International Women’s Day (Friday, March 8) is a global day commemorating the economic, political & social achievements of women past, present and future.
To celebrate, we are recognizing nine VMware women (three a week for the next few weeks) who are helping to drive what’s next for the company and the IT industry by their everyday contributions Today we hear from Kristine about her ever-evolving career, life at VMware and the women that have inspire her to grow!
Spotlight on: Kristine Dahl Steidel, Country Manager
Years at VMware: 7
Office Location: Oslo, Norway
Personal mantra or favorite quote: Carpe Diem
How did you get started in software technology and what led you to where you are today?
In 1997, I was studying social sciences at the University in Oslo, and planned to apply for the professional clinical programme in psychology. At that time the programme was full and they would not admit new students so I got a job while waiting for an opening, and came over a position as a junior sales consultant in a small start-up company called Lantec. The energy in the company, the highly motivated people working there and the speed of change in the industry really attracted me, so even though I first signed up as a contractor I soon realized that I wanted to stay in this business. Eventually, I signed a permanent contract, with the clause that I could finish a Masters Degree in Management and Organizational Behavior at the Norwegian Business School. Even though that meant working full time, while pursuing my Masters Degree for almost 7 years, I never regretted that decision!
What is one of your major career goals for the year?
My primary career goal for 2013 is enhancement of my expertise in Business Administration and Finance. I plan to attend lectures at the Norwegian Business School on the weekends as a part of a long-term plan to get an MBA degree.
In three adjectives, how would you describe your experience at VMware so far?
Exciting, inspiring and just fantastic!
What is your favorite VMware memory or pastime? Why?
I have so many great memories from having worked here for seven years so it is hard to pick one. I have to mention two. First, listening to Carl Eschenbach at new hire training in 2005. His energy and enthusiasm – and great presentation skills – really convinced me this was a great company to work for. Second, Diane Green’s (former VMware CEO) keynote at VMworld 2006 about how we make the traditional operation system less important. That is when I realized that VMware could change the industry forever.
What attracted you to VMware? Is it the same thing that motivates you today?
When I started, VMware was a small start-up company and somewhat reminded me of the first company I worked for. For me, that was a chance of re-experiencing that energy and motivation I felt back then and to evolve and develop my management skills. I soon realized that this company would change the industry. That has motivated me ever since.
Do you have a thought-leader or person you admire in your field or industry? Who and why?
I could mention several people here, but in light of International Women’s Day, I have to say Gro Harlem Bruntland. She has been one of my top role models since I was a child. Gro Harlem Bruntland was Norway’s first female prime minister, and when she appointed her second government (in 1986) 8 of the 18 ministers were women, which were a world sensation and paved the way for women’s participation both in subsequent governments as well as in business.
Do you have any tips on managing the demands of your career and the other parts of your life?
I think it is all about deciding what is important in your life, and keeping that in mind in all decisions you make. I love my job and I love VMware, but my family is always the most important. How my decisions will impact our life, as a family is always what counts the most.
Is there one thing that compels you as being part of the VMware community? If so, can you tell us more?
VMware`s ability to change, evolve and lead the way into new eras as we grow is unique. This is all due to the people working here, and I feel so fortunate being a part of this community. The team I work with in Norway is a fantastic example of this and we truly drive the development together.
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