“People join VMware for the cool technology — they stay because of the great people.”
This comment sticks in my mind as it was something said to me not long after I had started in my new role. I never imagined that they would apply to me as I’m not a “people person,” per say. I was more attracted to the role of technology and the opportunity to do something different. On reflection four years later these words ring true to me more than ever allow me to share why…
Life As a PSO Consultant
So, what is a typical day in the life of a PSO Consultant? Well, it’s challenging, rewarding, and diverse. No two days are ever the same. My role is currently 100% remote due to the current world situation. However, before the Global Pandemic, I had been to seven different countries in the last twelve months in my role, helping deliver projects to eight different customers. Traveling can be tiring. However, the opportunity to see and experience the culture in different countries is something I’ve enjoyed. As a PSO Consultant, you work closely with the customer’s technical team, acting as the trusted contact to answer questions and offer advice on the VMware products.
Depending on the size of the project and customer, you could be the only PSO representative working with them or a larger team. With VMware having such a broad portfolio of products, we can’t know everything about each of them. Each member of the group, therefore, has their areas of expertise, and I specialize in Automation and Orchestrationproducts. I know I can call on the other members of my team or other parts of the organization, such as our support organization Global Support Services (GSS), to help. I view every day as an opportunity to learn something new from a colleague or a customer.
One aspect of my role that I love is that it allows me to get involved in all stages of a project. From creating design documentation to being hands-on in front of the keyboard, deploying, and configuring our products. As an Automation Specialist, I can also help customers with custom coding within our products. It’s something I enjoy as it plays on my strengths of logical thinking and problem-solving. It gives me a real buzz of satisfaction when I figure out the solution to a problem and see how I’m making a difference for the customer.
Don’t Overlook Your Skills
While the role requires strong technical skills, and you are expected to achieve and maintain technical certifications like the VMware Certified Professional (VCP) and VMware Certified Advanced Professional (VCAP) certifications, your skills are just as critical. In the NEMEA team (Northern Europe, Middle East Africa) we work with customers from over ten different countries. Meaning we have to adapt our approach to fit the different cultures with whom we are interacting with. Being able to explain a technical issue in a format that can be understood by a non-technical audience is also vital. There are occasions where you need to be able to share the work you are performing or a challenge you are facing, to the customer’s management team. So being able to show the business impact or problem is vital in gaining their trust and understanding to be able to move the work forward.
Every customer is different — I’m currently working with two global financial institutions to deploy new automation solutions. While they serve the same industry sector within the UK and are implementing the same VMware software, their proposed use cases for the platform are entirely different. It’s this variety that keeps the role diverse and challenges you to think differently every day.
Giving Back VMware User Groups
The role isn’t just about delivering customer projects, though. At VMware, we are encouraged to give back to the broader community, whether that is by volunteering our time at a charitable organization that we have a close attachment to personally, or by sharing our knowledge and experience with the VMware community. During my time with the company, I have presented at VMware User Groups (VMUGs) and have just been accepted to present at VMworld this year. Internal initiatives also mean I’m able to take time away to participate in both technical and personal development training or to update my certifications to keep them relevant.
It’s All About The People
Looking back on my time thus far at VMware, I now understand and appreciate those initial words shared with me. “people join VMware for the cool technology — they stay because of the great people.” The cool technology was the thing that pulled me towards the role and the company. But I am still here because of the fantastic people I get to work with, both within VMware and into the broader community. The company’s culture and role give you the room and the opportunities to grow as an individual, and then allow you to bring your full self to work every day.
You too could have a rewarding start to your professional services career at VMware like Katherine.
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