Our Meet the Hiring Manager series allows you to get to know the people who grow teams at VMware. You’ll learn about our hiring managers’ career paths and what they look for in candidates during the interview process. This week, we’d like you to meet and get to know Patricia Gavino.
VMware Careers: What attracted you to the VMware SLED (State Government, Local Government and Educational) team, and what has been your career journey to date?
Patricia Gavino: I moved to the U.S. from Ecuador when I was four years old. Early on in school, I leaned into math and science because it came easy to me while reading did not, as English is my second language. I was the first in a family of five children to leave for college, going against my parents’ wishes to study locally. I was accepted into the University of Illinois’ College of Engineering program, and I was determined to graduate – no matter what. I applied for scholarships and loans, and I worked about 32 part-time jobs to get myself through college with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering, graduating in 1982.
I took my first job in Jackson, Michigan, working for a state utility company whose goal was to drive cost efficiencies across all their operations to fund a third nuclear plant’s construction. I was promoted to a manager within six months of completing my internship because I could leverage all the experiences from the jobs in college, respected everyone, and understood the difference between motivation and telling people what to do. In my division, we deployed technology to improve productivity across all company areas, customer services, telecommunications, field plants, and any system or process transporting information between two points. As part of the Telecommunications group, I had the opportunity to deploy the first fiber-optic by-pass to the leading corporate network switch saving the company several million dollars in the first year alone. That caught the attention of several Telco’s in the area.
I was quickly picked up by Michigan Bell, working with their top-tier customers to redesign and optimize their networks based on our offerings and cost savings. From that point forward, I worked in roles servicing external customers and I discovered that I enjoyed customer-facing roles. Over the next 25 years, I worked at over eight different companies, including Ameritech, View star, Baxter Healthcare, Scient, BEA, and Oracle, before joining VMware. My customer experience has crossed multiple industries, including manufacturing, consulting, software and professional services, and start-ups. About every five years, as I started to feel the need to leap to new technology, a unique opportunity always arose through people in my network. This is how I joined the Professional Services Organization (PSO) at VMware eleven years ago.
During the first seven years at VMware, I managed and helped to transform the Americas PSO, Delivery and Revenue team. I was ready for new opportunities when two Sales VPs asked me to consider joining the Presales team. I have been in presales supporting the Enterprise, Inside Sales and now our SLED (State Government, Local Government and Educational entities) segment. I moved into the SLED organization in November 2019 because I was attracted to the opportunity and growth potential of the segment. Despite facing market obstacles and operational challenges, they were dedicated to servicing the customers while transforming the organization. I immediately saw the vision and was committed to being part of the team. I quickly adopted the SLED mission to positively impact the communities we live in through the innovative solutions that VMware offers.
VMware Careers: How long have you been at VMware, and how has VMware changed since you joined?
Patricia Gavino: I have been at VMware for almost eleven years. In that time, VMware has more than tripled in size and expanded globally with employees around the world. The growth driven through strategic acquisitions and innovation fueling the expansion of our portfolio is beyond what I could have imagined. The culture is still defined by the people we hire. We want to make a difference and use technology to serve our customers. VMware was voted one of the best employers for women by Forbes in 2020, ranking #57 overall. VMware also offers a broad range of people-based programs, ranging from the VMware Foundation, which supports philanthropic causes and resources, to environmental goals to attain a carbon-neutral position by 2030. Most importantly, the EPIC₂ values we adhere to keep me here because they align with my core beliefs, which are important to me.
VMware Careers: What has been the biggest lesson you have learned as you have moved upwards in your career?
Patricia Gavino: Working in the tech industry, change comes fast, and often, we attract people who want to be in a place where there is growth and opportunity to make a difference. Over the years, I have found that my motivation has shifted away from my personal career growth to roles that were more encompassing and challenging. I am focused on transforming customers’ business and positively impacting their workforce and ultimately, their end customers. For me, it is a passion to watch customers transform their business and change in a way they did not believe was possible. It is also important to ensure we are focused on driving diversity in the workplace. As a woman in tech for more than thirty-five years, it has not always been easy to be the only woman in a large room or managing all men groups and commanding respect. Today is different; we have to strive to reflect our customers and the population we serve and drive innovation. As a company, we are here to simplify complexity in IT, and it is inspiring to watch how we help our customers make the lives of students and citizens simpler and easier.
VMware Careers: You’re currently hiring on the SLED team. Can you tell us about your team’s mission and why people should join it?
Patricia Gavino: Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the SLED (State Government, Local Government and Educational entities) team is focused on two primary vertical markets: state and local government, and higher education. These vertical markets have a significant opportunity to drive innovation, and service citizens and learners in new ways through easy-to-use mobile apps. It is not an option to shut down and send employees home during a pandemic. We are hard at work assisting and supporting our customers to modernize their data center, strategically move applications or critical data to the cloud while securing every device that can access the data. We do this so public services can be delivered using mobile apps that are consumable and as secure as financial transactions. The world is changing, and students’ college experiences should offer a glimpse into a future workplace reality.
VMware Careers: What interview tips would you share with someone interested in interviewing for a role on your team?
Patricia Gavino: I would advise them to show their interest by having done their homework and coming prepared. Know why you want to work at VMware, why this job, and what makes you different and stand out from everyone else. I love to see passion in people that I interview, people who want to learn and absorb everything around them and learn something from every interview. If asked, I will always provide feedback, as I honestly want to help people improve for the next interview they have. Finally, I would say to be open and come wanting to make a difference.
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