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Category Archives: Uncategorized

Dare to Be EPIC2: Michelle Mendal

The annual EPIC2 Achievement Award is one way VMware recognizes outstanding members of our workplace community who exemplify our shared EPIC2 values – Execution, Passion, Integrity, Customers, and Community – and make VMware a great company to work for. Get to know Michelle Mendal, one of our 2016 EPIC2 Achievement Award winners, and discover how her drive to make a positive impact on those around her is fostering a thriving community at VMware.


160314_vmware_12570_michelle_mendallMichelle Mendal

Home Office – Massachusetts

Senior Healthcare Marketing Manager


VMware value that means the most to you: Community, for sure. Because without community, it’s not a pleasant place to work without that culture, happiness, and sense of camaraderie. It’s not as much fun. So community, for sure. The Field Marketing team that I sit on at VMware, while virtual, makes a concerted effort to celebrate both professional and personal achievements of team members which means a lot to me. The team has so much camaraderie and is always supportive of the millions of questions that I throw their way! 

Hobbies: This one’s easy. I love to spend time with family and friends. I’m sure everyone says that, but I particularly like cooking and hosting family and friends over. I try to cook almost every weekday night. One of my favorite recipes right now are these zucchini turkey burgers. They don’t sound that exciting, but they have a really good dip that goes with them. I also love skiing, exercising and traveling. I grew up skiing and loved it. My husband would say skiing is his number one passion, so needless to say, we go skiing as often as we possibly can. We usually go to Vermont and ski on Stowe or Killington mountain. I’ve also been very fortunate to travel in my life. I actually lived abroad in Madrid for about five months, and spent some time in Greece. One of my best friends is Greek, so we spent time with her family around town. My husband is also Colombian, and we actually just went to Cartagena.

People might not know: I was a national synchronized figure skating champion when I was twelve years old. It’s like synchronized swimming, but on ice. Through ice skating, I learned the meaning of team and what being a good team member means. You can’t achieve anything on your own. Doing it together makes any and all achievements much more special. I’ve definitely taken my learnings about teamwork from ice skating into my work today as a Marketing manager.

Best quality: The ability to get along well with all types of people. I find that that’s really important, especially in my role here at VMware because I collaborate with so many different organizations. From systems engineers, marketing team members, executives, to sales reps, there are so many different people that I interact with on a daily basis. I think I do a good job at building relationships with all of these individuals even though they are all very, very different.

Guilty pleasure: Whether its ice cream or York Peppermint Patties, anything that has mint chocolate chip in it.

Inspiration: I would say improving the lives of people around me. And it can be something little like making light of a situation or just having some sort of positive impact on the individuals around me. That’s what really inspires me. A little can go a long way. Just being friendly and happy.

#1 passion: I am striving for the mastery of the Marketing craft. I am always looking to learn something new and be challenged every day. I want to get a little bit better and improve each day and look back at my career as one in which I became an expert. And because of this expertise, I was able to make an impact on VMware’s growth.

Occupation if money wasn’t an obstacle: I think that I would want to work for a non-profit organization that helps children in need. 

Biggest takeaway from receiving the EPIC2 Achievement Award: That I’m so lucky to work with such smart, motivated and kind individuals. It was amazing how many people reached out and congratulated me because of the award. It was such a good feeling. And the culture at VMware is unlike anything I’ve experienced before at another organization. I remember when I was interviewing for my job, I kept hearing that. People would say, “Oh, the culture here is great. Everyone’s so nice. It’s so fun to work here. It’s such a team environment.” And I was thinking to myself, “You hear that a lot.” But when I actually joined, I realized that it’s true, and it’s really something special.

Giving Back: I chose to direct the funds* from the VMware Foundation as part of the EPIC2 Award towards the Institute for Learning and Development. They are a small organization in Massachusetts that is devoted to helping kids with learning disabilities succeed and build confidence. This organization is near and dear to my heart and I have been working with them for years on their mission to positively change the lives of children.


*Each of the 2016 EPIC2 Achievement Award winners received a monetary donation called a Citizen Philanthropy Investment to direct to the nonprofit of their choice from the VMware Foundation.


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Empowering VMware People to Drive Their Self-Development and Growth

Developing one’s career is an art developed over time using experience and resourcefulness. Today Maria Raimundo, VMware University Relations Recruiter, sheds light on VMware’s innovation culture and how it supports the growth and development of its employees through skills training, educational reimbursement and mentorships.


At VMware we grow our business by creating value for our customers and partners. More importantly, we grow our people by investing in development and fostering a culture that embraces learning as a part of the innovation process. Not only does the process of developing yourself improve your personal and professional life, but it can assist in your collaboration with others and your overall contributions to the wider community. Here are a few of the resources that VMware employees can take advantage of to reach that next level of growth and development in their career.

VMware Edge Portal

The VMware Edge Portal is an internal portal that offers self-directed development for any employee from any location at anytime. VMware employees can sign up for classes that are related to their role, enhance professional skills or take certification courses to improve a particular discipline. You can even check out digital ebooks for free from Books24x7! So, if you’re looking to take that additional Java-skills course, need some extra help with public speaking, or want to take a certification in your field, it’s all possible through the VMware Edge Portal.

VMware Professional Development Assistance Program

VMware empowers each employee to drive self-development in partnership with his or her manager. The Professional Development Assistance Program provides financial support for external professional development courses, certifications and degree programs that are not offered internally at VMware. Have you ever thought about pursuing a part-time secondary degree or another type of program at some point in your career? If your answer is “yes,” then this is where our Professional Development Assistance Program comes in. We offer assistance to help offset some of the financial cost for the secondary degree with management and HR approval. That’s a pretty awesome perk.

Fostering a Mentor Relationship

Perhaps the greatest teachers you’ll encounter at VMware are your fellow coworkers. Having a mentor is not just limited to your immediate manager (though we hope you find them as a great resource). There are many opportunities to discover colleagues who would be willing to provide both personal and professional support as you grow at VMware. Be sure to connect through our internal social network, VMware Link, support our commitment to giving back to the community through the VMware Foundation, and get to know other members from different teams through our weekly social events. Sometimes even a casual meeting could lead to someone who can help you re-think about how you’re approaching your career goals.

In the end it is up to each of our employees to take advantage of the resources and opportunities provided to them here at VMware. How do you plan to grow to that next step?


-Maria Raimundo, VMware University Relations Recruiter



About Maria:

Maria is a University Relations Recruiter at VMware. Her primary focus is on hiring engineering students for both internships and full-time positions throughout VMware’s Research and Development teams. Before working in Human Resources, Maria was a California certified K-12 teacher. She has found a happy medium in her current role of guiding students through what may be some of their first corporate experiences.


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From Idea to Inspiration: Innovation at work at VMware

Have you ever wondered what fuels VMware people’s drive to discover what’s next? It’s simple. VMware people are passionate about challenging the status quo and innovating what’s next because of the positive impact their discoveries have on the greater good: our customers, products and people. Hear from Bich Le, Innolabs Innovator in the Office of the CTO at VMware and see how his desire for personal growth with the VMware Take 3 Program empowered him to innovate what’s next!


On the morning of May 15, 2013, I nervously stepped onto the stage of the Grand Ballroom of the Hilton hotel in San Francisco. Before me was an audience of over a thousand of VMware’s brightest engineers, who flew in from around the world for the company’s annual R&D Innovation Offsite, an internal event for employees. I was preparing to present the paper I authored. I had spoken at the R&D Offsite on numerous occasions in the past, but it never seemed to get easier. Then I remembered why I chose to do this and I reflected back on the journey that led me to that day. It all started in the summer of 2012 with my Take 3 project. Take 3 (T3), a VMware people program intended to drive continued innovation by empowering eligible employees with an opportunity to take a break from their usual work responsibilities for up to three months to work on an advanced development research project or learning activity.

I followed the development of the Take 3 program with great interest, from inception to initial pilot to general availability. While most T3 participants seem to spend their 3 months doing a Group Exchange or Service Learning, I chose the research/advanced development option. It gave me a unique opportunity to satisfy several personal and professional goals. First, it allowed me to dedicate time to intriguing research ideas that I had come up with, but had never had time to realize, due to work and family commitments. Secondly, despite the variety of VMware products and projects I’ve had the privilege to contribute to, there are always emerging technologies and skills I’d like to learn and acquire that don’t fit in to my day job. Lastly, I wanted to continue the tradition of helping VMware to find new business opportunities from the application of virtualization principles.

One new area, which I was eager to explore, was web technologies. I also wanted the project to somehow involve mobile devices and applications, a field in which I had virtually no experience and one that is becoming tremendously important for VMware.

To define a research project that combined both web and mobile technologies, I studied a new trend in smartphone and tablet application development called Backend as a Service (BaaS). Nowadays, instead of writing their own server software and running it themselves, many mobile developers outsource all back-end functions to cloud providers publishing REST APIs to services ranging from user management, data persistence, and message queues to social network integration. Those services are easy to use, self-scaling, and are purchased by the hour based on the desired capacity and support level. When viewed as a whole, BaaS APIs constitute what is arguably the closest thing to a true “cloud OS” for mobile and web apps. Once I had found an interesting and challenging problem worth solving, I set the project’s goals as: develop a solution; prototype some of the use cases above; and document the work in a paper that is of high enough quality to be submitted to the R&D Innovation Offsite.

Looking back, my Take 3 project exceeded my expectations. I learned the new skills that I had coveted, and had fun doing it. The R&D offsite paper writing, submission and presentation process taught me to manage my time better, and also made me a better writer and public speaker. Most importantly, it opened new doors and personal connections for me, and I was able to apply the experience I gained from my T3 directly and immediately. In summary, the Take 3 program resulted in a win/win for VMware and me; the company gained a newly energized and re-trained employee, while I was able to satisfy my personal curiosity and professional goals.

Learn more about VMware’s Take 3 Program here.


Bich Le


About Bich: Bich Le is an Innolabs Innovator in the Office of the CTO at VMware. He joined VMware in 1999 as employee #27 to work on x86 virtualization. Since then, he’s moved up through all layers of the software stack, and contributed to a wide range of products including Workstation, Converter, View, VirtualCenter, and Application Director.

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Lynne Thieme – A Woman of Vision at VMware on Vinny the Velociraptor and What’s Next in Technology

Name: Lynne Thieme

Job title: Director, R&D

Office Location: Palo Alto

Years at VMware: 3


What inspired you to pursue a career in technology? 

I love the balance of creativity and analytical problem solving that inspires successful software design and programming.

Share your biggest takeaway from attending the Women of Vision Awards Banquet?

VMware is fortunate to have a number of fabulous, technical women!

Share a fun VMware memory.

I loved being involved in the creation of the video exploits of Vinny the Velociraptor attends VMworld San Francisco 2012!

In your eyes, what’s next for technology?

As technology continues to evolve at its inherent, frantic pace, I look forward to us all becoming a more connected, better educated, and more socially responsible community.

Manasvi Somaiya – A Woman of Vision at VMware on her Technological Curiosity to Growing from an Intern to a Full-time Employee at VMware

Name: Manasvi Somaiya

Job title: Interaction Designer, User Experience (R&D)

Office Location: Palo Alto

Years at VMware: 4 months (Full-Time), 3 months (Intern)


What inspired you to pursue a career in technology?

I was immersed into a world of technology at a very early stage in my life. At the age of five I was already playing DOS games. Growing up I was aware of how technology was transforming the way we were living and doing everyday things. I was always curious and fascinated by what technology could help us achieve next. This curiosity drove me to start learning computer programming. Soon enough I was hooked, I woke up in the middle of the night with a solution of how my code could be fixed. I love working in the field of technology because it’s challenging the limits and pushing the boundaries of human imagination. It’s incredibly exciting to know that we are changing the way people do things.

Share your biggest take away from attending the Women of Vision Awards Banquet? 

It was really exciting to attend the Awards Banquet and be surrounded by so many exceptional women. The ceremony this year awarded three inspiring women who have had substantial achievements and contributed in the fields of Innovation, Leadership and Social impact. One of the things that resonated most with me especially as a new college graduate was the talk given by Maja Matric. In her talk she shared her personal experiences, career path and summed it all up with a simple word – “Push”. It is important to find your passion, make it your cause and push for it. Many of the fields we currently work in today were nonexistent a decade ago. Pushing yourself helps you attain excellence and in return we can then expect that level of excellence from others. One of my key takeaways is that life will always throw challenging situations in front of us, but great things can be achieved by pursuing your dreams against all odds and not taking no for an answer.

Share a fun VMware memory.

One of the most memorable times I have had at VMware was when I was a summer intern last year. Besides getting oriented to the real world, the internship program provided a ton of fun activities like watching a baseball game, service learning at a homeless shelter, ice cream socials and a casino night to name a few. However, my best memory was that of getting the chance to attend the 2012 VMworld conference in San Francisco.

In your eyes, what’s next for technology? 

With every passing moment we are coming out with newer developments that were hard to even imagine a few years ago. Taking an example – Our mode of communication has transformed so significantly from depending on wired telephone receivers to short-range cordless devices to a point where a mobile device is a human and social necessity now. I see technology as a gushing wind bringing about changes in every field it touches whether it is in healthcare, transportation, manufacturing or education. Computers are ubiquitous, embedded everywhere around us. The unstoppable progress of technology will continue to match human imagination and will continue to transform the way we live and interact with the world outside.

Ramiro Salas, Global Technology Specialist, shares the paths and choices that help him drive what’s next at VMware!

VMware employees contribute their best work to imagine, define, and deliver the future of IT through transformative products and solutions that enable customer agility, efficiency, security, and fault tolerance in the Cloud era. Because of this, we’re honored to highlight Ramiro Salas, Global Technology Specialist, Software Defined Networking & Security.


Name: Ramiro Salas

Job title: Global Technology Specialist, Software Defined Networking & Security

Years at VMware: I joined in April 2004, left in June 2012 and re-joined in November 2012. You can say 8 ½ years.

Office location: Home Office – Mill Valley, CA

Favorite Tech Gadget: Pwn Plug Elite

Finish this hashtag statement: #ilovevmware because… we set the goal to fundamentally change the way people do computing, and we actually DID.


In three words or phrases, how would you describe your experience at VMware thus far?

Being at VMware for over eight years is like having bought a good case of Chilean Cabernet in 2004, and opening one bottle every year, just to discover that it just keeps getting better and better, every time.

What is your favorite VMware memory?

Seeing our founders and our company logo at the opening bell for VMware’s IPO in the New York Stock Exchange. It’s my favorite memory because I had the realization that we weren’t a small company anymore and that the sky was the limit.

Do you have a favorite group, hobby or interest that you are active in at VMware?

I do several things at VMware, but I’m probably more known in recent years as the founder of the “Foodies” group on VMware Link, our internal social network powered by Socialcast. I love to dine and cook gourmet, and I also maintain a blog with recipes, experiments and opinions, which you can visit here: ObsessedCook.com.

What attracted you to VMware? Is it the same thing that motivates you today?

I always admired VMware. I was part of the beta program back in 1998-99 for Workstation 1.0, so when my previous company closed its doors after the dot COM crash and I had the chance to come here, I didn’t think twice. What attracted me to VMware was the technology. Back then VMware was a place where the geeks were accepted, welcome, and respected, and I can gladly say that is still true!

Among other values, Teamwork is a core part of VMware culture. Share an example of how you, a coworker, or group of employees looked beyond the individual and worked together to benefit the greater good.

Back in early 2004 when I was just three days in the company, my former manager and I headed over to Mexico City to deliver a large public lecture on virtualization. The night before, we ate at the hotel restaurant and managed to get a bad case of food poisoning. The morning after, with almost no sleep, we literally took 10-minute turns to deliver part of the presentation each while the other rested facing up on the floor of an adjacent empty conference room. I had not yet been fully trained in the products, but we managed to pull it through and the conference was a success. Except for the organizers, no one knew anything was wrong.

If you could walk in one of your co-workers “shoes” for one day at work, who would it be and why?

Anyone from the Office of the CTO. Having the opportunity to attend meetings at the highest levels with some of the most important companies in the world, and being able to openly discuss our technology vision while finding new potential ways to improve our products to solve real customer issues is just priceless. 

What fuels you to do your best work at VMware?

Customers. I believe there is nothing more important than listening to our customers, understanding their pains, challenges and doing everything in our power to help them. My drive is to advocate for them internally at VMware, as well as help them with the solutions that will help them move their goals forward.

Do you have a thought leader or person you admire in your field or industry? Who and why?

Carl Eschenbach. I’ve never met someone with a higher drive, focus and dedication. He empowers his team to be the best they can be, and makes everybody BELIEVE that nothing is impossible. I saw that myself a few years ago when he presented Sir Richard Branson as the guest speaker for our Sales kick-off. If he managed to get one of the brightest minds in the business world to speak to us, he proved that nothing is impossible.

What advice would you give to someone looking to pursue a career at VMware?

Regardless of the stage you are in your career, VMware will keep you young. But you have to bring your A-game here. This is not a place to cruise. This is the real thing. You will be working among some of the best professionals in the industry and that demands dedication, speed of execution and focus. This is also a place for ideas. If you really believe in something, people will listen, but you have to be able to defend it and win their minds. Working at VMware may very well be the best professional experience in your life, but in the end, it will be up to you.

With the tech job market heating up and competition as fierce as ever, what would you say to those who may be weighing careers at start-ups to VMware?

Many people see start-ups with a romantic view of the archetypical garage in Palo Alto, but reality is much more complex than that. If you crave the “feel” of a start-up, there are many areas within VMware that literally operate like that. Fast pace of innovation, high impact in the final outcome with any decisions you make, and dynamic team debates, all without many of the drawbacks like uncertainty or extremely limited resources. I’d say take a pragmatic look at what are you really looking for and make a decision accordingly, but don’t discount VMware due to its sheer size. Talk to people and find out yourself.

What are you most looking forward to in the year ahead for yourself, your team or VMware?

I look at companies like IBM or McKesson that started over 100 years ago to show that if you constantly innovate and reinvent yourself, you will not only survive, but also thrive. It’s impossible to imagine what VMware would look like in 100 years from now if we follow that path. The only thing that is certain is that if we keep an open mind, keep listening and keep innovating, we will get there. I look to my year ahead as a small grain of sand that will help build that vision.



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Lital Hassine, Team Engineer Lead, shares the paths and choices that have influenced her professionally and personally!

To close out our extended recognition of International Women’s Day (Friday, March 8) – a global day commemorating the economic, political & social achievements of women past, present and future – we are highlighting three great VMware women on this third and final week. Learn about how Lital contributes to defining, creating and delivering what’s next for IT, VMware and herself.


Employee Spotlight on: Lital Hassine, Software Engineer, Team Leader

Years at VMware: 4

Office Location: Hertzelia, Israel

Personal mantra or favorite quote: Progress over perfection


How did you get started in software technology and what led you to where you are today?

I spent a big part of my youth playing computer games, but I did not cross over to software development until I started my military service in the Israeli IDF (Israel Defense Forces). Looking back on my three years of my military service, I am truly amazed at how much I learned in that time about software development and how it shaped the person I’ve become today. After I was relieved of service, I continued working as a consultant for the IDF and studied for my bachelor degree in physics and computer science at Tel Aviv University.

What is one of your major career goals for the year?

One of my goals is to promote women in the software industry. I am participating in a women forum called Technit. Technit is a forum of women software engineers from R&D departments in high tech companies in Israel. The forum goal is to increase the impact of women in technological fields. It is a community where female engineers, are given an opportunity to meet, interact, exchange ideas, create mentoring opportunities, get inspiration from each others experiences and discuss common issues related to women in technology like: work-life management, negotiations skills and more. We are planning an event of the forum at the Israeli VMware office.

Do you have a favorite VMware product or technology? If so, what is it and why?

Obviously I have sentiments to the product I am currently work on, vCenter Infrastructure Navigator (VIN), which I joined from in its early stages. VIN automatically discovers application services and dependencies running in the virtual environment. If I had to choose a favorite VMware technology it would be VMware Link by Socialcast. Since Socialcast (an internal social network for businesses) has become an integral part of our company, daily work, inter-office collaborations and knowledge sharing has increased dramatically. VMware Link empowers employees to work together and innovate together globally, which I highly appreciate.

In three adjectives, how would you describe your experience at VMware so far?

Teamwork – Teamwork is a crucial ingredient of our everyday work and having excellent collaboration and interaction among our team is what makes me arrive to work with a smile every morning.

Innovation – Innovation is a great characteristic of the VMware Israeli office and how I see the company. It surfaces in many forms starting from a single contributor coming up with an idea and following it through (maybe even writing a VMware Innovation Offsite paper on it), going through team innovating efforts and up to innovation events for the entire site.

Excellence – Having people who you can count on to do excellent work and whom you can brainstorm with is a valuable asset to the company, and certainly one that is highly noticeable at our site.

Do you have any tips on managing the demands of your career and the other parts of your life?

Balancing my career and other parts of my life is something that does not come easy for me. I love my job and I tend to get carried away with it and lose track of time. What works best for me is scheduling other activities right after reasonable working hours. Knowing that I have obligations with others usually does the trick, plus I get to enjoy activities such as jogging and pilates.

Do you have a favorite group, hobby or interest at VMware?

We have a basketball group at VMware Israel that meets every Tuesday to play. This group is a great way to interact with colleagues from other teams, but it is mainly a simple way to have fun. After the game we hang out together at a local pub.

What is your favorite VMware activity or pastime? Why?

Definitely the Israeli site tournaments. The last tournament was an air hockey tournament organized by Eitan Gayor and Niva Levran. About a month before the event people started practicing and exchanging air hockey tactics. During the tournament there was a lot of excitement in the air. At the final event everyone in the office came to cheer for his or her favorite contestant.

Is there one thing that compels you as being part of the VMware community? If so, can you tell us more?

VMWare is the leader in its field, with a strong employee community and a great ecosystem. By working at VMware, I feel proud to be part of the group that lays the roadmap for the IT industry.

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International Women’s Day: Celebrating VMware Women Who are Helping Drive What’s Next for the IT Industry [Part 2]

International Women’s Day (Friday, March 8) is a global day commemorating the economic, political & social achievements of women past, present and future.

To celebrate, we are recognizing nine VMware women (three a week for the next few weeks) who are helping to drive what’s next for the company and the IT industry by their everyday contributions. Today, we hear from Anna-Maria, Lucy and Eva about the paths and people that have shaped them both professionally and personally.




Anna_Maria_Loweberg_IWD_PhotoSpotlight on: Anna-Maria Löweberg, Strategic Partner Business Manager

Years at VMware: 5

Office Location: Solna, Sweden

Personal mantra or favorite quote:

Anything is possible; the impossible just takes more time.

Click here to learn more about Anna-Maria’s unique story!





Lucy_Chun_Ying_Li_IWD_PhotoSpotlight on: Lucy Chun Ying Li, Quality Engineering (QE) Manager

Years at VMware: 5

Office Location: Beijing, China

Click here to learn more about Lucy’s unique story!







Eva_SchoenleitnerSpotlight on: Eva Schoenleitner, Sr. Director of Marketing, Central and Eastern Europe

Years at VMware: 1

Office Location: Munich, Germany

Personal mantra or favorite quote:

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” –Winston Churchill

Click here to learn more about Eva’s unique story!





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VMware Employee Spotlight: Eva Klaudinyova on Service Learning in Kenya, mentoring with TechWomen, conversing in the VMware German Club and much more!

VMware employees contribute their best work to imagine, define, and deliver the future of IT through transformative products and solutions that enable customer agility, efficiency, security, and fault tolerance in the Cloud era. And this is only possible through the dedicated, dynamic and inspiring people that make up our company. Take a look at Eva’s story on how she gives back and grows herself and her team.  


Name: Eva Klaudinyova

Job title: Sr. Manager, Globalization Operations

Years at VMware: 5 years, 2 months

Office location: Palo Alto, California


1. In three words or phrases, how would you describe your experience at VMware thus far?

It’s been a never-ending whirlwind of challenges, opportunities, changes and growth.

It has been challenging – change is constant, the work never ends, you solve one problem only to be faced with another. However, it has also been very rewarding – I have grown a lot and very fast during my time at VMware, and not only professionally. And it has been very interesting – I really like learning and there are many opportunities to do that at VMware, I have met people from all over the world and visited our offices on three different continents, and represented VMware at many international conferences.

2. What ignites your passion to do your best work every day at VMware?

On one hand, it is the fact that I really like what I do and I very much enjoy having a global role. I manage an international team in three different geographies and almost every day I get to work with people all around the world. It is very rewarding to know that my work, and the work of my team, helps so many people and teams in so many other countries to be successful, regardless whether they are VMware employees, partners or customers. On the other hand, it is the ever-changing nature of what we do. It can be very tiring at times, but it allows me to learn new skills and grow not only professionally but also personally.

3. Do you have a favorite group, hobby or interest that you are active in at VMware?

It’s not really official, but for a couple of years I have been meeting with a small group of other VMware employees for lunch, as part of our own VMware “German club.” Each one of us comes from a different country but we all happen to speak German. We discuss, in German, various topics, ranging from different international cuisines, our favorite books, education systems in the United States and around the world, holidays in our respective countries, current events, etc. and sometimes just exchange work gossip and have a German equivalent of a “water-cooler conversation.” It is one of the great informal ways how I, as “a marketing person”, can stay in touch with my colleagues from the R&D team.

4. Among other values, Giving Back More Than We Take is a core part of VMware culture. How has this value come to life for you at VMware? 

The concept of 40 hours of paid service learning time to help others has always been one of the major attractions of working for VMware. Two years ago, I used that time to go to Kenya – I travelled on an international volunteer trip with Me to We, a Canadian social enterprise, and spent some time in rural Kenya volunteering to help build a school with Free the Children, an international charity and educational partner. The experience was life-changing and I felt I got much more from that trip than I gave. This particular trip and associated fundraising program called Imagine Educating Everyone was started by three enthusiasts at NetApp. Africa is where I saw firsthand how important it is for us to take time and lend a helping hand to those that need it. It also made me appreciate the life and opportunities I have here in Silicon Valley so much more and I am really glad that I could share my time and energy and help a community in the developing world.

Last year, I stayed closer to home, and used my service time to mentor an emerging leader from Morocco through the TechWomen program, an initiative by the U.S. Department of State, based on “smart power diplomacy,” utilizing technology and innovation to create opportunities for greater understanding between nations. TechWomen brings emerging women leaders in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) from the Middle East and Africa together with their counterparts in the United States for a professional mentorship and exchange program. TechWomen supports the next generation of women leaders in STEM fields by providing them access and opportunity to advance their careers and pursue their dreams by connecting them to mentors in Silicon Valley, as well as providing access to many educational and networking opportunities.

Finish this statement: Giving Back Together means setting aside your own needs and giving your own time and energy to improve the life of those who are in need of your help.

5. Share the biggest lesson or takeaway from your Service Learning experience with TechWomen. Is it what you expected?

The TechWomen cause is an initiative that’s very close to my heart, and not only because it is global and has the international aspect. I am a strong advocate for women trying to compete in the traditionally male-dominated tech world and I am a co-founder of a global professional organization called Women in Localization. This organization has partnered a couple of times with TechWomen, and I also served as a TechWomen mentor. Last year I met 41 emerging women leaders from 8 countries in the Middle East and North Africa. There were also about 80 mentors assigned to the emerging leaders and even though the mentors were all based in Silicon Valley, not all of them were Americans – there were also Europeans, Africans, Middle Easterners, South Americans and Asians.

Yet despite the fact that we were all coming from different cultures, had different skin colors, spoke different languages, had different beliefs, ate different food and even dressed differently, we set aside all our differences and united around a few basic ideas – we wanted to teach and learn, we wanted to make a difference, we wanted to grow, and we wanted to use what we learned to help others. It was a powerful experience, and even though my dream is quite idealistic (and possibly even somewhat naïve), I really wish that politicians could realize that if people unite around a common cause, they can make it work among themselves. I wish those in power would try much harder to find ways to unite people and whole nations around a common cause. Cooperating on elimination of poverty, intolerance and prejudice is, I believe, one of the best ways to bring nations together in a spirit of togetherness and cooperation.

6. What can people do if they’re interested in using their skills to give back?

My experience has shown that all it takes is to make a start somewhere, and then opportunities to help others will start popping up by themselves. It’s like the Laws of Attraction, “like attracts like.” You can help within your own community, through a local school, church, or volunteer organization. You can join a professional organization that’s focused on your area of interest and volunteer there. You can choose a cause that’s close to your heart – helping the poor and homeless, helping children in schools or through tutoring, fighting against diseases, helping developing countries, etc. There is an endless list of worthy causes and each one of them needs more support. There are many opportunities out there; you just need to spend time to do a little research to find a cause that’s close to your heart. Or ask your friends and colleagues, and maybe you can join them in their efforts to better the world. If you’re interested in any of the causes I’ve mentioned above, you can find more information about them by clicking on the provided hyperlinks.

7. What advice would you give to someone looking to pursue a career at VMware?

VMware is a company that’s a leader in its field; it is fast growing and successful. It is a company that requires a lot of dedication, energy, hard work and flexibility. It is a company for people who are self-starters, who can handle changes and challenges with aplomb, who want to grow and contribute, and who are good team players. In return, it offers many opportunities for growth and employee perks. It is not the right place for people who want a stable, routine, process-driven or manager-driven nine-to-five job.

8. How do you plan to grow and develop yourself professionally in the New Year? 

In my 5+ years at VMware, my team has grown from one geography and 4 people to three geographies and over 20 people. For the past year and a half, I have been focusing on improving my leadership and communication skills, not only through the courses offered internally at VMware, but also attending external webinars, workshops and conferences. I would like to continue in this trend, and keep developing my leadership skills.

I am also very active in my chosen industry (localization and globalization), as a co-founder and Executive Board member of a professional organization and a speaker at many industry conferences. I plan to continue acquiring more knowledge in my professional area of interest. I have also started participating in several cross-departmental initiatives that are geared towards better cooperation and improved tools and processes between various organizations at VMware. I am hoping to learn a lot through these initiatives, and contribute my knowledge and expertise towards better cooperation and increased efficiency at VMware.



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VMware at JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge 2011 (San Francisco)

Over 200 VMware Employees participated in the JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge in San Francisco on September 21st, 2011. This year hit a 27-year record for participation at the event with over 8,700 participants from 333 companies. 

The VMware Team:


In addition to capturing the above photo, Internal Communications Program Manager, Mike Louie, made an amazing video of their experience at the event. Check it out and see how much fun VMware employees had getting a workout for a great cause. 


Running the JP Morgan Chase Challenge 2011 (San Francisco) from Mewie on Vimeo.

Proceeds from this event in San Francisco went to Larkin Street Youth Services, an organization that provides homeless, runaway and at-risk kids between the ages of 12 and 24 with the help they need to rebuild their lives. Each year, more than 3,600 kids walk through their doors seeking help. 

Employee wellness and giving back to our local communities is a big part of the worklife and culture at VMware and we encourage all employees to particpate in these kinds of events at all our 40+ locations around the word.

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