(3 min read)
Growing up in a tiny town in upstate New York, Miranda Velonis knew two things: First, she was whip smart. Second, it was a great big world and she wanted to see it. Step one was getting an education. As an undergrad at Bentley College (now University), Miranda majored in Accounting but with a big helping of Liberal Arts courses as well (she feels that the combination makes for a well-rounded business person).
While at Bentley, she applied for an internship at IBM in internal audit. IBM was taking only two candidates from a huge pool, and Miranda was the last candidate IBM spoke to. Let’s just say she impressed.
From there Miranda became the Power Systems CFO, accountable for business performance of growth markets. “As my four years on assignment was coming to an end I was encouraged to reconnect with the US and I felt I needed Services experience, so I went out on a limb and competed to get the Worldwide Planning Manager role for the Global Technology Services business unit. Another role that was completely out of my comfort zone but a building block to making me a well-rounded finance leader. "
Miranda left that role for a 4-month maternity leave (did we mention that during all this work Miranda balanced marrying her high-school sweetheart and starting a family?) and was offered her current role upon return – Director of Finance for Asia Pacific Systems and Global Markets Pricing based in Singapore.
Looking back on her years at IBM, Miranda says, “IBM appealed to me 17 years ago because of its global presence and the breadth of opportunities that would be available to me without having to leave the company. I have fully taken advantage of those benefits and found that IBM has so much more to offer. The appeal today is working for a company that is changing the way the world does business, being essential and knowing that I am contributing to those goals. IBM's values align with my values. I am also energized every day that I am working to develop the next generation of finance leaders as well as encouraging more women to embrace finance careers and leadership positions.”
Recently, Miranda participated in an All-Hands meeting with Finance and Operations leaders across the IBM and realizes that, “What resonated with me is how Finance and Operation teams are creating solutions to internal business problems that are being marketed to our clients, thus changing the view that we are back-office support. The energy and excitement of those teams was contagious around the room. I think there is so much more opportunity for that to happen with the focus of our leaders on transforming our organization.” Stewarding performance, transforming the business, scaling the operating model, Miranda has checked off all the boxes – and shattered the glass ceiling while doing it.
Small town girl makes good – indeed!