Sharon Shamuyarira, BCom’19
Sharon Shamuyarira currently works as a Consultant at IBM, her first role since graduating in 2019. Sharon shares how her work is helping other organizations transition into the future. She also shares techniques she uses to address career ambiguity.
Tell us about your role
I work as a Consultant in the Talent and Transformation Practice. In my role, I help companies undergoing a technology transformation to prepare and engage their employees with the appropriate communication and training.
What are your main responsibilities? Who do you work with?
The clients we work with tend to be large multinational companies who are upgrading from their legacy systems. I develop communication materials that are targeted, such as personas, journey maps, and even videos that help employees understand what the future state will look like. I also undertake several project management control activities to ensure tasks assigned to the IBM Change Management Team and the client counterparts are on track. I work with the transition team and report to the Change Management Lead.
What attracted you to this organization?
I always knew I wanted to work for an established company as I believed I would be able to acquire more skills through being able to learn from a variety of subject matter experts. The global nature of IBM was attractive because it meant opportunities to travel and to work on global teams. Furthermore, as a company, IBM takes the development of its early professionals seriously by providing both mentorship and visibility.
Did you expect to be in this type of role/organization upon graduation?
Consulting was exciting as an option because of the variety of tasks and the opportunities to travel so I mainly applied for Strategy Consulting Roles. I did not expect to end up in Human Capital Consulting, because I did not even know it existed until I spoke to people in the industry. I graduated in 2019 with a Bachelor of Commerce double specialization in Organizational Behaviour, Human Resources, and Business Technology Management. I knew I wanted to find a role that brought both my passion for people and technology together, my current role does exactly that.
What was your first role after graduation?
This was my first role upon graduation. I got the offer in December 2018 and started in September 2019.
What techniques did you use to address career ambiguity?
Mentorship. Mentorship is great because it allows you to save a lot of time you would spend second-guessing your decisions by talking to people who have walked that path. I have a variety of mentors, some who look like me and some who don’t, some who work in my industry, and some who don’t. They all help broaden my perspective when it comes to thinking about my career.
What uncertainty were you feeling upon graduation?
Imposter Syndrome. As a student leader who had curated an identity around my numerous involvements - I wondered what that would mean for me in a corporate space. I worried a lot that I would not be able to meet the bar in a global organization. This probably comes from being a Black woman working in technology where not a lot of people look like me. One of my mentors recommended I look into professional organizations; I came across the Black Professional Technology Network (BPTN). BPTN has allowed me to feel affirmed by seeing Black professionals in C-Suite positions who are now role models for me.
What advice do you have for the class of 2020?
When people tell you, that things will work out, believe them. But also, do the work required to help things fall in place, take responsibility for your goals.