Happy. Adaptable. Thoughtful. Those are key takeaways for anyone who has a conversation with Julienne Pham, a staff architect in VMware’s Customer Experience and Success Professional Services Engineering group. A new mother to baby Luca and recently back at work from family leave, Julienne is based out of the Cork-Yeats House, Ireland office.
Tech was calling
Born in France to a conservative Vietnamese family, Julienne grew up near Lyon and is the eldest of four daughters. When the time came to pick a career path, she knew she would thrive in a career that would offer a range of diverse pathways. She briefly considered following her friends to medical school, but decided that IT was her true calling.
Julienne arrived at VMware as a French exchange student to Ireland. Although French is her native language, most of her work is in English. “I don’t even know if I could describe any VMware technology in French!”
After several months working as an intern, she accepted a permanent job and has been with VMware 13 years and counting.
What keeps her going? Julienne has had opportunities to work in different groups and roles with people from diverse experiences and backgrounds. She has learned many new skills along the way that have helped her to continuously grow her career.
“Nothing is boring,” she says. “We have so much change in tech.”
Currently working on the VMware security portfolio for professional services as a staff architect, Julienne ensures that new services offerings released to market are well-defined and properly scoped. She balances the execution of professional services sales processes with efficiency and accuracy while also making sure that delivery teams understand the service outcome customers expect.
In addition, Julienne develops and builds customer deliverables templates to support professional services delivery engagements. Her expertise as a staff architect is in linking business objectives to technical details to ensure that all customer requirements and objectives are met. She’s the matchmaker reinforcing that what is sold is what is delivered to customers.
Staff architects work closely with various business units, including customer success, engineering, education, support, marketing, professional services, sales, alliances and partner engineering organizations. They collaborate in designing, validating and building sales, technical and service delivery collateral to drive adoption of VMware products and solutions. They define, develop, rollout and enable professional service offers. Staff architects’ in-depth knowledge is invaluable when partnering with various teams to define professional service offers and guide engagement teams to the desired end state for maximum value to VMware customers.
Great people in a flexible environment
Julienne particularly likes the autonomy that her various roles at VMware have provided for more than a decade. The freedom to work on projects she enjoys and the flexibility to decide how best to execute her work are key factors in her ongoing evolution.
“All VMware products have a different story and help to create one VMware solution for customers. I don’t have a favorite product because I’ve worked on so many of them and they each have their flavor and purpose.”
She also notes that there have been many people along her VMware journey that have supported her as she changed roles or tried something new. “The best thing is that you can be who you are and be surrounded by people who encourage you,” she says. “VMware has always been good to me.”
A word to women in tech
For those looking into a career in tech, Julienne advises women to steer their own fate. “Just go for it and make your life what you want it to be. Be persistent. We must drive our life and not wait for something to happen. We must be in the driver’s seat and jump when opportunity happens and not overthink too much.”
In Julienne’s example, she has grown from an intern to a staff architect — with many roles in between — and is continuing to evolve her career. “Anything is possible if you give the effort to achieve it. Growing up, I doubted myself, but I learned that doing is the best way to progress. Otherwise, we can only dream about a life that we would have.”
She continues, “Working with experienced people is a great motivator. I learned quickly that any question is a good question. Be curious and question everything as there is no one answer that fits all.”
People who are collaborative and possess interpersonal and listening skills can find great success in a career in IT. The ability to solve complex problems while keeping tabs on big picture goals is also beneficial to any person who wants a career in technology.
Life in balance
Julienne includes meditation and yoga in her lifestyle, focuses on love and kindness, and has a simple goal for happiness as well as a wish for others to have the same. “May you be happy. May you be well. May you be at peace and at ease.”