luni, 3 februarie 2014

T-3 days

I cannot believe it, there are only 3 days left until the departure for Ludhiana India. I am excited and looking forward to leaving snowy Bucharest behind for a couple of weeks.

So just where is Ludhiana ?

Yup, pretty far away... ca 6000 km.

Here is the story so far - I applied for the Corporate Service Corps (CSC) at the beginning of 2013 and to say the truth I was not expecting very much. I had read a little bit about the program and I had attended a presentation held by one of my colleagues in Romania Delivery Center about his own experience in Brasil and it sounded very interesting. In a nutshell, CSC is an IBM program created in 2008, that selects and sends high achieving IBMers to developing countries and involves them projects which solve real problems for local communities and organisations. I was looking for a challenge so I applied and held my fingers crossed.

To my surprise I was selected and then things started moving very fast. I met the rest of the team and through weekly calls and group activities, we got to learn more about one another, about the CSC, about India and about what awaits us when we get there. I was impressed with the depth and attention put into this preparation phase - all details about logistics, health & security, visa and the process of consulting taking into consideration the cultural, economical and business aspects of India were covered.

And now the challenge - I will be working for Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), which is one of India's oldest agricultural universities. Together with 2 colleagues from Germany and France we will look into their student information system automating and optimizing the existing paper-based processes. It will be a great opportunity for me to improve my consulting and communication skills. I am feeling slightly comfortable about our task because I have been involved in optimizing IT systems in the past, truth be told, more in the design and implementation phases, but still I think I will be able to bring a valuable contribution to our team-effort.

"...our challenge is to feed and cloathe" - a very powerful statement posted on PAU's web-side. It is messages like this that make me realize the bigger picture of what IBM is trying to achieve through the CSC program.

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