University Talent

Zoom Calls and Sunsets – One New Graduate’s First Year At VMware

Meet Mitchell Howard a 2020 Graduate Solution Engineer who joined the VMware team in Sydney, Australia earlier this year. Read on to learn how Michael navigated his first few months at VMware as he worked from home.

 

VMware Careers: When did you join VMware, and tell us more about your virtual onboarding experience?

Michael Howard: My VMware journey began in late March 2020 with twelve other new graduates from Sydney and Melbourne. Our IT onboarding and training were all done through zoom calls and following this our training session in the Academy program began, again all over zoom. It has been an interesting change working remotely, but we all adapted efficiently and found ways to socialize, despite the distance. The five-week training was well structured and supported, with many resources provided to facilitate our learning. Our experience really laid down the foundations of my new role, and I am very thankful for that.

VMware Careers: How have you found the working from home experience as a new graduate?¨

Michael Howard: At the start, it was a challenge to find a work-life balance. There was a vast amount of information I wanted to study to expand my knowledge, and with the restrictions happening in NSW at the time, there was not much to do other than reading and watch videos. After about four weeks of zoom calls during the weekday and self-study on the weekend, I realized that I needed to take it easy and had to set boundaries between work, study, and relaxation for my mental health.

Since then, I have tuned my to-do list approach from how I worked pre-restriction times to the new working from the home approach. Jacinta Heng, our VMware Academy Manager, shared an excellent trip around the concept of a doorway; when you walk through a doorway (e.g. study room door), use it as a symbolic link to detach work time from family time. My days are made up mostly of zoom calls, and Teams or Skype chats with my colleagues. It is an interesting experience meeting people for the first time virtually, but many people reached out to introduce themselves which made me feel very welcomed. VMware is also embracing the remote working experience, providing outstanding resources and guides for employees. I especially found the resources on how to structure zoom calls and how to present effectively in a digital format especially helpful.

Overall, working from home has provided me more hours back in my day by removing the work commute. It’s given me opportunities to spend time with my loved ones, exercise, and study. I can even catch the sunset from home (see below!). My days also feel more structured, allowing better organization and prioritization which reduces my stress level. The support and encouragement I’ve received from the VMware community continue to be outstanding. The care and consideration put into understanding employee needs as they work remotely make me very proud to be part of this EPIC2 family.

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