Ibrahim started at VMware as a Sales Intern, however, his passion for finance and his networking skills eventually led him to secure a role on the Revenue team – bringing him one step closer to his life goal of being a CFO one day! Read on to get to know Ibrahim and his career journey so far.
- Job title: Revenue Intern
- Years at VMware: 1 year 2 months
- First job: My first job was an event staff role for a photography company where I got to interact with different people and hear about their walk of life, whilst also trying to sell different packages to them. During one of my shifts, a recent graduate spoke about their university experience and that is what made me sure of pursuing my degree in university.
- Fun fact: I have a big love for the Japanese culture I find it very fascinating, which is why I spent my lockdown learning basic Japanese.
- Favourite social distancing activity: I learned how to play the keyboard throughout lockdown and my biggest achievement was learning how to play Bill Wither-Lean on me on the keyboard.
VMware Careers: Tell us about your Journey to VMware and what your current role is?
Answer: > My journey to VMware is an intriguing one. I initially was going to do my placement with Radisson Blu in Belgium but that fell through due to COVID-19. I applied for a finance and business operation internship at VMware but was unsuccessful, but the Interviewer took a chance with me and referred me for a sales internship which I was eventually offered. Although I enjoyed my work in sales and the opportunity to interact with a diverse group of people, I still had a passion for finance. While interning on the Sales team I started networking and got involved in some finance projects in my spare time. Through building those relationships with the finance team I was able to build a connection with the revenue team and was offered the opportunity to be an intern part-time whilst I complete my degree.
VMware Careers: How would you describe the culture at VMware?
Answer: I think the culture at VMware promotes growth and inclusion. I believe that I wouldn’t have come this far in my journey without the people who opened doors for me such as my colleagues Michaela McCollin, Jamie Biden, and James Clark. They have shown me the true meaning of the EPIC2 culture and encouraged me to be my true self at work which has led to continuous personal and professional progression.
VMware Careers: As well as your role as a Finance Intern you are a member and Chief of Staff for BLACK@VMware EMEA POD (Power of Difference) – Tell us about your role in the POD and share some of the initiatives, events, programs you have been involved with?
Answer: My role within the BLACK@VMware POD is essentially to make sure the POD activities and events are organized. This involves creating a bi-weekly agenda for the team and ensuring everyone keeps up with their assigned tasks as well as ensuring we are providing the budget to keep the POD going. I was involved in the expansion of Black @VMware UK to EMEA which involved also emphasizing that Africa is a part of EMEA and to further inclusivity within VMware.
VMware Careers: What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Answer: The thought of the things I still haven’t achieved gets me out of bed in the morning. This is because I dream of one day becoming a CFO so I see every day as an opportunity to take a step closer to that dream.
VMware Careers: You are still early in your career, but what would you say has been the biggest lesson you have learned so far?
Answer: The biggest lesson I have learned so far is to take things one day at a time and focus on what you do have control over. It is easy to get distracted with other things and thoughts which lead to you putting unnecessary pressure on yourself. But if you focus on what you do have control over you will see major improvements within yourself.
VMware Careers: What has been your highlight since starting work here at VMware?
Answer: My highlight has been the emails I have with our CFO Zane Rowe and the conversations I have with him. I pushed myself to email him to find out about his journey to becoming a CFO. It has been a pleasure learning from him and keeping in contact with him.
VMware Careers: Finally Ibrahim, what advice do you have for someone who may think that working in the tech industry is out of their reach?
Answer: I would advise them to believe in their abilities and go for it and to not let rejection define them, they decide what defines them. Do not deprive yourself of sunlight before you fully bloom because there is so much you can achieve.
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