Our Meet the Hiring Manager series allows you to get to know the people who grow teams at VMware. You will learn about our hiring managers’ career paths and what they look for in candidates during the interview. This week we’d like you to meet Neelima Balakrishnan.
VMware Careers: Tell us about your career journey to date?
Neelima Balakrishnan: I joined VMware, as a part of the Avi Networks acquisition in July of 2019. But interestingly, this is not my first stint at VMware. I worked here as an engineer for four and a half years until I left to join my first startup – Avi Networks – in 2015. Over my fifteen years+ career I have worked as an R&D engineer in multiple large companies and across technologies. The desire to be part of something new and in its early stages, where I can understand the customer needs and deliver a product that would make an impact, led me to Avi. It has been an extremely fulfilling and exhilarating ride, to be a part of the Avi Research and Development here at VMware. As a part of this journey, I took up a management role almost a year and a halfback. It has been fun coming back to VMware, we get to keep our startup ethos while being part of a growing, visionary company.
“I believe the desire to learn, commitment, and execution are key to growth in any area.”
VMware Careers: How is VMware different from any other tech company you have worked for?
Neelima Balakrishnan: The first time I joined VMware, the thing that really struck me was how a strong engineering team was the bedrock of the company. Being immersed in technical talent really inspired me as a young engineer. The passion for innovation and the numerous avenues for employees to foster new ideas – be it for a new product or for a social cause or to help a community – energizes the employee community. Borathons, RADIO and weekly Tech Talks are just a few of the opportunities allowing employees to innovate, collaborate, assimilate, and socialize. VMware’s EPIC2 values, its people-based culture, and the leader’s willingness to listen to its people have made it stand tall among companies. The strong focus on Diversity and Inclusion is seen at every level. The company’s people-centric COVID-19 response has proven that it walks the talk and espouses the EPIC2 values it advocates.
VMware Careers: What has been the biggest lesson that you have learned as you have moved upwards in your career?
Neelima Balakrishnan: I believe the desire to learn, commitment, and execution are key to growth in any area. But to actualize true growth, these need to be combined with a mindset of collaboration and compassion. Above all, be authentic and true to yourself. Just like a vehicle works best when all the wheels are well aligned, similarly, only if the whole team works together, can an organization succeed. So, it is important to build a team that feels confident and empowered to make decisions and drive towards the organizational goal.
VMware Careers: Your team is hiring. Can you tell us more about your organization’s charter?
Neelima Balakrishnan: Our team works on delivering a wide range of highly performant load-balancing and application security features that forms the core of NSX Advanced Load Balancer (previously Avi Networks). We have a proven culture of being goal-oriented and delivering timely results. Focusing on customer requirements and experience is one of the main driving factors in how we prioritize and deliver features.
VMware Careers: If someone reading this was coming to interview for a role on your team tomorrow, what advice would you share with them?
Neelima Balakrishnan: I would say show your passion for solving problems and tackling challenges, even if it means you have to step out of your comfort zone. It is not always about coming up with the perfect solution, but how you approach a problem and drive it to a solution, which shows your adaptability and ability to deal with situations. Of course, please come prepared to showcase your programming skills, which is the key to execution. Above all, be genuine and look forward to interviewing us, as well.
Could you see yourself working for a manager like Neelima? Click here to apply today!
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