Our Service Corps work has finally lifted off the ground: after a few months of preparation activities and the long travel to Bacolod City, today began with the introductory meeting with our clients. Jaydip and I have been paired up to work with the University of St. La Salle who also happened to host the event. In addition to the University, the team is working with a handful of local government agencies.
It was nice to associate the faces with each of the organizations as they provided background information and a summary of their objectives. Bacolod City is known as the "city of smiles" and the clients all lived up to that nickname.
Our team also spent some time with introductions. We are a team of 10 IBMers from all over the globe: US, Brazil, China, India, Finland, Spain, Belgium and Russia. I've worked on 'virtual' global teams for most of the years spent at IBM; however, this is really a great learning experience to have everyone together at the same location. This is definitely one of the big bonus' of the assignment.
St. La Salle University is a non-profit, private school that covers all educational bases for approximately 13,000 students: elementary, high school, undergraduate, and graduate classes. The school is looking to improve their IT support: they provide several basic IT but do have a ways to go to have mature services. We spent the afternoon reviewing a laundry list of potential projects and narrowing that down to a reasonable set. It was encouraging to that the experience Jaydip and I bring match well to several of their key needs. My key concern is that I only have two weeks before I head back to Manila to help with a Disaster Response project: so time will be very limited--especially since the city is about to begin their major festival of the year: MassKara....more on that later.