The VMware University Relations Team piloted the Women Connecting Women Program during the summer of 2012 to focus on building a culture of mentorship among women at VMware.
We want to take a few minutes to tell you about an amazing group of women that we had the opportunity to spend time with this summer. These women were members of the Women Connecting Women (WCW) Program at VMware. As part of this program, each female intern in our AMER (North American) locations were offered the opportunity to be paired up with a female Mentor during their internship. In some cases Mentors held roles in the same department as Mentees and in others, the Mentor sat in an entirely different group, offering unique perspectives on life and work at VMware to their Mentees. The WCW mentoring relationships were designed to benefit both the Mentor and Mentee—both members were expected to take an active role in maintaining and building the relationship. When this was done, it became apparent very quickly how beneficial and long-term the new connection could become.
In addition to creating Mentor/Mentee matches, the University Relations Team organized several WCW events for group members to attend together in our Palo Alto, Austin and Cambridge locations. Here are a few snapshots of these activities.
WCW Kicks-Off- We received rave reviews on our networking kick-off events that occurred in each respective location in June. For a number of individuals, this event marked the beginning of a connection and the first time Mentees and Mentors met in person. It also provided the opportunity to meet other group members and to expand professional networks. A great time was had by all! In Palo Alto, HR leaders, Marian Davis and Britt Sellin provided career related tips and advice to the WCW audience.
WCW Gives Back – During the month of July, WCW Mentees and Mentors participated in various VMware Foundation Service Learning activities. WCW members in our Palo Alto location partnered with InnVision in the Bay Area, spending time with children and residents of a shelter, as well as organizing a clothing donation center. Our Austin members had a productive morning at LifeWorks, organizing an inventory of women’s clothes for the residents at another shelter. Our Cambridge WCW team took some time to visit the Cambridge Women’s Center, painting and cleaning areas of the center’s housing shelter.
WCW Growth & Development– A true highlight of the program included an interactive workshop conducted by our very own JJ DiGeronimo, VMware Global Cloud Solutions Director, entitled “The Power of You” for Palo Alto and Cambridge-based WCW members. The session showcased tips, tools and resources for Mentees to build their brand, increase their confidence and elevate their impact. JJ also hosted an engaging call with our Austin group and answered career related questions. In Cambridge, WCW members had the opportunity to engage with Julia Austin, VP of Innovation, on several occasions and look to her as an incredible resource during the summer months. In addition, the WCW of Palo Alto benefited from a session with Rose Robinson, Systers Program Manager, at the Anita Borg Institute. Rose shared her career journey across a variety of roles within multiple tech companies. She gave some great advice to our attendees about career growth and navigation.
Overall, the pilot of the WCW program proved to be a huge success and we are looking forward to continuing to grow and enhance the program in the future. If you are interested in learning more about this program or the VMware internship program, send us a message to learn more. We’d love to have you join our network and community!
-Alicia Schetter and Amanda Merriweather
Alicia Schetter – VMware Senior University Relations Specialist
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Amanda Merriweather – VMware University Relations Staffing Coordinator
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