Today I applied for IBM’s Corporate Service Corps. Think Peace Corps but for computers instead. To quote the original IBM press release last year:
This program will provide leadership development experiences for IBMers, exposing participants to the 21st Century context for business – diverse cultures, policy environments and societal expectations. IBM will team with non-governmental organizations to place small groups of employees from different countries and business units together, outside of the office structure. They will build relationships and work on some of the world’s toughest problems, such as enhancing global economic opportunity and access to education resources. The Corporate Service Corps will be global from the outset: Approximately 600 IBM participants over the first three years will be drawn from all over the world. Project destinations will be in emerging and developing countries.
The program would be 6 months in total but only a month of that would be out of the US and in the destination country. The other 5 months would be part-time work in preparation for leaving and for debriefing once the in-country assignment is over.
The pre-reqs were reasonably high and they aren’t accepting that many people so we’ll see if I get selected. Preferential treatment will be given to folks who are already involved in volunteer work and while I listed DP and my sign language interpreting for Gateway the last several years I’m not certain if that’s what they’re looking for.
For the initial phase only three locations were listed as options and you were to rank them in your order of preference. My order was: Eastern Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa. Who knows, maybe my non-existent Russian will get some use?
The application deadline is February 15 and the coordinators are hoping to let folks know a month after that who has been accepted. Nothing to do but wait!