Edward still cites these same reasons for coming back – People, Opportunity and Professionalism.