My name is Remi Schipperus and I am a VMware Solution Engineer for Healthcare & Education in The Netherlands. Two years ago, I completed my Electrical Engineering degree at the University of Rotterdam in The Netherlands. I was ready for a challenge, and the borders of my home country could not stop me. Joining VMware’s Graduate Academy program was the perfect decision! Fast forward and I am working in the field, in my home country meeting customers every week and speaking at events.
With each day bringing new challenges, being in the field can be a tough but also a very satisfying role, allow me to share with you my diary of a typical week.
Monday: First Customer Meeting
Flashback to a sleepless night, not a great start especially when my first meeting is a face-to-face customer meeting. I love coffee and nothing wakes me up more than a good cup of coffee in the morning. A quick glance at my phone shows me I already have 15 emails, and it’s just 8 a.m. I give myself fifteen minutes to enjoy my cup of coffee after which I grab my laptop and go through my inbox. I think this is a great way to start the day, give yourself some time to wake up and then dive right into work, making a plan for what I can achieve for the day!
After 45 minutes I have cleared my inbox and added to my to-do list for later this week. I check some other notifications such as Twitter and Slack and then I am ready to go through the notes I made yesterday in preparation for today’s meeting. Half an hour is enough, I know what to expect and I am ready!
Heading to my car, I set up a good podcast to listen to and off I go to the customer. Traffic jam! It can be busy in The Netherlands on the road, especially in the morning. Luckily I calculated it into my commute and it’s a great opportunity to make some calls. A couple of calls later, updating my colleagues about opportunities and making appointments with other customers, the traffic jam is already gone. A great use of time! Once I arrive at the customer site, I take a deep breath, grab my bag and go in.
Being a Solution Engineer means I provide customers with technical information about the solution they’re looking into. This varies from testing my whiteboard drawing skills, to going through a quick presentation or doing a demo on site. In this case, it was all about the demo, my favourite! You can really interact with people in the room, give a sense of what we are trying to achieve, and show how it would work with their specific challenges. After the demo, some questions come up around licensing and even some very deep technical questions, ones that require deep dive! Luckily I am not alone in VMware. Being in the field means you are part of a bigger team, Sales, Specialists and many more colleagues I can rely on and ask questions to. I write some questions down that I couldn’t answer, and schedule a follow-up appointment. I go back with a satisfying feeling knowing I too have learned more! First customer meeting is done, and as usual things are less scary than I made up in my mind the night before.
Wednesday: Big speaking event
Another part of my job is to speak at events. Mainly at partner events where we talk about what is new or customer events where you focus more on a specific subject that the customer is dealing with. But I also go to events like VMworld and EMPOWER as part of my role, the first couple of times it can be nerve-wrecking. Preparation in the weeks before is key, I prepare my presentation and demo environment, work with my co-presenter to align ourselves to the same goal and do a couple of dry runs. It’s great to have driven colleagues who will always support you when you need it.
The day of the presentation, exciting! As my morning routine goes, wake up, coffee, emails and slack. I drive to the event and walk-in. Wow, so many people are here! From customers to partners to colleagues, at least 150 people. Now all the skills I have learned during VMware Academy come together, this helps my confidence. I do a last check of the demo, I don’t want to have ‘ technical difficulties’ (facepalm) whilst on stage. I’m ready to go! During the presentation my co-presenter starts, after 10 minutes it’s my turn. A good combination of presenting and demonstrating is key to keep the attention of the crowd. With a lot of interaction and questions, I close and we are done.
VMware brings the opportunity of travelling to demonstrate our latest technologies. Last year I traveled to VMworld in Barcelona and and Las Vegas to showcasing our breakthrough technologies and sharing how we are changing the face of the tech world!
Friday: Working from Home
On Fridays, I usually work from home. This saves me time in traffic and helps me focus on all the little tasks that have built up over the week. I answer my emails, check out what’s happening with my colleagues and other teams and revise my goals for that week to ensure I am on track. Plus, I can go to the gym for a workout during the day, No one wants to work out in a jam-packed gym in the evenings!
At home I do my training on the latest technology, being a fully Certified Professional means you need to stay up to date with the latest and greatest. And being a vExpert also means I help others stay up to date by public speaking at events I previously mentioned. It’s not a typical 9-5 job, but that’s what makes it great. There is something different every day. I can use my technical skills, as well as my communication skills while developing the areas I need to work on, and when I need more training on a certain skill or product, VMware supports me to do this.
As my Friday afternoon comes to an end, I prepare myself for the weekend. Satisfied, accomplished and knowing I have grown my skills and knowledge from the start of the week.
Do you like the sound of this role? Could you see yourself onsite with our customers transforming their enterprise infrastructure? Come join us you won’t regret it!
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