There is no blueprint or best practice for a successful career in IT, and you will see that my own career is not that straightforward. I started out as an Industrial Clerk by completing a three-year apprenticeship, became a Purchasing Assistant, then a Pre-Sales Systems Engineer, and was self-employed as a web designer and e-commerce retailer. And it took me two attempts to join VMware! I joined VMware in July 2019 as a Technical Account Manager (TAM) and was recently promoted to Senior Technical Account Manager in 2022.
VMware Technical Account Manager
As a Technical Account Manager, I build and maintain relationships with VMware’s customers, guide my customers on their journey to be market leaders by using the newest and most advanced technologies in IT, and also act as the main focal point for everything that is related to VMware.
I also represent my customers by being their advocate, through sharing their experience, feedback, and wishes with the account teams, support, and product managers.
Starting out as an Industrial Clerk
When I left school, I knew that I wanted to start work immediately and be hands-on instead of going to university. I applied for a three-year apprenticeship as an Industrial Clerk which meant combining working and attending school. It was during my apprenticeship that I first encountered computers with DOS based programs and this was the initial spark for my IT career.
In my career, I went from being a Purchasing Assistant to Presales Systems Engineer via several roles and I was also self-employed in web development and e-commerce.
Two Attempts to Join VMware
When I first applied for the role of a Technical Account Manager, I failed! The failure hit home – hard. However, it showed me a few things: one, where I was lacking in knowledge and experience; two, I knew that I wanted to work for VMware; and three, that I really wanted to be a Technical Account Manager.
The failure in my first interview motivated me to learn and I put in a lot of time and effort to gain knowledge and more experience with VMware products and solutions. Luckily, VMware provide a lot of information that anyone can access for free such as product pages, hands-on labs, tech zone, etc., and there are VMware related courses.
It took another 18 months until I got my second chance to interview for the VMware Technical Account Manager role. But after having spent so much time building my VMware knowledge and being more familiar with the VMware interview process, this gave me more confidence and I felt much more comfortable the second time around.
I succeeded and was offered the job.
Technical Account Manager Skills
In the past three years as Technical Account Manager, I have been working with customers of different sizes in verticals like automotive, insurance, healthcare, and the public sector. I have also become their trusted advisor on everything technical related to VMware, and help my customers to get the most out of their VMware investment.
If you are considering a Technical Account Manager role, here are some insights into the skills required on a day-to-day basis.
- You should be able to think out of the box.
- You will need to find ways to help your customers in a situation you or your teammates have not been in before.
- You need to be able to listen to your customers to understand how you can help and enable them to achieve their business goals by translating their business requirements into technical solutions.
- For some customers, you will be the link between different teams who have been working in corporate silos.
And lastly, one great thing about being in my role is the VMware Technical Account Manager community where sharing information, knowledge, and learning is part of our DNA. Just like how we help our customers every day to succeed, we help each other too.