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12/11/2013

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My career (and personal life) would be significantly different if IBM Rochester had acted more like a "family of people who would care about [me] and help [me] to attain the goals" I had for myself and my career.

In 1980, as a 21-year-old graduating from Indiana University with a Bachelors in Computer Science, I traveled to Rochester to interview with IBM, at the place where the computers my father's company used were being made.

While I was tremendously impressed with the operation and I received an offer of employment, IBM was dropped significantly down my list because of the impression that stuck with me afterwards. Each division that I interviewed with within the plant seemed to belittle the others: "You don't want to work in that group; we're doing the really neat work" is how I remembered it after-the-fact. I didn't feel that they were looking for the best people for whom they would then find the ideal position within IBM, but that I was a piece of meat being fought over by hungry dogs!

Now, if I had been more experienced I might have called to talk to the recruiter or HR. But, with multiple offers on the table, I just pushed IBM down the list. I eventually took a job with a small S/34 consulting company near Chicago--where I met my wife of 30+ years. I have been happily (mostly) working in the Chicago-area on IBM midrange ever since.

So...no regrets. And it sounds like IBM may be doing a better job of recruiting college graduates these days.

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