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Stories of Who We Are – Eduardo Guillen

Every person has a unique story to tell. Stories about what motivates us and what inspires us are reflections of who we are. Stories of Who We Are takes a closer look at the people in the VMware community by featuring portraits and compelling narratives from the perspectives of our diverse employees from all across the globe.

Eduardo Guillen

Senior Manager Internal Audit

Heredia, Costa Rica

“I was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2009, and later found out that my liver and peritoneal nodes were also affected. After my diagnosis, I made a decision I would not die from cancer. It was a very positive mindset to have, but also a very egocentric and arrogant one. You can’t decide these things on your own, and you can’t fight alone. A year earlier I saw how my mother overcame her own cancer, so she was my role model helping me to overcome mine. Also, my girlfriend at the time (now my wife) decided to support me unconditionally. I immediately started to experience the terrible secondary effects of the treatment, a very strong chemotherapy, and after another 8 months of treatment, I received notice that the tumor in my liver was still there and I had to get surgery. The day I went in, they told me they didn’t need to perform the surgery because the tumor had disappeared. It was one of the happiest days of my life.

I had only one dream in my life and that was to be a dad. Unfortunately, because of the chemo treatment I became sterile however I never lost faith in achieving that dream. I was sure I would be a dad in one way or another, and today I have a son of two years, the second miracle of my life. If there is any message to share it is that winners never give up.

At work, I see myself as a business partner who helps teams to achieve their goals. I couldn’t work for a company that isn’t compatible with my values and principles, and VMware is completely compatible with me. When my son grows up and asks dad, what do you do? I’ll say what I do every day is create better lives for people.”

 

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Great Place to Work and Fortune Name VMware One of the Best Workplaces for Giving Back

At VMware, we  recognize that we are all interconnected; our culture of service guides us in all that we do – from transforming technology, to empowering our customers, to supporting our local communities. VMware people are passionate about building a thriving community that upholds our EPIC2 (Execution, Passion, Integrity, Customer, and Community) values.

It’s because of our people that VMware has been named number 14 on the 2018 Best Workplaces for Giving Back by Great Place to Work and Fortune . These Best Workplaces go above and beyond to develop endeavors in giving back that ensure all team members feel they’re making a difference in the world.

The belief that that everyone has something unique to contribute and can make a difference is at the core of Citizen Philanthropy. As such, employee choice in where and how people give is woven into all of our global programs. Through surveys, such as Great Place to Work, VMware people share direct feedback on VMware’s culture of service; 93%  of VMware people agree that they feel good about the ways we contribute to the community. We continually see this reflected in People Magazine’s 50 Companies that Care 2017, Fortune’s 2017 Best Workplaces for Giving Back and now 2018’s recognition.

It’s important to us that VMware people feel empowered to take action and make a difference. VMware people like, Stephanie, VMware Corporate Counsel in Texas, shared how service is “more than learning, it’s living. You come alive through service. You become worthwhile through service. You earn your air.”

And Zach, VMware Staff Engineer in California reflected on his pro bono Service Learning experience: “Working side-by-side with a group of people helps you see things from their perspective, and understanding another person’s perspective is perhaps the most important step towards really learning and understanding; that context can transform information into knowledge.”

This culture of service is the foundation of VMware’s Citizen Philanthropy approach to giving. We are honored by this recognition from VMware people who are catalysts for change in our global community.

 

Visit the VMware Foundation page to learn more about how we are making a difference in our global community.

Visit the VMware Careers Site to learn more about careers and life at VMware.

Stories of Who We Are – Mariana Ramirez

Every person has a unique story to tell. Stories about what motivates us and what inspires us are reflections of who we are. Stories of Who We Are takes a closer look at the people in the VMware community by featuring portraits and compelling narratives from the perspectives of our diverse employees from all across the globe.

Mariana Ramirez

Senior Manager Partner Support

Heredia, Costa Rica

“I have always been very passionate about giving back to the community, so when I started at VMware it was like Disneyland to me because they promote giving back so well. I took advantage of how VMware programs offer the opportunity to give back to the community while still growing as a professional. So, I attended Good Gigs, a global program in which I helped implement education technology in a township in South Africa. There I led the team that developed the training programs for the implementation of the technology. The team was a group of people I didn’t know, of all different cultures, but we were able to become connected as humans not as co-workers or people of different cultures. We were united by the common thought: “how can we help technology impact education.

I thought I was going there to make a change, but honestly, I didn’t realize how much that experience would change me forever. That experience made me the leader that I am today at work. It gave me a “growth mindset,” which means I learn from my mistakes rather than simply feeling down about them. If I were to give advice to anyone in the professional world, it would be not to underestimate the opportunities you have to keep developing and challenging yourself; never stop learning.

I think to myself sometimes: what would the Mariana starting at VMware in 2014 say about the Mariana today. I would have never guessed how much development and life experience I would have gained from my few years at VMware.”

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Stories of Who We Are – Kirsty Britten

Every person has a unique story to tell. Stories about what motivates us and what inspires us are reflections of who we are. Stories of Who We Are takes a closer look at the people in the VMware community by featuring portraits and compelling narratives from the perspectives of our diverse employees from all across the globe.

Kristen Britten

Communications Intern

Staines, United Kingdom

“Communications is the glue of any business. We hold every function together and make sure visibility is maintained across the board. Communications is not just a professional role for me, it is also about developing myself personally and experiencing real life scenarios where I have to learn to read people. I am taught this skill at university as I study psychology, but I believe you can never truly excel at communications until you’re out there experiencing it firsthand.

Luckily for me, that sort of job suits me, as I am a very passionate and dedicated person. My passions drive me to give 110%, in everything I do. For example, I am especially passionate about equality. I started playing a heavily male-dominated sport whilst at university – rugby. Having wanted to play since I was 6, my younger self was always told things like ‘you’re too feminine to play rugby’ or as I got older it was ‘there’s no way YOU can play rugby’. This has taught me a lot about inequality within sport, which has only driven my passion for equality both professionally and personally. As a result of this, I have taken the initiative of beginning to get involved in working on our Power of Difference communications, and I can’t wait to become as involved as I can with it. The pursuit of gender equality only makes me play harder and work harder!”

 

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VMware Named Top 100 Global Technology Leader and Best Workplace in Technology 2018

Last week, VMware was recognized on the 2018 Thomson Reuters list of Top 100 Global Technology Leaders, which profiled the most operationally sound and financially successful technology organizations in the world. Rounding off a great week, VMware was also honored as a best tech company to work for in the U.S. by Great Place To Work and Fortune on their 2018 Best Workplaces in Technology list. VMware moved up two spots from last year’s ranking of 11 to number 9 on this years list.

VMware as a workplace offers our employees a chance to create something new and better every day by staying focused on building technology that impacts our future and that of generations to come. Being recognized on both of  these lists attests to our thriving culture of innovation, and our ability to deliver consistent leadership and meaningful ways for our employees to experience innovation in the workplace.

Specific to the 2018 Best Workplaces in Technology ranking, winning companies like VMware scored 15 percent higher than non-winners on measures of a culture of innovation.Thomson Reuters used a 28-point data-driven algorithm, which included consideration of factors such as YOY R&D investment to identify the inaugural list of Top 100 Global Technology leaders.

Great Place To Work and Fortune used data from 79,000 employee surveys from tech companies across the U.S. to compile their ranking. That means, our people named us a 2018 Best Workplace in Technology – Making this achievement more sweet!

To learn more about why VMware is one of the best places to work in Technology and how you can be a part of our growing workplace community, visit our careers site today at http://careers.vmware.com.

Stories of Who We Are – Cali Chin

Every person has a unique story to tell. Stories about what motivates us and what inspires us are reflections of who we are. Stories of Who We Are takes a closer look at the people in the VMware community by featuring portraits and compelling narratives from the perspectives of our diverse employees from all across the globe.

Cali Chin

HR Management Partner

Austin, Texas

“My wife and I always wanted to have children and we knew that we would have to find a non-traditional way. We made sure to have all of the necessary information by going to a local fertility specialist here in Austin. We decided to do In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). Now, we have a two-and-a-half-year-old and a ten-month-old. Our journey has opened doors in communicating and sharing with people about IVF and other family planning options. Someone who may not be gay may think to themselves “I didn’t realize what you had to do to have kids.” We found a way to make the dream a reality for our family—but with that, I feel I have a responsibility to educate people about it and I am very open about explaining my experience. When you talk about your experience with family planning, especially with IVF, you learn that there are so many others that struggle. My supportive manager and team truly allowed me to bring my authentic self and share my personal life with my work family.”

 

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VMware Sales Academy 2017 Spotlight Series – Leon de Jager

 

 

Name: Leon de Jager

Role: Inside Sales Associate

VMware Office Location: Cork

1. What inspired you to pursue a career in Technical Sales?

From a young age, I had the intrinsic drive to try and sell things. I’m talking about going house-to-house selling grapes from my garden or selling Pokémon cards when the Pokémon craze hit the schools. This naturally developed over time to a point where I wanted to make more complex sales, where you sit down with a customer and have a real discussion to define their needs and proceed from there.

I chose to work at VMware for to three main reasons:  1) I have the opportunity to master how to solution-sell, 2) VMware operates in the fast-changing industry that offers huge opportunities to grow, and 3) VMware is a market leader in the Information Technology industry.

  1. Share a general overview of the structure of the VMware Sales Academy training program. 

The VMware Sales Academy is a six-month training program hosted at VMware offices around the globe. The VMware Sales Academy European hub is at VMware’s office in Cork, Ireland.  During the first two months of the program, you will get acclimated to Cork and get to know your co-workers. There will be teambuilding events and dinners in abundance, which help create a strong bond between all the new graduates participating in the program. You will also start to build a holistic understanding of the products and services that VMware has to offer, as well as how to communicate with VMware customers.

After the first two months in the program, you will start to have your first customer contact. In your role of Inside Sales Associate (ISA), you will have the opportunity to put the knowledge and training that you have gained over the previous two months into practice. The main aim is to get in conversations with customer leads to identify if VMware can offer any value to their organization. In the following four months, you will develop a sound skillset through a combination of training and practical experience building.

Six months into the program, you get assigned a territory and obtain the role of Inside Territory Executive. Over the next two years, you will start working towards a Field role in the country that you represent.

  1. What has been your biggest takeaway from participating in VMware Sales Academy?Has ithelped kick-start your career post university? If so, please explain how. 

The VMware Sales Academy has been extremely valuable in my personal and professional development. VMware does not hold back on offering you the right tools to become successful in your role. I have been privileged to sit together and talk with top executives, I have received professional Sales coaching, and I have had the opportunity to travel on international networking trips to highlight a few examples of these offerings. These benefits and opportunities have been invaluable.  If I must name one main takeaway from all these experiences, it is to keep asking questions until you truly understand the business of your client.

  1. Share a brief guideline of what to expect in the first six months in VMware.

In the first six months at VMware, expect to receive a lot of new information and to absorb a lot of new experiences. You will quickly build a network of friends and colleges that will make you feel comfortable. Aside from that, you can expect a mentor with whom you can ask a variety of questions. The work-life balance here is great, but do expect to work hard. The more effort you put into your work, the more it will pay off for you.

  1. How has coming to work at VMware’s Cork, Ireland office helped prepare you for your role once you move back to the Netherlands? Please share some of the benefits of living in Cork, Ireland.

Before moving to Cork, I did not really know what to expect of the city. For me, the major reason to move to Cork was because of the huge investment VMware was making in my career. I have not regretted moving to Cork for a moment. Cork is a great place to live. The people here all are very open and friendly, and there is a vibrant nightlife that has the most amazing live bands. Cork is well renowned for its food, and as a foodie, I can vouch for this. Furthermore, due to the university and multinationals located here, the city is very alive and full of young people. All of this makes me feel welcome and at home, and that is why I believe living in Cork, Ireland is helping prepare me for living and working in the Netherlands upon my completion of the VMware Sales Academy program.

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VMware Employees Make EPIC2 Culture Possible

Every element of VMware’s great workplace culture is because of our people – 22,000+ dynamic and diverse individuals who choose to join us each day on our journey to engineer software that gives you the freedom to create your own future. As the stewards of our culture and EPIC2 values, our people have unlimited possibilities to shape the trajectory of our business, including how we attract and welcome new employees.

We know that VMware’s continued success is impossible without our people and because of this we want to share our immense gratitude for this community of change agents. By fostering a culture where people are inspired and empowered to share their unique perspectives on working at VMware, our employee community has helped recognize VMware on several impressive workplace award lists today and over the past few weeks.

These workplace awards are a public acknowledgement of our diverse, inclusive and EPIC2 culture. You can see that our people are at the center of it all and we are thankful that they are choosing to share their thoughts about working at VMware.

To learn more about why VMware is one of the best places to work and how you can be a part of our growing workplace community, visit our careers site today at http://careers.vmware.com.

VMware Sales Academy 2017 Spotlight Series – Remi Schipperus

Name: Remi Schipperus

Role: Systems Engineer

VMware Office Location: Cork

 

What inspired you to pursue a career in SE

I’ve always been interested in technology and helping people with technical problems. After working part-time in sales and finishing my Electrical Engineering Degree, I wanted to combine both my technical knowledge and the sales experience. Making the decision to enter the SE Sales Academy was easy because it combines both at a company that is on the edge of technology.

Share a general overview of the structure of the VMware Sales Academy training program. 

The program contains a good structure to make sure you know VMware’s products. With enough fun activities and teambuilding, you also really get to know the team you are working with. With Hand-on-Labs you are able to play with the software and experiment with it. Besides getting to know the products, the Academy also trains you in sales and social skills, which benefits the rest of your professional career, as well as your personal life.

What has been your biggest takeaway from participating in the training program? Has it helped kick start your career post university? If so, please explain how. 

The biggest takeaway from the program is really feeling comfortable speaking to customers and help them to see the value of the product. Doing whiteboards of the products and practicing them in front of the management, really helps you feeling confident speaking to future customers. The academy really kick starts your job at VMware.

A brief guideline of what to expect in the first 6 months in VMware.

The first 10 weeks are packed with hands-on-labs and online training to get the foundation of VMware’s products. It’s a great opportunity to get comfortable with the products. After this foundation, you will be guided into conversations with customers where you will be able to learn from your mentors. The program really enables you to grow into the role and be ready to go into the field.

How has coming to work at VMware’s Cork, Ireland office helped prepare you for your role once you move back to(The Netherlands)? Please share some of the benefits of living in Cork, Ireland with the students considering participating in the VMware Sales Academy. 

The Cork Office is filled with lots of great talent to learn from. Because there a so many different colleagues and departments like Service and Sales, you can connect with the people which are going to be your backbone during the role. During this academy, you will be with many other participants on the program, which enables you to grow as a team and as a VMware employee. Besides from the great campus, Ireland also has a great culture to live. People are very kind and helpfully, which makes it a great country to live in.

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VMware Sales Academy 2017 Spotlight Series – Phillip Zissimou

Name: Phillip Zissimou

Role: Associate Technical Consultant (PSO NEMEA)

VMware Office Location: Staines London

What inspired you to pursue a career in PSO?

One of the main reasons I chose to pursue a career within the VMware Professional Services Organization, is due to the fact that the PSO delivery team have the opportunity to directly “touch” and deploy the exciting, innovative software products we have here at VMware. I felt that a role within the PSO delivery team would allow me to remain at the forefront of exciting SDDC and Cloud Computing technology advancements, while collaborating with a diverse group of customers to solve a range of real-world issues. The exciting projects that are undertaken by the Professional Services Organization guarantee a dynamic, high-energy and often high-pressure work environment, which I believed would be key to rapidly developing my technical skillset. However, I am also a fairly outgoing person and I enjoy communicating with customers and this is what really inspired me to pursue a customer-facing role within PSO, solving challenging real-world problem

Share with us a general overview of the structure of the VMware Sales Academy training program.

The VMware Sales Academy is a structured training program that takes place across multiple VMware sites around the world, to provide newly hired graduates with an understanding of the company and the services that we offer to our customers. The EMEA VSA is based at the VMware office in Cork, Ireland and this year the academy supported 20 graduates who were preparing for sales, pre-sales and PSO roles. The program is made up of 2 training paths (sales & technical), however both paths cross throughout the program allowing technical graduates to acquire some sales-based training and vice-versa.

The VMware Sales Academy program for the PSO role had a total duration of 10 weeks, which is significantly shorter than the program for both the sales and pre-sales roles (which is approximately 6 months). Towards the start of the program, all graduates shared the same path where we were given an introduction to VMware and the products/services that we provide to our customers. In order for this knowledge to resonate, we were asked to perform whiteboard presentations to demonstrate our understanding of each software product. Not only did these activities allow me to develop a deeper understanding of the VMware product family, the whiteboards also allowed me to build upon my confidence, presentation skills and overall professionalism. As part of the structured training program, we also had several days that were specifically tailored to enhance a range of our soft-skills and basic sales knowledge. This education was provided by an external trainer and some of these sessions were focused around improving: presentation skills, interpersonal skills and negotiation skills.

Several weeks into the program the training paths were divided, allowing the technical track to dive deeper into the technology and the sales track to enhance their marketing skills and gain some hands-on experience with customers. Being part of the technical track, I was able to play around with the software through lab environments, and then later partake in “Install Configure Manage” courses for each of the major products. These week-long courses provided me with a bottom-up overview for each of the technologies, allowing me to build upon the knowledge that I learnt through the high-level whiteboard presentations. Another major part of the VMware sales academy includes all of the great activities, team-building exercises and networking opportunities that you get to participate in along the way – oh and the free “swag” of course.

The VMware Sales Academy (VSA)  this year not only accommodated Sales and SE’s but PSO as well, so the VSA training program had to be diverse to suit each role. PSO graduates not only received technical training but also had the opportunity to benefit from the Sales training program to develop their sales skills and vice versa. The program also focuses on developing our interpersonal skills, public speaking and presentation skills, which prepares fresh graduates to get in the work life easier. Most importantly the program’s structure made sure we had fun each step along the way from team building activities to a lot of networking events where you get to meet senior leadership team across organizational units and geographies within the company.

What has been your biggest takeaway from participating in the training program? Has it helped kick start your career post university? If so, please explain how. 

Throughout my time at the VMware Sales Academy, I have had the opportunity to build-up and develop a foundation level knowledge of the core products that VMware offer, at my own pace and with the freedom to ask as many questions as I can think of along the way. This is something that would have been very difficult to achieve had the training occurred at my home territory, where my manager/mentor would have had limited availability. However, above all else, the VMware Sales Academy program has allowed me to develop my self-confidence and competence, while teaching me that anything is possible at VMware – providing you put the work in. I feel that the program has truly motivated me and as a result I am excited to get back to my home territory in Staines, London to continue my training and eventually start solving some interesting and challenging customer issues.

What should VSA 2018 graduates expect from the program in their first 6 months in VMware?

At the time of writing this blog, I have been part of VMware for around 2 months. Before joining the Sales Academy in July earlier this year I had no idea what to expect. However, in all honesty I can say that my time here has been incredible.

I found that there was a lot to learn during my first few weeks in Cork and some of the content was complex. However, to anyone thinking of joining the VSA I would say that the academy is a relaxed and nurturing environment and it is important to remember that everyone is starting at more or less the same level. Also, being situated at one of VMware’s largest sites globally comes with several huge benefits. During my time at the Cork site I had the opportunity to meet many interesting, unique people and even do some gardening with the EMEA leadership team, as part of VMware’s Service Learning program.

In terms of what to expect for the PSO consultant track after the 10 weeks, I will be returning to my home office in Staines to continue training that is more tailored towards my role as a consultant. This will involve working through another structured 10 week training program and also shadowing various projects in order to gain some real-world customer experience. I was surprised how fast my 10 weeks at the VSA passed and this is most likely down to the amazing people I met along the way who made my time in Ireland so fun and enjoyable. That being said, I am definitely excited to get back to my home office in Staines, London and continue my journey at VMware.

How has coming to work at VMware’s Cork, Ireland office helped prepare you for your role once you move back to London?

Before joining the VMware Sales Academy here in Cork, I was a little unsure of what to expect. I had never visited Ireland before, nor had I been away from home for so long. However, after spending 10 incredible weeks here I am both excited and a little sad to be leaving. While I am extremely anxious to get back to my home office in Staines, London to continue my training and begin shadowing, I am going to miss all of the unique and amazing people I met during my time at VSA. I found it extremely comforting to learn in such a relaxed and nurturing environment, where everyone is willing to help each other grow.

Not only did I gain an understanding of the industry that VMware operates in, but my time in Cork allowed me to network and meet people from the different business units within the organization. This has given me an insight as to how projects are undertaken at VMware, and how a PSO consultant like myself collaborate with various teams to deploy customer solutions. Being part of a community of graduates also meant that we had a lot of fun during our time in Ireland. As well as socializing and taking part in many fun team-building events, we spent several weekends exploring some amazing places like Killarney National Park and the Cliffs of Moher.

Search the latest job opportunities for New Grads at VMware

Visit the VMware Careers Site to learn more about the VMware University Talent Program

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