Ali Abassi

Company: IBM
Position: Watson Software Sales

Why did you get involved in the GCSC?

As president of the Capilano Business Society, it was my job to actively encourage students to get involved on campus. When it came to finding a GCSC Ambassador for Capilano, I knew the perfect classmate for the job. The GCSC team and the Business Society partnered to drive student participation and build momentum. On top of all that I knew that I wanted to pursue a career technology sales after university and I have positioned myself accordingly - the competition was a good fit for my goals and skill sets.

How did the GCSC lead you to your current role?

The GCSC connected me with the right people - hiring decision makers at large enterprise organizations. I was able to network with a variety of professionals during the competition that led to potential job opportunities.


Through your experience as a GCSC Finalist and Coach for IBM, what advice do you have for competitors?

Figure out what you want to achieve in this competition and plan the sequence of events that need to occur to achieve the end goal. For me, I wanted to get a job in technology sales. I looked at the sponsors, selected the ones I wanted to join, looked for openings in my city at each company, figured out who from each company would be at the event, learned about the individuals, and brought my A game to the networking event. I walked out with 6 interviews with companies I wanted to work for and ultimately got a role selling AI solutions to the largest organizations in Canada.

Sales isn't for everyone and that is okay.  For sales, you need to be smart, strategic, assertive, goal oriented, self motivated, and be able to handle a great deal of pressure. If you meet these requirements, you will be in high demand in the marketplace. You can make a ton of money, great connections, and a huge impact on the world. If this is a fit for your unique characteristics, then take the competition seriously. Find ways to stand out and be creative when you present. Every judge knows you lack experience, what they want to see is effort and determination.