IBM

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IBM Reviews in Fairfax, VA

Updated November 4, 2014
Updated November 4, 2014
12,359 Reviews
3.1
12,359 Reviews
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IBM CEO Virginia Rometty
Virginia Rometty
3,939 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work from home 2 days/week if you have to commute over 45 minutes to the office (in 1347 reviews)

  • Work life balance ( Work from home) & wider opportunity if you have good network (in 1315 reviews)


Cons
  • Work life/balance depends entirely on the management of your individual projects (in 423 reviews)

  • Senior Management thinks that too many metrics are replacement for good management (in 214 reviews)

More Highlights

32 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great name to have on resume; not a great place for young professional growth

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Business Consultant in Fairfax, VA
    Former Employee - Business Consultant in Fairfax, VA

    I worked at IBM

    Pros

    Benefits package is great when you first start out of college. Great training opportunities, and looks GREAT when interviewing for other jobs after.

    Cons

    Such a large company that your manager most likely won't be in the same location as you. It is difficult to get that professional career growth when your immediate manager doesn't see you day to day work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Work harder to keep your young hires. From my experience, most people start working there with SO much potential and interest - but slowly get defeated because there are limited opportunities for career growth - so they move on to other consultancies that pay more $$.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Consultant

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Managing Consultant in Fairfax, VA
    Current Employee - Senior Managing Consultant in Fairfax, VA

    I have been working at IBM full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Good company to work for, good management

    Cons

    Not too many projects on the pipe line

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Move candidates faster

  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    EPS and profits above everything else... rapidly becoming a giant mumbling rathole

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Fairfax, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Fairfax, VA

    I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Global company with huge portfolio of advanced software and hardware products, competitive cloud platform (SoftLayer) and good (but not great) service capabilities. Vast sales and distribution network across all industries, strong ties to government institutions (in most countries), access to the largest companies across the globe. Solid (but rapidly deteriorating) technical and consulting know-how. Attempts to "move decisions closer to the clients" are laudable, but drown in the sea of incompetence.

    Cons

    Mid-level management structure and their lack of skills (both technical and people-management) are absolutely atrocious. There are layers upon layers of "pointy-hair managers" - every other Dilbert cartoon seems to be inspired by IBM. 2015 EPS target drives all decision making, cost-cutting replaces innovation, and there is shortage of ideas where the new growth should come from.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Eliminate redundant management layers - not ground-level workers who do their jobs. Get real about rhetoric and make everyone "walk the walk", while getting behind the employees and focusing on client needs, not just profits and revenue disguised as "value-based pricing".

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    So-So Company to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in Fairfax, VA
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in Fairfax, VA

    I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Flexible work/life balance, ability to switch projects

    Cons

    Management doesn't care about what you want

  6.  

    Lackluster consulting experience, no support to new IBMers

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - IT Consultant in Fairfax, VA
    Former Employee - IT Consultant in Fairfax, VA

    I worked at IBM full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    A lot of experience, but you don't necessarily choose the experience - the project does for you. A good chance you'll travel and see new places. You'll make connections and friends easily when you're away from home. Pay and benefits are ok. Project managers are generally knowledgeable, but it's really a hit or miss depending on which project you're on.

    Cons

    I was a new hire. In hindsight, IBM is like any large consulting company. There is a high rate of turnover, and very little support/investment is given to their new staff. Managers care about the bottom line and how many hours you're able to log, and not whether or not projects are a good fit for you. The upward mobility requires you to be at over 100% utilization, as well as the ability for you to "sell yourself" within the company. This results in a lot of fancy terminology thrown around by people who may not know anything about the topic - i.e. "process improvement."

    There is no work/life balance, but if you're young you can give a couple years here for experience. A band 6 should go to a band 7 in 2 years, but this really depends on whether or not you're able to BS well on your assessments, and whether or not your project manager supports that BS. Going from a band 6 to a 7, in the 2 years it takes you to get there, means a paltry raise and a new title - not much more to it than that. You'll also bill at different rates, so band 7s might have problems getting on a project where all they're looking for is a clerk.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Show your younger consultants that you care. Logging endless hours to improve your bottom line shouldn't be the only motivator. There is little to no accountability for senior management, other than the hours logged.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 7 people found this helpful  

    Claims of work / life balance are greatly exaggerated.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - IT Consultant in Fairfax, VA
    Former Employee - IT Consultant in Fairfax, VA

    I worked at IBM

    Pros

    benefits, benefits, benefits
    good training opportunities which lead to industry respected certifications

    Cons

    unreasonable expectation to bill 50+ hours a week.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Survival of the fittest

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in Fairfax, VA
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in Fairfax, VA

    I have been working at IBM

    Pros

    You are really forced into action. You'll get exposure to a lot of things. You will be forced to become a leader. If you're a top performer, you will get compensated for it.

    Cons

    Extremely long hours. Potentially get stuck in one area.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Communicate to employees and be clear in defining advancement and promotions.

    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Stuffy and old

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Fairfax, VA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Fairfax, VA

    I worked at IBM

    Pros

    Many technologies and diverse workplace

    Cons

    Limited freedom to do what you want

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Bring in younger leadership

    No opinion of CEO
  10. 21 people found this helpful  

    Disappointing, especially when compared to its reputation and pretention

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Managing Consultant in Fairfax, VA
    Current Employee - Managing Consultant in Fairfax, VA

    I have been working at IBM

    Pros

    1. Because of its reputation and standing, it gets interesting assignments and you get to do interesting work. 2. It has a large, organized reservoir of templates, models, tools and instruments -- and training to back their use -- and you can learn and grow in your profession. 3. It has many competent professionals and encourages 'communities of practice,' which aids professional growth. 4. IBM is huge and involved in many different lines of exploration, which in turn broadens your professional view and, if you choose, helps you develop your knowledge and skill in a new or different direction -- a major career advantage in a time of radical flux.

    Cons

    1. Despite its claim, it is a very mechanistic organization, which has an engineering approach to its employees, who are viewed as cogs in a machine and left to feel used and dispensable. 2. Despite an elaborate on-boarding program, its treatment of new employees is casual and thoughtless, and the initial period for newcomers is hard. 3. It is particularly bad for younger employees, who haven't had long working experience and are not principally self-directed; they often rudderless and lost in a giant maze. 4. Most employees are now 'virtual' and get scant team or organizational support, leaving them isolated, unsupported and painfully on their own.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    1. Your organization is so big and so well-resourced that you can afford to do better than the usual hire-and-fire policy of a run-of-the-mill company. What you do now, you forfeit all loyalty and dedication. Think of retaining good, strong, skilled people, no matter what.
    2. Your accent on virtual employment has its advantages, but you seem blind to its disadvantages: isolation of individuals, poor teamwork, huge leader-follower distance, scandalous work-life balance and, in essence, shameless exploitation of staff. Think of supporting your people.
    3. You are imaginative with ideas and crassly primitive with people. You will hamstring your best ideas if you don't start thinking a little more of the people who can bring those ideas to fruition.

    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Hard to get things done

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Fairfax, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Fairfax, VA

    I have been working at IBM

    Pros

    It's a great place to start with an exceptional brand that is recognized world wide. There are lots of opportunities you just need to be very proactive to find them and capitalize on them.

    Cons

    It is difficult to tell whether senior management is concerned with people, concerned with employee morale, or the work conditions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay attention to your people. Look for ways to focus on positive aspects of performance rather than what I perceive is a predominant focus on what went wrong (rear view mirror management) and who caused it. Management should focus on what needs to be done better in the future.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

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