IBM Silicon Valley – Giving Back to the Community

India Post News Service

San jose, California: On a beautifDineshNirmal CongresswomanCertificate e1558509177743 jeff welser students ul, sunny spring day in San Jose, California, the IBM Silicon Valley campus set in bucolic south San Jose on Bailey Road, hosted the inauguration of its cricket pitch by the Indian Consul General in San Francisco, Sanjay Panda.

IBM also hosted two groups of students from local high schools and a representative of the environmental group Save the Bay at he event April 30.

A representative from San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo’s office, Khanh Russo, was present, too.

Dinesh Nirmal, Vice President, IBM Data and AI Development and Site Executive, IBM Silicon Valley, and Jeffrey Welser, Vice President and Lab Director of IBM Research, Almaden, were among the senior executives who led the day’s events.

In a town hall style meeting, senior IBM executives spoke about their high school internship program. An employee who hails from Colombia, talked about the value of education and opportunities such as these and how he was able to overcome his own hometown’s problems such as drug cartels.

The schools, on their part. had a couple of teachers and some students come up on stage to talk about the importance of such an initiative and what a difference it had made to them.

One of the teachers said that in school, students typically learn theory, but in the real world of a company, they get to learn from their failures.

ConsulPanda RibbonCutting

The teacher said that at an internship program such as this, students get to see where technology is being designed.

“For the students, it is taking a step into the future. Some of the products that they get to work on may not be out until five or 10 years from now,” he said.

Further, after participating in such a program, he could see the students “with their head up high and a spring in their step”.

“They realize that working as an adult isn’t so horrible. Most youngsters think of the real world as a ‘soul sucking life of boredom’. Instead, they change that belief and see the innovation, the creativity,” he said.

One of the students who came up to speak said that the main thing he gained was work experience to put on his resume for a college application and that he got a head start for the future.

Another student said humorously that they had “the best times of our lives” teaching the AI (artificial intelligence) teenage slang.

He did jokingly admit that the first time he and his school buddy came to one of the SCRUM meetings, they almost passed out. The experience was so different from high school.

The STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) engineering coordinator at Independence High School in San Jose said that this program had a dramatic impact on the life of the students and that this was a very wise investment on the part of IBM.

The students get to be a part of the workforce in the real world and feel a sense of pride in being able to work at a prestigious company such as IBM.

He thanked IBM for this opportunity.

The next guest was David Lewis from the environmental group, Save the Bay.

IBM Silicon Valley is a unique campus. Unlike other tech companies which have contributed to the concrete urban sprawl of the Bay Area, IBM has preserved the land around its campus in its natural form with its trees, grass meadows and animals. Cows graze on the nearby hills and one can hear birds chirping in the nearby trees.

IBM has been a supporter of Save the Bay, a local environmental group that conducts various activities such as tree plantation to maintain the natural surroundings of the San Francisco Bay with its employees volunteering in the organization’s projects.

Lewis remarked that he was struck by the engagement of IBM’s campus and employees in this issue.

“What you do here has an impact on the Bay,” he said

He added that the Bay affects the weather and the economy of the region. Further, he said, “Why you stayed here, the Bay was a part of that.” About the IBM campus, he remarked that it was one of the most beautiful parts of the Bay left.

IBM has agreed to be the title sponsor of Bay Day, a day of which David Lewis spoke as having at least one day – a holiday – “where you pay attention to the Bay”. Bay Day is akin to Earth Day, to celebrate the beauty and ecological treasures of the San Francisco Bay Area region. Scheduled to be held on October 5, it will be declared as an official holiday.

Senior IBM executives gifted Lewis a giant check for $100,000 for the cause. As a token of gratitude, Lewis gifted them baseball caps. One of the IBM senior employees handed out T-shirts.

The entourage of employees and visitors then made their way outdoors to the cricket pitch. A blue ground – it represents IBM’s signature blue color – set against the backdrop of the San Jose hills, greeted everyone. More employees had already gathered to watch the inauguration.

Khanh Russo said about IBM’s internship program, “Internships are a critical opportunity for these kids.”

He was said that what the pitch represented was not just a game; cricket helped to cultivate problem solving and teamwork.

Consul General Panda was seen playing the game. Later, he did the honors by cutting a ceremonial ribbon, officially inaugurating the pitch.

“It is such a delight to be at an event such as this,” Panda said and added that cricket has always been his passion.

“I thought in the US, I won’t be able to get an opportunity for cricket, so very delighted with this event,” he said.

He shared a humorous anecdote from his career, demonstrating what a great leveler the game was. It so happened that he had mildly scolded one of his subordinates. Later when they were playing cricket, the gentleman let loose all the bouncers (fast throwing of the ball that bounces very high and makes it difficult for the batsman hit) on him.

Ambassador Sanjay Panda batting at the pitch

Panda reminisced that the IBM pitch reminded him of the ground at Dharamshala in India. Dharamshala is situated in the northern Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh and is the place where the Dalai Lama lives in exile.

“How you can conceptualize a cricket field here in such a beautiful place?” he said in amazement.

IBM was also presented a certificate of recognition by the local Congresswoman.

Dinesh Nirmal told India Post that he intended to eventually open up the ground to the Valley people.

0 - 0

Thank You For Your Vote!

Sorry You have Already Voted!