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 Toshifumi Kobe.
- Job title: Vice President, APJ Customer Experience (CXS) – Japan
- Years at VMware: 10 years and 1 month
- First job: I started my career at a global consulting firm as an Associate Consultant. I worked for my customer for three years and learned a lot of things about IT and customer business. I cannot imagine where I would be in my careers without those years of experience.
- Fun fact: I love novels and movies. I’m a big and longtime fan of Haruki Murakami. I believe that his best one is “1Q84”. And I like old movies directed by Yasujiro Ozu.
- Favorite social distancing activity: I have a weekly virtual office hour with my team. Anybody who wants to talk to me can join. And sometimes, I have a virtual drinking party with my team to celebrate their achievement or just for fun.
VMware Careers: Tell us about your career journey to date?
Toshifumi Kobe: I worked as a Consultant, a Partner, and a Sales Manager in some foreign software companies before I joined VMware. VMware hired me as a senior manager of Advisory Services to start up a new team. Three years later, I was promoted to Director of Professional Services. And now, I lead Customer Experience (CXS), including Professional Services and Customer Success.
VMware Careers: How is VMware different from any other tech company you have worked for in the past?
Toshifumi Kobe: VMware’s EPIC2 Values are key and are at the core of our employees. That supports the creation of an open and supportive atmosphere. I can say that the EPIC2 Values is what significantly differentiates VMware from any other companies I’ve worked for.
VMware Careers: What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Toshifumi Kobe: Training and running are effective energizers and day-starters for me. I do it almost every day if it’s not raining. Sometimes, getting up for a run is difficult, but I encourage myself to start a new day with high performance.
VMware Careers: What has been the biggest lesson you have learned as you moved upwards in your career?
Toshifumi Kobe: There are two things for me. Firstly, I learned a lot about customer business and how to propose value from servicing customers. Secondly, I learned a lot about consulting strategies and skills from my senior colleagues and supervisors. I am always inspired to learn and develop in my role.
VMware Careers: What makes the team you lead so effective?
Toshifumi Kobe: We are constantly striving to improve ourselves, and we have done many things over the years to be more effective as a team. The biggest step was when I expanded the responsibility of consultants from delivery of services only to crafting the entire proposal. That means one consultant has all the end-to-end responsibility for the customer and projects. In that way, we can commit the customer value and quality.
VMware Careers: What is your next career goal?
Toshifumi Kobe: Customer Experience (CXS) Japan is still growing very fast. I want to keep supporting my team and giving them opportunities to develop themselves.
VMware Careers: What do you love the most about Professional Services Organization?
Toshifumi Kobe: One, we have a wide range of opportunities in Professional Services, so you can think about your career development story with more options. Two, we have clear criteria about the skills expected for the job level. We are calling it the “Competency Map.” You can easily draw out your development plan using this map.
VMware Careers: If someone reading this was coming to interview with you tomorrow, what interview tips would you give them?
Toshifumi Kobe: It would strengthen your chance if you researched about VMware, Cloud, the IT industry, and the Consulting Industry. I would also encourage candidates to think about yourself, your capability, experience, career, and future self-image. Really think about what you would like to get out of a role and a company.
Could you see yourself working for a manager like Toshifumi? Click here to apply as a Client Solution Architect!
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