At VMware, interns and co-ops work alongside industry thought leaders to pave the way for Information Technology. Connect with Marketing Co-op for the Office of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and Northeastern University student, Madison Soave, and hear how her passion for numbers and engaging with others is fueled at VMware.
Role: Office of the Chief Marketing Officer, Co-Op
Office Location: VMware Headquarters – Palo Alto, California
University: Northeastern University
Pursuing a Passion for Marketing and Finance
I’ve always been a big fan of numbers and spreadsheets but never wanted to lose the social engagement often associated with Finance or Accounting jobs. My passion for creativity and to create meaningful connections with people compelled me to pursue a career in Marketing. At first I thought these opposing interests would force me to choose a career path early in my college education. However through Northeastern’s co-op program, that has not been the case.
Through this program, I have learned that to have a strong Marketing department you need to understand the metrics and financials behind the operations. Understanding the analytics behind every marketing decision allows you to forecast and re-evaluate the content you share, the audience you target, the platforms you engage with and the direction of your messages or products. Understanding the financials behind Marketing led me to my first co-op in financial services at MasterCard, and from there, to my current marketing co-op with VMware’s Office of the CMO.
A Day in the Life at VMware
Working in the Office of the CMO brings about new challenges and opportunities to learn and grow everyday. No one-day is the same. One main benefit of working in the Office of the CMO is great executive exposure. From attending Company-wide All Hands and Quarterly Business Review meetings, to hosting Socialcast Town Halls (virtual town hall meetings with VMware employees across the globe), to working on an Executive Dashboard – my exposure and interactions with upper executives has allowed me to build a strong and expansive network.
Reporting directly to the Chief of Staff, I have been entrusted with a great responsibility and am often looped into many high level meetings. My day-to-day is never routine, but instead consists of managing multiple projects at once. My current projects include building an executive scorecard to reach C-level executives, planning a department wide service learning day, creating a Global Marketing onboarding guide on our internal platform, and assisting in 2016 Planning. Definitely never a dull moment, which is how I like my days to be.
One of my favorite memories is VMworld. During the conference, I assisted the VMware Briefing Center in conducting customer meetings. Seeing the excitement from all the VMware enthusiasts fuels such an energy inside you. Knowing and seeing exactly who the end user of your product is puts meaning behind all of the hard work the Marketing department does.
To wrap VMworld up, the party at AT&T Park was definitely a highlight. With Neon Trees and Alabama Shakes, VMware knows how to host an evening full of entertainment. When the lead of Neon Trees performed, he mentioned that all of the people in the crowd are very lucky to have found a company that looks after them and celebrates their achievements. This is something I am proud to be a part of.
Embracing Moments of Growth
Given the responsibility of planning a service learning day for the Marketing department was one of my most rewarding, yet challenging moments of growth at VMware. I was tasked with the logistics of finding the right non-profit organizations to engage with, solidifying a date, organizing shift times with 85+ VMware colleagues, creating an easy platform to have employees sign up through, and customizing a menu and grocery-shopping list for a food kitchen organization.
I quickly learned that with an event this size and scope, not everything will go as planned. For example, organizations tried to change their location and volunteer capacity. Since this event, I have learned to plan for the unexpected and “control the controllables.” It was so fulfilling to see that with all of my efforts:
- 28 employees assisted in painting and reconstructing 6 homes
- 19 employees assisted in serving hot meals
- 14 employees helped sort 15,000 lbs. of food at a food bank
- 13 employees helped prepare a meal and feed over 45 individuals
- 11 employees assisted in preparing the ingredients for meal packages to be distributed to individuals in need
The feedback I received was tremendous and made me realize that hard work and good organization really can pay off.
The high-tech industry is changing the way the world operates, and VMware is at the forefront of making this happen. VMware is a growing business, and as the company grows, so can you. The opportunities are endless at VMware. If you’re looking to grow your career, then my advice to you is be open and accepting to change. With change comes new opportunities and exponential career growth.
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