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Tag Archives: VMware Internship

Defining Communities, Redefining Myself: An Intern’s Take on Giving Back through Service Learning

Aadi2Aditya Gorantala, who prefers to be called Aadi, is a full-time MBA student at Mays Business School, Texas A&M University. He currently works as a Partner Compliance Analyst Intern from the VMware Austin, Texas office.

One of the most important lessons I learned in business school is to work at a place where your personal values resonate. I grew up learninAadi3g to give back to those who haven’t been lucky. Helping others gives an instant dose of contentment and empowerment to your daily life. Beginning at VMware, I presumed that I would have limited opportunities to volunteer due to the length of my summer internship.

Instead, I discovered that through the VMware Foundation full-time employees and interns alike can spend 40 service learning hours in their communities. The choice of charity is completely up to the individual. This excited me, and I began to search for volunteer opportunities. Then, a surprise was in store – one of my fellow interns suggested a day at the Austin Animal Center caring for the dogs and cats.

I was scared of pets back in my home country of India, so it took awhile before I decided to sign up. As the day arrived and the group of 10 VMware employees met at the Center, I challenged myself to overcome my fear of these four-legged wonders. We walked countless dogs that otherwise would be stuck in the kennel during the humid Austin afternoon. In no time, I was comfortable with my newfound, furry friends.

Looking back, did I make a change to the community? The number of people thanking us as we left the Austin Animal Center made it understood that our contribution was substantial. It’s true that a little help goes a long way.

It’s a matter of perspective — the benefit to me was learning something new. In providing service for others, I conquered my fear, networked with new friends, and obtained a greater understanding of the problems in our community and how I could give back. Above all, it was fun.

I can’t believe I am paid to do this, and more. This realization is a big deal because, for once, I have found a place where my personal values align with the business’s values. That place is VMware!

— Aadi Gorantala

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VMware Interns Networking All Over the World

Andrei1Andrei Mario Dinu recently finished his second year at the University Politehnica of Bucharest, where he is pursuing a bachelors degree in Computer Science and Engineering. He is a Member of Technical Staff Intern working in VMware’s Sofia, Bulgaria office. For more on Andrei’s experience, follow him via twitter handle @dinuand.

The first time I heard of VMware was during my freshman year at the University Politehnica of Bucharest (UPB), in a course called “Operating System Usage.” UPB is one of the top universities, and best in Computer Science and Engineering in my home country of Romania. I remember working on a homework assignment using VMware Workstation and playing with virtual machines. For the first time, I was familiarizing myself with virtualization. I realized that programming and I would be very good friends. In addition to my internal passion, my teachers, family, and friends inspired me to continuously follow my dreams and passion for technology.

It was this support system that sparked the interest in VMware that eventually progressed into my current internship. UPB has a program that exists exclusively to match up students with summer internships. Many of my fellow classmates are happy to share their experiences and refer others to companies they have interned with. In my case, I took advantage of both opportunities. Impressed by a former Romanian VMware intern who told me about his progress and experience, I also wanted to do something meaningful during the summer. So, joining VMware as an intern for 13 weeks was the perfect deal!

I’m so glad to be part of an awesome VMware community in Sofia! I trust my coworkers because when I’m facing an obstacle, they always give help and advice. More than anything else, I enjoyAndrei3 the highest level of transparency in everything my colleagues or I do. They want me to be successful, so the whole team can be successful. It’s also very fun working here. We have beer bashes every Thursday — everybody gets together, cools off with a beer, and shares stories of the week that’s passed. Sometimes, coworkers challenge each other to solve problems as fast as possible (We are geeks, so we enjoy this).

Internships are one of the coolest things you can do in your life, especially as a young professional entering the tech field. The interns are respected at VMware in whichever location they may be working from. The experience might differ between locale, but not that much. At VMware sites all over the world, the interns are simply dabbling with magic in a highly productive environment!

–Andrei Mario Dinu

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VMware Summer Internship Program Recap

Shawn Sigona1Shawn Sigona is the Global Intern Program Manager at VMware. Although based at Palo Alto headquarters, he strives to progress the global internship program and ensures that each intern has the best experience possible.

This year, we had over 450 interns in 35 offices, globally! Though our interns work from far and wide, in locales such as China and Bulgaria, the bulk of our summer interns are from the Americas region. In the US alone, there are 265 interns!

To kick off our summer, each location had its own intern welcome event. Headquarters in PaloShawnSigona6 Alto hosted a scavenger hunt across our 105 acre campus! While participating, our interns learned fun facts about VMware and familiarized themselves with important landmarks they would need to know to get around. These welcome events empower interns to engage with each other and the VMware community.

On the subject of community, the Internship Program empowers interns to engage with their local community as well. Through the VMware Foundation, all VMware employees receive Service Learning paid time off to donate their time to a charitable cause — interns are also encouraged to take advantage of this wonderful benefit. In our Cambridge, Massachusetts office, our ShawnSigona3interns donated their time to the local Boys and Girls Club that sorely needed attention. The Cambridge interns spent half the day organizing the local community center. In Palo Alto, the interns donated half a day to Hidden Villa, a local non-profit farm that donates a portion of the organic, sustainable crops they grow to feed families in need of healthy food. In total, the interns logged over 170 hours of service!

Throughout the summer, our interns were empowered to attend events where Sr. Leadership, C-level executives, and Principal Researchers spoke about various topics, ranging from how they ended up in their current position to highly technical research. This level of executive leadership engagement encouraged our interns to ask questions and be fearless leaders.

At the end of summer, each intern had the opportunity to present their summer’s work to the greater VMware community. For the interns in Cambridge and Palo Alto, we hosted a science fair-type event called the “Intern Poster Session”. We had several hundred people in attendance who voted on their favorite project. This was the first time non-technical interns participated in the Intern Poster Session and the MBA Finance interns rose to the challenge, winning the grand prize – an all-expense paid trip to VMworld!

ShawnSigona4

The End of Summer Celebration is the ceremonious farewell to our summer intern group. In Cambridge, MA the interns went to a 3-story Boston bowling alley. The Austin, TX interns enjoyed a day of golf at Top Golf. Our Palo Alto, CA interns went on a guided stroll through the botanical gardens in San Francisco followed by an afternoon of exploring the California Academy of Sciences. It’s always bittersweet to celebrate our interns’ accomplishments, and then have to say goodbye until next year.

VMware wishes our interns a productive school year ahead. We’ll see you all on campus this fall!

— Shawn Sigona

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Growth is a Given: Ways the VMware Internship Program Inspires Professional Development

Xiyuan3Xiyuan Liu is in her fourth month of interning on the Network QE Team at VMware’s Beijing office. She is studying Telecommunications at Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, with a special interest in the Internet of Things.   

I started as a VMware intern four months ago full of expectation. As those months passed, my internship at VMware has brought reflection on my future career and professional development. I’ve learned many lessons and have grown in many aspects, including professional skills, communication abilities, and attitude towards work and life.

My manager once gave our team members a lesson about “being brave to ask questions after presentations”. This topic is not that common since it seemingly has nothing to do with our daily work. However, its meaning is quite important to me. I have experienced many times, as a speaker and as an audience member, when there are no questions asked during the Q&A portion of a presentation. My manager shared advice on how to ask questions, even when we are afraid our question may be too simple. He encouraged us to be the first to ask. I have to admit this is a shortcoming in Chinese culture, where people are generally conservative and shy. But the lesson made me think a lot, and I have gradually overcome my fear and made my voice heard after presentations.

Daily interactions and bi-weekly one-on-one meetings with my mentor help me improve my professional skills and take advantage of my short internship. She taught me to have a peaceful attitude towards problems encountered at work, reminding me that every problem has its own solution. This new belief makes me more confident and calm when I am puzzled by a problem.

She always tells me that “better” is what we should aspire to. She impresses me with the way she upholds this view and encourages me. This attitude has led me to develop my communication skills. For example, recently I wrote a report about the new features I developed, and she asked me to revise it several times. This editing included improving the format of the email, the pictures inserted, and the titles listed. She notices and cares about every detail. When I compared the final version to the original version of my report, I felt respect and gratitude to my mentor.Xiyuan2

VMware also offers many chances for interns to learn from successful colleagues in our field. The engineers of VMware are willing to share their career stories with interns, which moves me deeply. The common theme between all of them is the passion towards what they have done, what they are doing, and what they are going to do. It is easy to develop this passion when it is demonstrated all around you. Just as the card on my desk says – “PASSION NEVER RESTS”. I hope this three-word sentence will accompany me in my future study and work life.

I have developed a lot as a VMware intern. The reflection on my future career encourages me, and all the lessons learned prepare me to face more challenges.

— Xiyuan Liu

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VMware Internship Program: The Manager and Mentor Jackpot

Neha Kashyap

Neha Kashyap is an IT intern on the Business Engagement team. She is currently in her 7th week of interning at VMware headquarters in Palo Alto, California. A student at University of Texas at Dallas, Neha is studying Information Science and Management.

 

VMware has one of the best internship programs in the country, and your manager and mentor play a huge role in the overall success of your internship experience. The managers and mentors volunteer to be part of the program, so you know that they are dedicated to your development, support, and success. Everyone at VMware is super nice, but I was particularly lucky to work with my wonderful manager and mentors.

My manager Pat is very nice and approachable. He encourages me to ask questions and has always patiently answered all of them. He never fails to appreciate my work and has always made me feel like an important part of the team, even though I am an intern.

Neha Kashyap eating lunch with her team.

Greg is a wonderful mentor and great company to be with. Your mentor is your first point of contact regarding any issue at work. They are like your friend, except for the fact that they have answers to all of your questions (regarding work, as well as the best places to visit in the Bay Area). He has patiently walked me through the tools that I use for my internship and has been very helpful in many ways to make my project a success.

Neha Kashyap painting and wine tasting with her Women Connecting Women mentor.

In addition, I am so happy to be part of the VMware Women Connecting Women Program. Having a connection outside of your team or department, especially with a female perspective, is beneficial. I am fortunate to have a woman mentor that I can speak frankly with about my career path, life at VMware, Corporate America, personal matters or just discuss wine. (Yes, she is teaching me wine tasting over the summer.)

The transition from orientation to being part of VMware has been so smooth thanks to my manager, mentors and team. I even eat lunch with the team almost every single day; that says a lot about how much I enjoy working with this team.

The energy at VMware is contagious. Everyone is so passionate about his or her work and VMware’s EPIC2 values resonate through the entire community. The work we do during an internship is only a part of the story. The connections we make are the real deal. VMware’s mentorship program and the Women Connecting Women program provide the guidance to navigate any new experience at VMware, as well as ensuring that you build out your career path in the right direction. The VMware managers and mentors are successful at helping you reach your full potential. There are obviously benefits of doing an internship in Silicon Valley, but having the opportunity to do it at a company like VMware, surrounded with the right people, confirms that you have truly hit the jackpot.

– Neha Kashyap

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VMware Academic Program Announces 2015 Graduate Fellowships

Established in early 2000, the VMware Academic Program (VMAP) drives faculty-led research in a variety of areas such as Machine Learning, Security, and Big Data. To date, VMAP has supported research on university campuses across the United States, Canada, China and the United Kingdom. Empowering the student community to innovate and grow is an important element of VMAP’s mission. To support this commitment for future researchers and innovators, VMAP established the VMware Graduate Fellowship. Through this initiative, top students have later joined our employee community as VMware interns and have made a significant impact on our engineering community.VMware_Academic_Program_logo

On behalf of the VMAP team, I am proud to share that we have awarded the 2015-2016 Graduate Fellowships to three outstanding students, Tudor David from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Soudeh Ghorbani from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Seyed K. Fayaz from Carnegie Mellon University. The Graduate Fellowships initiative personally means a lot to me as it highlights VMware’s commitment to nurturing a new generation of researchers and technologists. These students bring new perspectives and ideas. In an industry such as high tech, creativity and the courage to pursue new directions is a crucial ingredient to moving engineering methods and technologies forward.

Join me in congratulating Tudor, Seyed and Soudeh, and hear what the VMware Graduate Fellowship means to these Game-Changers.

tudor-david-photo “Being awarded a VMware graduate fellowship represents both a validation of the research direction I am pursuing, as well as an opportunity allowing me to continue to work along this research path. “ – Tudor David, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

 

 

Ghorbani“Winning this recognition and award from VMware, the current leader in virtualization, empowers me to fully pursue my interests in virtualization and SDN research. It will also give me a great opportunity to jump-start my career. “ -Soudeh Ghorbani, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

 

 

seyed“These are exciting times for computer networks researchers owing to game changers such as Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV). This gift not only helps fund my research on new opportunities enabled by SDN and NFV, but also it allows me to collaborate with VMware’s pioneering practitioners in these areas.” -Seyed K. Fayez, Carnegie Mellon University

 

How One Student’s Curiosity Sparked an Adventure of Learning at VMware

Growing up, VMware Member of Technical Staff, Jobin George was always encouraged to tinker and explore. It was from his curiosity and discoveries that Jobin was inspired to make a life as an engineer. Read on to discover how one adventure at VMware sparked a life-long journey of learning and growth for Jobin.

 

Jobin_George_HeadshotName: Jobin George

Role: Member of Technical Staff and 2014 VMware Intern

Office Location: Bangalore, India

Years at VMware: Eight months

 

What did you want to be when you “grew up?” Why Engineering?

 As a kid I was always curious – from dismantling the new piano I got on my birthday to breaking open daddy’s crashed hard disk, I was always in pursuit of understanding the intricate details of how things are made. This curiosity helped me learn about my surroundings and gain knowledge from it. My father has been a role model for me, as he has always encouraged me to take up daunting tasks and look for moments of growth from those experiences. Carrying this attitude in life has made me pursue engineering as a way of a life.

What your campus interview experience like at your university?

The interview was pretty challenging. However, the interviewers provided a very cozy and comfortable environment for the process. There were questions on Data Structures, Algorithms and Operating Systems. They also tested my problem-solving skills and gave good feedback on what I should be doing to improve my technical skills while polishing my problem-solving skills. Overall, it was a good learning experience.

Why did you choose VMware?

The innovation culture, the people, and the fun-filled environment are the primary forces that led me to choose VMware. From the beginning of my internship to my new role as a Member of Technical Staff, this place has offered memorable experiences and moments that I’ll cherish for a long time. Birthdays here are celebrated in exactly the same fashion that they were in college – all the bumps, cake-smearing, parties, etc. This thriving community has helped me in the transition from college-life to work-life.Jobin_George_2

What was your internship experience and transition into a full-time role like?

The two months I spent as an intern here at VMware helped me connect with a lot of people and gain new technical skills. During those two months, I worked on integrating an Openstack project with VMware vSphere. This project helped me understand the difference between working on a project in college versus one in the industry. I realized how important it was to coordinate and collaborate while developing a project. The guidance I received from my manager and mentors was invaluable and this empowered me to successfully tackle the project. I understood that it was imperative for me to ask and not wait for help to arrive. The internship experience helped me learn a lot of life lessons.

What does the phrase New College Grad Bootcamp mean to you?

The VMware New College Graduate (NCG) Bootcamp was a very important training that I had the opportunity to participate in when I joined the company as a full-time employee. My project during the NCG Bootcamp was “VCOPS Management Pack for Docker deployed Containers.” This project required learning the basics of creating an adapter for vCOPS (now vRealize Operations), which would monitor the resource utilization of docker containers. Combined with my internship learnings, NCG Bootcamp allowed me to learn more about VMware’s technologies straight from the experts themselves (VMware employees), test my knowledge, and see first-hand the value of collaboration. I realized that connecting with people is extremely important not only in work-life, but all walks of life.

How does VMware foster continuous learning?

Apart from the skills employees learn throughout the workday, there are a variety of resources here to help individuals grow. From unlimited access to online books and educational courses, to technical hackathons and conferences, employees are encouraged to meet and collaborate with coworkers outside of their immediate teams while exploring the latest technologies.

Describe the people community at VMware.

The people at VMware were one of the most motivating factors for me to join the company full-time after my internship concluded. Everyone is extremely knowledgeable, yet humble; they’re helpful and approachable people all around. The mentors I had during my internship guided me and challenged me to think creatively so that I could carve out solutions to the problems that I faced while completing the internship project that I was assigned. My manager, one of the most respected individuals in the organization, was always a driving factor for me; his motivating qualities always pushed my teammates and me to stretch and achieve higher goals.

What advice would you give to people looking to explore a career at VMware?

If you are ready to push yourself beyond your limits, are enthusiastic and love pursuing new technological projects, VMware is the place for you.

 

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3 Valuable Lessons on Career and Personal Growth from a VMware Intern

VMware Field Marketing Intern and ESIC Madrid Business and Marketing student, Paula Gaudes Plo shares an honest look at her moments of growth at VMware Iberia, Madrid. Read on to see how the lessons she’s learned can empower other students looking to navigate their first career move after university.

 

10336604_669825616444900_786762363331115067_n“Do you know what we sell and what can you expect from this internship?”

These are the two questions that I remember the most from the interview process at VMware for the Field Marketing Intern position in Iberia. Looking for these answers motivates me every workday to operate in such a high speed company where reaction time must be almost instantaneous through an ongoing learning process.

Let’s be honest here…

What do we sell? I just knew that was something related to “virtualization” but didn’t have a clue of what it really meant. This has posed one of the most challenging things I have had to face during my first six months at VMware: a technology, portfolio of solutions and a sector that were completely unknown for me. I would be lying if I told you that I have full grasp on everything VMware has in the works, but I have been able to develop some criteria in order to discuss and propose actions and improvements as a contributing member of team. First lesson learned: attitude gains knowledge as it can be developed with the support and patience of a good mentor that sees the value in teaching you.

What could I expect from this internship? I remember responding to my manager and mentor that by the time my internship period was over, I hoped that I would have grown both as a person and as the professional that I strive to become.

Now that I have finished my first six-month internship at VMware and have been renewed for another six months, I can’t even begin to tell in words how valuable my experience working within the company has been. Working alongside an excellent and senior team in such a great atmosphere has proved to be a rewarding learning experience for me. How prepared I originally was to not fit in easily with my colleagues due to a gap in age and work experience. The reality of what actually happened could not have been further from my initial concerns. My coworkers made me feel like part of the team from day one. Second lesson learned: being an intern doesn’t mean that you can’t be valuable, and the more you consider yourself part of the company and its project, the more your colleagues start looking at you that way as well.

It is not quite easy to, as your career has just started, but developing your own way of working and finding out what fits for you is a process. My manager and mentor have helped guide me through this. Whether it was feeling backed up constantly at the beginning of my internship to progressively more oriented around how I can best manage my time and projects. As interns, I think that it is our right to feel guided by our managers and mentors and that we have our own specific tasks and responsibilities to learn from. It is up to the intern to respond to these tasks and have the eagerness to learn and grow, gaining more knowledge and professional experience.

I know my career, as other interns, has just started and that I have much to learn and experiment with, mistakes to make and achievements to conquer; however, now that I have the opportunity to be a part of VMware, I can say that I don’t consider any other company as perfect as VMware to continue my growth and to make myself knowledgeable with the skills the market is demanding. And here it is the third and most important lesson learned: the more you take time to enjoy the moments of learning and growth, the more epic the experience is going to be.

Thank you Iberia Team. Thank you VMware.

-Paula Gaudes Plo

 

 

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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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Mark Roukema, Software Engineering Student at the University of Waterloo Shares Why He Boomeranged Back for a Second Internship at VMware

Some of the best advice I’ve heard includes taking as many opportunities as you can to ask questions, explore, and to test out ideas to stretch yourself. If you are a current student, you may be at a point where you have flexibility to zero in on these moments of growth. Because of this, I decided to sit down with Mark Roukema, VMware intern and current student at the University of Waterloo to see how he takes this advice to heart as he returns to VMware for a second internship. Let’s see what Mark has to say about VMware’s people, making an impact from day one, and the defining moments that helped shape his trajectory.

 

Mark_Roukema_4The Software Engineering Program at the University of Waterloo provides a variety of growth & development opportunities for students, including six four-month internship placements with top employers across the country, including VMware. During my third year of college, I was lucky enough to receive the opportunity to intern at VMware headquarters in Palo Alto, California as a Software Engineer working on the Partner Engineering Storage team. It was an incredible experience that I will never forget. It’s because of this experience that I decided to join VMware again for a second four-month placement working on the same team. Now several months into my second internship, I thought it would be a great opportunity to share my thoughts on why I came back.

Here are four key reasons I decided to intern at VMware:

1. People and Culture

From day one it was clear that VMware treats its interns differently than most employers that I’m familiar with. I spent my first day getting acquainted with VMware’s culture by touring the newly expanded, beautiful campus in Palo Alto and meeting my new coworkers. To my surprise, most of the other people in the orientation were not fellow interns, but full-time new hires. Attending orientation was my first clue that I was in for a game-changing experience.  I felt like an equal contributing member of the employee community, just like any other talented employee. This was a key factor in my decision to return to VMware.Mark_Roukema_5

2. Making an Impact on Real World Challenges

The largest difference between a VMware internship and internships at other companies is that the quality of work we are given. The work that VMware interns are involved with is of great interest to each team and makes a direct impact on the business. For the first time at an internship I got the sense that my work was actually contributing to the team and unless I put my full effort into it I would let the group down. What I do matters and that means a lot to me.

During my first internship at VMware, I was directly involved in putting together a software plugin that uses technologies that I had never heard of or worked on before. If you had asked me about the problem that the plugin addressed at the start of my internship, I would have probably said that its resolution was not feasible or that I couldn’t do it. However, with the support and encouragement of my team, I was able to learn new skills and familiarize myself with new technologies, which helped me make an impact on the project. I pushed beyond the artificial limits I had set for myself and grew, which was very rewarding. My work at VMware proved to not only be challenging, but one of the best hands on learning experiences that I’ve gotten out of an internship.

3. Intern Life, Fun and Balance

Of course my internship was not all work. There was plenty of fun to be had both at work and at home, where over 100 other VMware interns from all across the world were living. The VMware University Relations Program provided interns with a variety of events to get to know each other and explore all that California has to offer. From social events like our LAN party on VMware’s campus, day trips to places like Angel Island, volunteer opportunities within the local community and possibly the most important factor: reasonable working hours. No one ever asked or expected me to work more than a normal 40-hour work week. This left plenty of time to hang out with fellow interns and explore. I think work life balance is important because for most of us, the things that matter and are important to us and define who we are occur outside the office. It only makes sense that these things get as much of our attention as we can afford to give them.Mark_Roukema_3

4. Anticipation for What’s Next

When my first internship at VMware came to an end I came to appreciate how great of an opportunity I had come across. I was leaving with more knowledge and experience than I had ever imagined that I would get out of an internship. During my last week I learned that if I wanted to, I could walk away with one more thing, an offer to come back and intern for another four months.

For me this was an easy decision. VMware is by far the best internship experience that I’ve had to date. I know that I have a lot to learn and takeaway from my return, so I’m looking forward to what’s next. I’ve been given the opportunity to continue my work from the previous term and am excited to see it through the next phase of its lifespan.

Thank you VMware for this incredible opportunity to work with passionate people who are driven to challenge the status quo all while having fun and building meaningful relationships. I’m looking forward to the remainder of my second internship.

 

About Mark: Mark is a fourth year student pursuing a Bachelor of Software Engineering at the University of Waterloo. He is currently continuing his work with networked storage technology on the Ecosystem Research and Development team at VMware.

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