VMware employees contribute their best work to imagine, define, and deliver the future of IT through transformative products and solutions that enable customer agility, efficiency, security, and fault tolerance in the Cloud era. And this is only possible through the dedicated, dynamic and inspiring people that make up our company. Take a look at Eva’s story on how she gives back and grows herself and her team.
Name: Eva Klaudinyova
Job title: Sr. Manager, Globalization Operations
Years at VMware: 5 years, 2 months
Office location: Palo Alto, California
1. In three words or phrases, how would you describe your experience at VMware thus far?
It’s been a never-ending whirlwind of challenges, opportunities, changes and growth.
It has been challenging – change is constant, the work never ends, you solve one problem only to be faced with another. However, it has also been very rewarding – I have grown a lot and very fast during my time at VMware, and not only professionally. And it has been very interesting – I really like learning and there are many opportunities to do that at VMware, I have met people from all over the world and visited our offices on three different continents, and represented VMware at many international conferences.
2. What ignites your passion to do your best work every day at VMware?
On one hand, it is the fact that I really like what I do and I very much enjoy having a global role. I manage an international team in three different geographies and almost every day I get to work with people all around the world. It is very rewarding to know that my work, and the work of my team, helps so many people and teams in so many other countries to be successful, regardless whether they are VMware employees, partners or customers. On the other hand, it is the ever-changing nature of what we do. It can be very tiring at times, but it allows me to learn new skills and grow not only professionally but also personally.
3. Do you have a favorite group, hobby or interest that you are active in at VMware?
It’s not really official, but for a couple of years I have been meeting with a small group of other VMware employees for lunch, as part of our own VMware “German club.” Each one of us comes from a different country but we all happen to speak German. We discuss, in German, various topics, ranging from different international cuisines, our favorite books, education systems in the United States and around the world, holidays in our respective countries, current events, etc. and sometimes just exchange work gossip and have a German equivalent of a “water-cooler conversation.” It is one of the great informal ways how I, as “a marketing person”, can stay in touch with my colleagues from the R&D team.
4. Among other values, Giving Back More Than We Take is a core part of VMware culture. How has this value come to life for you at VMware?
The concept of 40 hours of paid service learning time to help others has always been one of the major attractions of working for VMware. Two years ago, I used that time to go to Kenya – I travelled on an international volunteer trip with Me to We, a Canadian social enterprise, and spent some time in rural Kenya volunteering to help build a school with Free the Children, an international charity and educational partner. The experience was life-changing and I felt I got much more from that trip than I gave. This particular trip and associated fundraising program called Imagine Educating Everyone was started by three enthusiasts at NetApp. Africa is where I saw firsthand how important it is for us to take time and lend a helping hand to those that need it. It also made me appreciate the life and opportunities I have here in Silicon Valley so much more and I am really glad that I could share my time and energy and help a community in the developing world.
Last year, I stayed closer to home, and used my service time to mentor an emerging leader from Morocco through the TechWomen program, an initiative by the U.S. Department of State, based on “smart power diplomacy,” utilizing technology and innovation to create opportunities for greater understanding between nations. TechWomen brings emerging women leaders in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) from the Middle East and Africa together with their counterparts in the United States for a professional mentorship and exchange program. TechWomen supports the next generation of women leaders in STEM fields by providing them access and opportunity to advance their careers and pursue their dreams by connecting them to mentors in Silicon Valley, as well as providing access to many educational and networking opportunities.
Finish this statement: Giving Back Together means… setting aside your own needs and giving your own time and energy to improve the life of those who are in need of your help.
5. Share the biggest lesson or takeaway from your Service Learning experience with TechWomen. Is it what you expected?
The TechWomen cause is an initiative that’s very close to my heart, and not only because it is global and has the international aspect. I am a strong advocate for women trying to compete in the traditionally male-dominated tech world and I am a co-founder of a global professional organization called Women in Localization. This organization has partnered a couple of times with TechWomen, and I also served as a TechWomen mentor. Last year I met 41 emerging women leaders from 8 countries in the Middle East and North Africa. There were also about 80 mentors assigned to the emerging leaders and even though the mentors were all based in Silicon Valley, not all of them were Americans – there were also Europeans, Africans, Middle Easterners, South Americans and Asians.
Yet despite the fact that we were all coming from different cultures, had different skin colors, spoke different languages, had different beliefs, ate different food and even dressed differently, we set aside all our differences and united around a few basic ideas – we wanted to teach and learn, we wanted to make a difference, we wanted to grow, and we wanted to use what we learned to help others. It was a powerful experience, and even though my dream is quite idealistic (and possibly even somewhat naïve), I really wish that politicians could realize that if people unite around a common cause, they can make it work among themselves. I wish those in power would try much harder to find ways to unite people and whole nations around a common cause. Cooperating on elimination of poverty, intolerance and prejudice is, I believe, one of the best ways to bring nations together in a spirit of togetherness and cooperation.
6. What can people do if they’re interested in using their skills to give back?
My experience has shown that all it takes is to make a start somewhere, and then opportunities to help others will start popping up by themselves. It’s like the Laws of Attraction, “like attracts like.” You can help within your own community, through a local school, church, or volunteer organization. You can join a professional organization that’s focused on your area of interest and volunteer there. You can choose a cause that’s close to your heart – helping the poor and homeless, helping children in schools or through tutoring, fighting against diseases, helping developing countries, etc. There is an endless list of worthy causes and each one of them needs more support. There are many opportunities out there; you just need to spend time to do a little research to find a cause that’s close to your heart. Or ask your friends and colleagues, and maybe you can join them in their efforts to better the world. If you’re interested in any of the causes I’ve mentioned above, you can find more information about them by clicking on the provided hyperlinks.
7. What advice would you give to someone looking to pursue a career at VMware?
VMware is a company that’s a leader in its field; it is fast growing and successful. It is a company that requires a lot of dedication, energy, hard work and flexibility. It is a company for people who are self-starters, who can handle changes and challenges with aplomb, who want to grow and contribute, and who are good team players. In return, it offers many opportunities for growth and employee perks. It is not the right place for people who want a stable, routine, process-driven or manager-driven nine-to-five job.
8. How do you plan to grow and develop yourself professionally in the New Year?
In my 5+ years at VMware, my team has grown from one geography and 4 people to three geographies and over 20 people. For the past year and a half, I have been focusing on improving my leadership and communication skills, not only through the courses offered internally at VMware, but also attending external webinars, workshops and conferences. I would like to continue in this trend, and keep developing my leadership skills.
I am also very active in my chosen industry (localization and globalization), as a co-founder and Executive Board member of a professional organization and a speaker at many industry conferences. I plan to continue acquiring more knowledge in my professional area of interest. I have also started participating in several cross-departmental initiatives that are geared towards better cooperation and improved tools and processes between various organizations at VMware. I am hoping to learn a lot through these initiatives, and contribute my knowledge and expertise towards better cooperation and increased efficiency at VMware.
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