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Values Foster a Thriving Community at VMware

At VMware, our EPIC2 values (Execution, Passion, Integrity, Customers, Community) reflect who we are and why we are here, to disrupt information technology while shaping the course of what’s next for our community. Our inaugural EPIC2 Achievement Award recognizes people who exemplify all of our shared values in an extraordinary way. Recipients are chosen by our Executive team once a year and celebrated at our company all hands meeting.

Connect with Luyi (Louis) Cao, Systems Engineering Manager, and one of four employee recipients of VMware’s EPIC2 Achievement Awards as he highlights the power of values.

 

Luyi_Cao_1Name: Luyi (Louis) Cao

Role: Systems Engineering Manager

Office Location: Beijing, China

Years at VMware: 4

 

How did you feel when you found out you were the first recipient of VMware’s first EPIC2 Achievement Award?

I still remember it like it was yesterday. We had just celebrated the Chinese New Year when one day my manager Arthur told me to join him in a WebEx meeting. He shared that I was a 2014 EPIC2 Achievement Award recipient. Hearing this news was such and surprise and a great way to celebrate a special holiday with my colleagues. I’m honored to have received one of the first EPIC2  Achievement awards at VMware. There are so many excellent people within the company, so I feel like I’m the lucky one.

Can you share with us your most memorable moment at VMware?

I’ve had a lot of great memories over the past four years at VMware. Like the first time I got to travel to Taiwan for an internal meeting at the end of 2010, or when we surpassed a competitor and won a big End-User Computing project this past July. We had worked on the case for more than three years, so it was exciting to see our hard work pay off. But to be honest, winning the EPIC2 Achievement Award has really been my most memorable moment to date at VMware. It’s my first and most important global award within the company.

Can you share your perspective on how you bring your values to life at work?

For me, bringing my values to life at work is easy because work is a part of life. I have passion for my work and my family. Four years ago, I started my job at VMware, and the growth of the Great China region has been an exciting experience to be a part of. It’s been challenging, but the fast growth is based on our faith of the company, our passion, and our hard work as a great team.

How do VMware’s EPIC2 values connect with your own personal values?

VMware’s EPIC2 values allow VMware employees to identify and connect with one another, and personal values help us define our own identity. It’s very fortunate and important when our community values at work connect with our own personal values because it helps bring meaning to the work we do each day. I am happier and can identify and connect with the VMware community.

Why do you think values matter at work?

Values matter at work because they help foster a thriving community. The spirit in which you do things in life can result in good work and also a good life.

 

 

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Cherishing the Bigger Picture Fosters Life at VMware

At VMware, our EPIC2 values (Execution, Passion, Integrity, Customers, Community) reflect who we are and why we are here, to disrupt information technology while shaping the course of what’s next for our community. Our inaugural EPIC2 Achievement Award recognizes people who exemplify all of our shared values in an extraordinary way. Recipients are chosen by our Executive team once a year and celebrated at our company all hands meeting.

Connect with Gregory Johnston, Field Financial Officer, and one of four employee recipients of VMware’s EPIC2 Achievement Awards as he shares how VMware’s EPIC2 values bring true meaning to life in our community.

 

Gregory_Johnston_Headshot_Hi_ResName: Gregory Johnston

Role: Field Financial Officer

Office Location: Palo Alto, California

Years at VMware: 8

 

How did you feel when you found out you were the first recipient of VMware’s first EPIC2 Achievement Award?

Truly honored! It is such a privilege to even be considered for the award, given the breath and scope of the recognition. 

Can you share with us your most memorable moment at VMware?

I would say one of my most memorable moments at VMware was several years back, where we took a half-day with the team in Austin, Texas and spent the afternoon giving back at the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas. First, it was an amazing event from a team bonding perspective. Secondly, it is so easy at times to become fully engulfed in all that we have to accomplish at VMware, and pausing to focus on our community and giving back truly puts things into perspective. The afternoon was one of the most rewarding team building events I’ve ever been a part of.

Can you share your perspective on how you bring your values to life at work?

I focus on highlighting each of the values in activities throughout the day. I tend to be a very passionate individual, so this easily flows into life at work. For the other values, I’ve found that highlighting them within conversations, team meetings, planning events, helps share these values broadly within my organization and my business partners. At times it is so easy to get mired in the weeds, we lose sight of the big picture and what we are trying to accomplish in information technology, and how this benefits not just ourselves, or our company, but our customers and the community.

How do VMware’s EPIC2 values connect with your own personal values?

VMware’s values align extremely well with my personal values. I would go so far and state, that VMware’s values helped me review and inspect my own personal values. The inclusion of Community in VMware’s value truly helped me, personally, review am I doing enough in my life outside of work around my community to give back. I feel the continued focus on EPIC2 from VMware leadership helps me personally ensure that I maintain this focus outside of work.

Why do you think values matter at work?

Bluntly, because otherwise this is just a job. If we don’t focus on something greater (which is how I would view a value based approach such as EPIC2) it may be difficult to find reward and meaning in what we do daily. The heightened focus on values at VMware is something that I’m grateful for.

 

 

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VMware’s Community Values Shape the Course of the Future

At VMware, our EPIC2 values (Execution, Passion, Integrity, Customers, Community) reflect who we are and why we are here, to disrupt information technology while shaping the course of what’s next for our community. Our inaugural EPIC2 Achievement Award recognizes people who exemplify all of our shared values in an extraordinary way. Recipients are chosen by our Executive team once a year and celebrated at our company all hands.

Connect with Aine Lyons, Senior Director and Associate General Counsel, and one of four employee recipients of VMware’s EPIC2 Achievement Awards as she shares the power of our values.

 

Aine_LyonsName: Aine Lyons

Role: Senior Director and Associate General Counsel

Office Location: Cork, Ireland

Years at VMware: 7

 

How did you feel when you found out you were one of the first recipients of VMware’s first EPIC2 Achievement Award?

I was ecstatic and incredibly grateful and proud to be recognized for exemplifying the EPIC2 values. Of course, I also felt that there were many people at VMware who deserved the award, particularly in the Legal function where I work. Many of them are the unsung heroes working relentlessly behind the scenes to support their business partners on moving the needle on the strategic priorities of the Company. We have a wonderful EPIC2 values-focused culture in Legal, which makes it such a great place to work.

Can you share with us your most memorable moment at VMware? 

I feel privileged to work at VMware; not only are we shaping the future of the technology industry, but we are also making a real impact in our global communities. For me, it doesn’t get much better than that! My most memorable moment this year was a Service Learning event at a school in a rural part of India. I visited the school with Senior Vice President and General Council, Dawn Smith to open bathroom facilities and to help out at a fun event we organized for the children, in partnership with our Legal Process Outsourcer vendor, QuisLex. The appreciation we received from the children for a small investment on our part was an incredibly humbling experience. They had so little in comparison to my children, yet they were so happy and hopeful for the future. The power of education to change the course of people’s lives and the positive impact VMware empowers us to make through the VMware Foundation’s Service Learning Program, were very apparent to me in that moment and have remained with me since my trip.

Can you share your perspective on how you bring your values to life at work?

Acting with integrity is very important to me. I want to do the right thing for the Company and its shareholders. I’m passionate about what VMware is trying to achieve and my role is to drive operational excellence within the Legal function to improve customer experience and deliver value. I try to go the extra mile to execute on my commitments; I strive to be a supportive, inclusive colleague that is open to listening to diverse perspectives and to work collaboratively to find innovative solutions to the challenges we encounter in this dynamic, liquid environment. As a manager, I strongly believe in the power of appreciation to motivate people and the need to hold one another (myself included) accountable for our deliverables and our actions. I believe in the value of an inclusive VMware Community and investing in building strong working relationships and mentoring and guiding each other on this journey.

Why do you think values matter at work?

I think company values are the essence of a company’s identity. They support the vision and are instrumental in shaping the culture and reflecting what the company values. I think strong core values can also give a company a competitive advantage in retaining and attracting talented people, and they can also resonate with customers and partners and define how the company is perceived externally.

 

 

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EPIC2 – It’s Who We Are at VMware

VMware’s journey began in 1998. Our people were on a mission to change the world with our virtualization technology and this still holds true today. With the evolving landscape of IT, we realized that we needed to reexamine who we are and how we are going to tackle these complex challenges together.

Watch how the VMware people came together as a community to refresh our shared values and articulate what has always been there… It’s EPIC2 – Execution, Passion, Integrity, Customers, Community.

These shared values define who we are and reflected in all of our people. They show up in what we do and how we do things, especially when no one is looking. They remind us of why we are here – to achieve the seemingly impossible. Inspired to make your mark? Join us as we shape the future of what’s next together.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks as we spotlight people who “walk the talk” and exemplify the character of what EPIC2 looks like at VMware.

 

 

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VMware Employee & U.S. Air Force Veteran Empowers the U.S. Government to Thrive

In honor of Veterans Day (November 11) and the men and women that have defied the impossible to bravely serve and protect the freedoms of others, we are honored to spotlight Director of Services Delivery, Public Sector PSO (Professional Services Organization) and U.S. Air Force veteran, Porter Clapp. Connect with Porter, and discover how his learnings from the U.S. Air Force empower him to continue his service to the citizens of United States of America.

Porter_ClappName: Porter Clapp

Role: Director, Services Delivery, Public Sector PSO (Professional Services Organization)

Office Location: Home Office, Virginia

Years at VMware: 6

 

Can you share with us your most memorable moment while you were in service?

Each time I took or administered the Commissioning Oath; military members make an oath to the U.S. Constitution, which frames the ideals of liberty and equality. The military oath of office is an obligation to support and defend the U.S. Constitution…we will faithfully preserve the full meaning of the Constitution for every citizen to enjoy. And we serve to extend those same freedoms to other nations and people, when we are called. This makes the oath of office so unique and inspiring for me.

What does Veterans Day mean for you? 

Appreciation for the vision of our Founding Fathers that our Nation will support a military dedicated to liberating and protecting others less fortunate, not conquering and suppressing other territories; deep appreciation for the sacrifices and devotion to duty by our military members; admiration for those who are “The Greatest Generation.”

Can you share your perspective on how your service in the U.S. Armed Forces empowers you today in your role at VMware?

I’m in the fortunate role of bringing the best VMware capabilities to support and improve vital missions of the U.S. Federal government which protect and serve our citizens – national security, defense, law enforcement, healthcare, social services, the functioning of our government, and much more. I have the pleasure of continued service to our Nation and our citizens.

Share your favorite thing about your role at VMware.

Working with great people and VMware’s emphasis on integrity first – just like my 26+ years in the military. Integrity is one of VMware’s core values. VMware people work together to create thriving relationships with one another, VMware customers, partners, shareholders, and the community without taking anything for granted.

What advice would you share with individuals looking to explore new career opportunities after their service with the Armed Forces? 

The U.S. Air Force’s core values align directly with VMware – Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence in Everything. The cultural similarities make working at VMware very satisfying.

Being in VMware allows military members to take their experiences and training – innovation, perseverance, devotion to excellence, and focus on something greater – and combine it with VMware’s opportunity to create the future for business and the U.S. government to operate better.

 

 

 

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How One VMware Employee & U.S. Navy Vet Explored the Road Less Traveled

In honor of Veterans Day (November 11) and the men and women that have defied the impossible to bravely serve and protect the freedoms of others, we are honored to spotlight Director of Internal Audit and Risk Awareness and U.S. Navy Veteran, Scott Lowry. Connect with Scott, and learn how serving others and exploring the road less traveled can lead to a life full of fun and opportunity for growth.

 

Scott_Lowry_3Name: Scott Lowry

Role: Director, Internal Audit and Risk Awareness

Office Location: Palo Alto, California

Years at VMware: 5

 

 

Can you share with us your most memorable moment while you were in service?

I have so many great memories from my time in the U.S. Navy and at the Naval Academy; it’s hard to pick one. That said, nothing beats your first time doing something: First solo flight, first time flying a jet, first carrier landing, first carrier landing in an A-4, first night carrier landing, first time midair refueling at night, first time in combat, etc. I remember each of those times very vividly, but none more than my first carrier landing. Not to date myself, but when I was in flight school, the first jet we flew was the T-2 Buckeye. It was an old 1960s era jet that looked like it came out of a Bugs Bunny cartoon. We were flying out of Key West to the USS Lexington, an old World War II (WWII) aircraft carrier that had been retrofit with an angled deck. The opportunity to land on a WWII carrier was pretty cool since it’s smaller, meaning that you stop faster and have to get airborne within a shorter distance.Scott_Lowry_4

The sad prelude to the story is that approximately six weeks prior to my class heading out to carrier qualifications, my Naval Academy classmate and friend Steve Pontell was killed attempting to land on the USS Lexington. As his plane stalled and hit the carrier’s superstructure, several of my other classmates were overhead and witnessed it. There were a lot of fatalities in those days, but this one hit us all pretty hard and made the weeks heading up to my carrier qualification even more intense.

The night before the flight my stomach was in knots and I didn’t sleep a bit, but the flight itself was pretty uneventful – nobody accidentally flew over Cuba, we found the ship no problem, etc. After the break we heard the air boss tell us “hooks down”, which meant that we were not going to do the usual “touch-and-go”, but would be grabbing a wire on the first pass. I didn’t think much of it, but did notice that the waves looked pretty big. As I approached the deck, time sort of slowed down, I picked up the lens and grabbed a two wire (note: the three wire is the target, two and four aren’t too bad). We’d seen the videos of the stupid things junior pilots do on deck, so I focused on making sure I didn’t end up on a blooper reel. Finally, I was taxied over to refuel and get a catapult shot home. It wasn’t until this time that I even noticed how much the horizon was moving. It felt more like I was on a sailboat than an aircraft carrier. The boss cancelled flight ops because it was too rough to bring a bunch of newbies aboard.Scott_Lowry_2

However, there was still one more thing to do – the catapult shot of the pointy end and fly back home. This is the fun part – zero to 135mph in about 2 seconds. As I rolled onto the catapult and they hooked my nose wheel in, I could really see how the ship was pitching. First it was nothing but water, then nothing but sky. As I fired up the engines and saluted the catapult officer I had total confidence he would shoot me into the sky, not the water. I was on top of the world as a hit the officer’s club that afternoon and watched my alma mater beat Army with a last second field goal. That was certainly a first that I will always remember.

What does Veterans Day mean for you?

I chose to depart the military after roughly seven years of service for many reasons, not the least of which is that it is a tough life with a lot of time spent away from home, on a ship and in dangerous places. I’m proud to be a vet, but I’m more proud of the people that are still serving and doing the work that most of us would never think of doing.

Can you share your perspective on how your service in the U.S. Armed Forces empowers you today in your role at VMware?

My time in the service really put things in perspective for me. We used to have a saying in the Navy, “Your worst day on land still beats your best day on the ship.” If I’m having a bad day, I remember that. I also think that doing something different early in your career, whether it’s the Military, Peace Corps, volunteering, or something just totally out there will make you a more interesting and well-rounded person. You can see things from a different point of view.Scott_Lowry_5

Share your favorite thing about your role at VMware.

Definitely the people. There’s a lot going on at VMware and the job is never dull, but being around dynamic people is what makes me want to go to work in the morning. 

What advice would you share with individuals looking to explore new career opportunities after their service with the Armed Forces? 

Be patient, follow your heart, take the road less traveled and enjoy the ride. When I left the military I wanted to learn about making beer and open a brewpub, so I headed to the University of California, Davis for their Fermentation Science program and then moved out East where I opened a couple pubs for Capitol City Brewing in Washington, DC. The brewing thing never really panned out, but it led to Business School and one thing led to another. I learned from everything I did along the way and I had fun.

 

 

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Two VMware Intern’s Look Back at the 2014 Grace Hopper Conference

Earlier this fall, I had the opportunity to attend the 2014 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. It was refreshing to see so many passionate people joining together to discuss the latest innovations in technology and how each of us can work together to empower women to thrive in the information technology space. Betty Chen and Akanksha Bansal, 2014 VMware interns and WCW (Women Connecting Women) members are two shining examples of the game-changing talent that attended the conference with me. During the conference, Betty and Akanksha chronicled their #GHC14 journey on the @vmwareu Instagram account to give an inside look at their real time conference takeaways. After having settled back into the work and school grind, I thought it would be great to reconnect with Betty and Akanksha to learn a little bit more about their biggest learnings at the Grace Hopper Conference. Read on to discover what’s next for Betty and Akanksha.      – Price Peacock, VMware Social Community Manager, Employment Brand

 

Betty_Chen_InstagramTakeover_VisualBetty Chen

2014 VMware R&D Intern

Office Site: Palo Alto, California

University: The University of California, Berkeley

 

My flight from San Francisco to Phoenix was full of women ready and excited to attend the 2014 Grace Hopper Celebration. If my first interactions with #GHC14 attendees on the plane were any indication of what was to come, I knew that I was in for an amazing adventure. During the entire flight, I talked with two excellent ladies about why choosing computer science was making a huge difference in our lives.Betty_Chen_3

On the first day of the conference, we had ample opportunities to connect with other women to share our perspectives on pursuing a career in technology. Attending the celebration was like finding the right place and people to confide our troubles as women in computing for the first time. Whether you were a student, professor, or engineer, we were all connected.Betty_Chen_1

The most impressive talk I attended was “Graduate School Surviving Skills”. Although I am an undergraduate student, I could feel how other conference attendees felt when they told the speaker things like, “I have a new baby and I am a graduate student.” “I am the only female in my lab.” and “Whenever I have something to ask that men won’t understand, I do not know who I should talk to.” The speaker always answered the audience member’s question and shared experiences that were truly inspiring. She made us feel warm and cared for. Finally, at the end of the talk, the speaker asked all of us to sing a song where she had revised the lyrics. The song was about being stronger and that no matter what difficulties we faced, we can get past them.

There was also a student opportunity lab, which shared advice with students looking for jobs. The opportunity lab used a new style of talk where ten people sat around a table and only one of them would be the speaker. They would talk about one topic and everyone would have chance to ask questions and share experiences. Attendees would take turns to attend different topic sessions, such as Interview Skills, How to Refine your LinkedIn Profile, and Exploration in Data Science. These sessions opened new ‘windows’ for me to see things differently. Although we have fewer women in the computer science field at this point in time compared to men, we have so many sisters looking out for each other and helping us achieve our goals.

Finally, I want to thank VMware for supporting me to attend this amazing event! It led me to a new world that I had never explored, and allowed me to make friends that can help each other on the way to pursuing our dreams!

 

2014_Intern_Poster_Session_Edited_30Akanksha Bansal

2014 VMware R&D Intern

Office Site: Palo Alto, California

University: The University of Texas at Austin

 

As a second year attendee of the 2014 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference (#GHC14), I was inspired to be around so many talented and motivating women. This year was particularly special for me because it increased my curiosity and desire to get involved in open source. There were so many great takeways from each session that will definitely be useful for navigating my career and life after college.Akanksha_Instagram_1

Attending Grace Hopper sparks a newfound energy in all of its attendees. Time is the only constraint that needs to be managed when looking to create a successful Grace Hopper conference experience, as there are so many talks and workshops happening simultaneously. It’s always a tough choice to decide which sessions to attend, as they are all so interesting.

From sessions on career development, like “Building Your Professional Persona,” and “Perfect Team: Networking Matters,” to motivational talks like “Change the World and Boost Your Career.” In addition to these tracks, there was also a poster session that happened in parallel with the Career Fair.

Attending the conference allowed me to connect with prominent leaders in the technology field and get a better understanding of their research while sharing ideas with them. The conference really instilled a sense of togetherness among attendees, as we were able to connect with one another and share similar struggles that we go through on a regular basis.Akanksha_Instagram_2

I feel that the Grace Hopper Conference is the platform for women in tech as it aims to empower everyone with equal opportunities and unending inspiration, by bringing together a community that is life-changing. This can be seen by the fact that there are so many scholarship programs that help students attend #GHC14 that more than likely would have never had the chance to hear about this conference, let alone be a part of it. Conference attendees are also empowered to present their recent research findings and attend sessions that focus on the professional development of women in technology fields.

The conference creates opportunities for collaborative proposals, networking and mentoring for everyone. I watched professors meeting potential Ph.D. students, companies finding their future teammates, young entrepreneurs meeting their lifelong mentors. Everyone puts aside their fears for three days to connect and share knowledge and expertise for the benefit of others, which is truly inspiring.

 

 

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Getting Things Done for Customers at VMware Costa Rica

At VMware Costa Rica, our people work together to tackle challenging problems that free our customers from the toughest of constraints. When our customers succeed, we succeed. Meet Matilde, Operations Manager, and learn a little bit more about how passion, respect, and the willingness to learn help her and our community thrive.

 

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 2.37.50 PMName: Matilde Soto Chacon

Role: Operations Manager

Office Location: San Jose, Costa Rica

Years at VMware: 7 months

Favorite Tech Gadget: Painting Digital brushes

 

What is your role? Which products and solutions do you work on?

I am a part of the Global Compliance, Online Sales and Renewals team. Currently, my focus is on supporting the execution of a project that will enable our organization to run, scale and transform its renewals business. By providing the right level of sales support and leveraging my management and operations experience, I have been able to help make sure all aspects of a process framework are being addressed.

Why did you choose VMware?

I recognize that VMware is a great company because it is the leader in virtualization and cloud infrastructure solutions. But beyond that, VMware is an employer that provides great benefits for its people. Prior to working here, I had heard about the positive work environment from current employees and it was after stepping through the office doors for the first time that these positive sentiments were affirmed. VMware offers the possibility to learn about the growing business of virtualization and the challenge to be part of a leader in the industry, which is very rewarding.

How do VMware’s shared values (execution, passion, integrity, customers and community) come to life at your site?

At VMware Costa Rica our customers come first. We have a passion for our work and getting things done the right way without taking anything for granted. We’re always working together to drive what’s next for the business, but are mindful about how our actions impact one another, the company and the wider community.

Is there a particular value that resonates the most with you? 

We are all important, however we are part of something bigger and we need to work together and in sync and towards a goal, so I would say Execution is the VMware value that resonates the most with me more at this moment.

Share a story or example that illustrates your team living VMware’s values.

We are working on a very important project that needs to run seamlessly. In order to achieve this, we’re proactively looking for things that might go wrong so that we can address them prior to the project’s deployment. Throughout this journey, my teammates and I have challenged the status quo when it comes to our thinking. We’ve had to check our egos at the door and empower one another to share their ideas and value one another’s opinions. By doing this, we have been able to find the best solutions, which are usually a combination of several of our ideas.

What types of people are successful at VMware? 

From my point of view people who are respectful, passionate and willing to learn.

If you have respect for others, being right is not your objective, as you are looking for consensus. You are open to hear ideas from others and are willing to share yours with them – this always leads to the best solution. If you have respect for the company you work for, do the best work you can, and raise your hand when you see an opportunity to grow, you can develop your talents while respecting yourself, having fun, and helping to create a thriving community.

If you are passionate about your work, your intention is to do it the best way possible. You dedicate yourself to achieve a goal and will actually forget it is work, because you really like what you’re bringing to life.

The environment in which VMware people are working in is always evolving because of our customer’s needs and innovations within the information technology space, so you need to be open to learning new things every day.

How is ‘pura vida’ a part of the Costa Rica site?

Pura vida’ means a lot of things, ‘how are you?’, ‘thank you’, ‘I’m doing great’

But ‘Pura vida’ is really a way of life. You can feel it within everyone at our site, as everyone feels accountable for their work, but they also care about others and this allows people to feel comfortable with proposing new ideas and thinking outside of the box. Everyone comes to work happy, which is important when you’re passionate about the work that you do everyday.

Through hard work and pura vida, we’re able to make anything happen.

 

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Creating Moments of Growth through Service

Paying it forward goes beyond creating joy for others. It creates opportunities to challenge the status quo for all. Meet Arjun, Senior Manager, IT at VMware Bangalore and unearth the opportunities to forge change by being empowered to wonder.

  

Arjun_Basu_3Name: Arjun Basu

Role: Senior Manager, IT

Office Location: Bangalore, India

Years at VMware: 6 months

 

What does paying it forward mean to you?

Some of us are fortunate to have careers like the exciting ones at VMware. It feels great to receive a thank you at work or cool collectibles (“swag”) at a company event. For me, paying it forward means passing on some of that happiness to someone else to make their day just a bit brighter. It could be a colleague, a neighbor, or even a random person that you come across in the community. VMware’s Service Learning program provides many opportunities for my colleagues and I to pay it forward to the community around us. Just imagine, a whole week to pass on random acts of kindness every single year. With thousands of employees joining in, this could be a start of a chain reaction much bigger than that in the Kevin Spacey movie. Come, join in – and be part of the revolution.Young bird watcher

What does the quote, “Wisdom begins in wonder.” from the VMware Foundation’s Service Learning campaign mean to you?

I believe that knowledge cannot be found by simply trying to commit vast amounts of factual information to memory. True knowledge comes from curiosity in the things around us, how they look and work and interact with us. As the Greek philosophers realized eons ago, it is this childlike wonder that is the true source of wisdom. This wonder and passion is what drives people at VMware to question the status quo, imagine the future of digital enterprises, and try to make it a reality, today.

How do you instill this value in your child children?

Sometimes it seems that my daughters (aged eight and two) are teaching me about the joys of learning and wonder rather than the other way around! We’ve tried to expose them to multiple experiences – whether it is staying in a wildlife sanctuary, participating in the Earth Day celebrations in our local community, or learning a new language. Sometimes it does lead to unexpected consequences like seeing a wall covered with eco slogans and sketches in their room – but overall we believe it prepares them to be better global citizens.SL_Campaign_Arjun

Please reflect on having your child featured in the campaign. What does it mean to you and your family?

One of the things that attracted me to VMware was their focus on the value of community. Here I was, fairly new to the job inspired to actively participate in the Service Learning campaign. It felt great to have our youngest daughter be one of the faces of the campaign for all global employees and the wider community. Being able to see the joy and wonder on my daughter’s face upon seeing the campaign poster was something that we will treasure for a long time. And it has served as an inspiration for our older child, who wants to be featured too!

 

 

 

 

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Embracing Change Opens New Doors at Grace Hopper

For Vice President of Enterprise Information Management at VMware, Theresa Kushner, staring fear of change straight on helps propel her and the community around her forward. Connect with Theresa, and learn a little bit more about how VMware’s VMwomen initiative is fostering conversations and behavior change around diversity within the technology community at the 2014 Grace Hopper Conference and beyond.

 

Theresa_Kushner_HeadshotName:  Theresa Kushner

Role: Vice President, Enterprise Information Management

Office Location: Palo Alto, California

Years at VMware:  2

Twitter handle: @tkushner

 

What inspired you to pursue a career in technology?

Sometimes the best inspiration is fear. I came to a career in technology reluctantly. Although my father owned a computer software company when I was in high school, I did everything I could to avoid computers and technology. After I graduated from college, I realized I couldn’t pay my credit card bill because of the low pay my chosen field provided. I discovered that computer firms in the technology industry paid better than any of the other industries and my skills were transferrable. My first technology job was at Texas Instruments in product marketing for consumer products. Since then, I’ve spent my entire career in the world of technology with IBM, Cisco Systems and now, VMware. The fear of not being able to pay off my credit card forced me to open a new door.

What exciting things are taking shape for VMware people because of the VMwomen initiative?

Launched as an enterprise-wide initiative in January 2014, the VMwomen initiative at VMware is taking actionable and measureable steps at all levels to increase the representation of women so that VMware leads our industry globally. We’re delivering programs to help propel these goals including:

  • TALK, a monthly speakers series with internal and external guest speakers
  • DIALOGUE, a pilot peer mentoring program designed to help women accelerate their professional development by working with senior advisers
  • Unconscious Bias training, which provides a common framework and language to uncover unconscious biases that unfold in the workplace

These programs, supported by action plans up and down the organization, are helping to broker conversations and behavior change while providing an environment that openly supports diversity.

You are sitting on the Accountability and Metrics for Gender Diversity panel at the Grace Hopper Conference (#GHC14). Can you provide insight into the panel topic?

If we truly want to improve the representation of women in computing in all levels, then we need to focus on metrics first. Having metrics tells us first where we are starting from and helps us decide where we want to go. It’s just good business. Having metrics also makes it possible to hold people accountable. At VMware, our CEO Pat Gelsinger has insisted on metrics to set the stage and to guide us. He uses these metrics to help recognize where we need to concentrate our efforts and to understand which of our actions are helping. Pat holds his executive team accountable for progress – measurable progress. You can learn more about what we’re bring to life here at VMware and within the technology community on this topic at the Accountability and Metrics for Gender Diversity panel at #GHC14 on Thursday, October 9 from 10:15 – 11:15 am.

The 2014 theme for Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing is Everywhere. EveryoneWhat about this theme makes you excited about #GHC14?

I get excited by engaging with the next generation of women technologists. They bring such different perspectives and I am constantly amazed at their intelligence and creativity. More than anything, I’m looking forward to these interactions.

Fill in the blank: Be inspired to be data driven!

 

 

 

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