At VMware, our personal development program “Career Journey” empowers our people to be in control of their own professional growth and development. Through diverse learning opportunities and experiences, our people can choose how they amplify their career in VMware. Take3s empower VMware people to dedicate three months to a project outside of their day-to-day role. This is an opportunity for professional, technical, and leadership development that not only contributes to their growth but also encourages a culture of co-innovation across VMware.
Galina Kostova worked as a Quality Automation Engineer for nine years at VMware when she heard from colleagues about an open Take 3 position for a Product Manager.
“This is a rare opportunity because it allows you to apply for a position for which you might lack qualifications, but you have a keen interest. For example, I applied for a Product Manager while working as a Quality Engineer in the Engineering Services team. Next thing I know, they threw me in the deep — I was talking to customers, and I was prioritizing the features to be included in the next release,” says Galina.
How does the Take 3 program work?
A manager can open a Take 3 position with particular requirements to get extra help for their team without opening a full-time job position. Any VMware employee with five years or more with the company can apply. Motivation varies from looking to broaden one’s horizons to testing a different career to simply get a refresh and come back to your old job with new energy.
“It is beneficial for both sides. Soon after joining, the team was relieved with several responsibilities, such as: completely moving the product management responsibilities for one of the products owned by this team in VMware Cloud Management business unit, customer conversations and support from a product management perspective for this product, also handling release notes preparation – a responsibility that has been moved from documentation team to product management team at that time, offloading the team from some areas from another product in the same business unit. On the other hand, I was given an opportunity to see the bigger picture, to gain a deeper understanding about the business and get inspired in the process,” ads Galina.
It’s important to note that Galina had already experience with the product for which she was hired as a Product Manager, which helped her significantly. Still, she had to face the challenges related to the Product Manager role – prioritizing features in a long list of requirements, communicate every change in the plans and timeline with the customers that also have their timelines, find different solutions for the customer use cases, including other products in the same business unit and VMware.
What happened next?
Galina was offered a full-time position as a Product Manager in the team. Now five years later she’s Product Line Manager responsible for a line of products in the business unit, and she’s moving to a different line of products in the same business unit.
“The diversity of opportunities you have within VMware is extraordinary. The Take 3 program helped me discover my capabilities. It was a big milestone in my career. It’s also important to feel that you are supported in this process by your current manager, which is how I felt because this principle is truly part of the company culture,” says Galina.