Create Your Own Path: Soft-skills.Education.Impact

Posted on 27/08/2021 by vmwareemeasmt

Everybody’s career journey is entirely unique. You may have travelled via university or followed a winding road into full-time employment. Maybe you found yourself on a track that involved more practical experience, or maybe you had to take a few unexpected breaks along the way. Whatever your path looked like, it got you where you are today, and we believe that should be celebrated.   

We know socio-economic diversity benefits everyone, and we think that everybody who wants to join us should be given a fair chance regardless of education, experience, or background. That’s why, we’ve introduced ‘Create Your Own Path’, a new blog series designed to shine a light on members of our community who took a path less travelled to find us, and to highlight some of the employment initiatives we’re most proud of.   

We asked our volunteers what three words they would use to sum up their career journey so far, where they are now, and where they’re headed.   

In this instalment, Senior Programme Manager, Vincent Herreman explores his own career journey, his role heading up VMware’s IT Academywhich gives students a chance to learn on VMware technologies, and what it’s like being paid to help others.  

Vincent Herreman, Senior Programme Manager, VMware IT Academy,  

During my time at VMware, I’ve been lucky enough to travel across the world for work. I’ve found myself an arm’s length away from one of nature’s great predators (Baboon, in case you’re wondering), I’ve had the chance to take a three-week tour of Africa, and we’re now working on initiatives in India and beyond.  

It’s been wonderful, and I’m very grateful. However, when asked what the best thing about my role is, I still say it’s the feeling that I’m genuinely helping people with what I do.  

So, when asked to take part in ‘Create Your Own Path’ and spread the word about alternative routes into technology, I jumped at the chance.   

Skillsets  

I think one of the biggest misconceptions about the technology industry is the idea that you need to have a pre-developed skillset consisting of hard, actionable skills to break into it. 

I studied Mechanical-Electronic Engineering at university, and then immediately afterwards I found myself working as a Field Engineer in a telecommunications role. Interestingly, the things I learned to do at university had very little impact on my first job. To put it bluntly, I barely used the technical skills I’d spent years honing.  

This in itself is proof that you don’t need to have already studied Cloud Computing, Virtual Networking or any sort of specific software in order to be good at it. If you have a solid set of soft skills, i.e., you’re quick to learn, great with customers and possess a decent work ethic, that’s much more important. In my opinion, it’s these durable skills that will determine your success.  

You can always learn the technology later…which is where the IT Academy comes into play.  

Education 

In brief, my current role involves supporting VMware’s partner institutions throughout Europe through our IT Academy. The programme provides the institutions with learning resources to better help students prepare for future careers in technology.  

We bundle resources into the academy, and partner with various universities, colleges, non-profits, and government programmes. We then supply these institutions with technology, content, a curriculum and more, all designed to provide their students with a decent education, a working knowledge of VMware solutions, and in some cases even certification.  

The benefit is clear: knowledge! By the end of the programme, these students are in a much better place in the job market and often go on to forge a really amazing career in technology. 

Impact 

I feel very strongly that the key to a satisfying career is feeling that you’re genuinely making a positive impact, and by sharing our technology and giving universities/colleges and other academies the opportunity to leverage it, we really are making a significant impact on the industry.  

I think any company that has access to innovative modern technology should consider sharing its knowledge. No one company has a single solution to the problems we face today, be it environmental issues, socio-economic issues or other. We all have a piece of the puzzle. It’s only by sharing the knowledge and encouraging as many new voices to join the industry as possible, that we can start to piece that puzzle together.   

Who knows? One of our students could be learning skills at our IT academy that they’ll eventually use to tackle climate change.  

There’s no limit to the impact knowledge sharing programmes can have, and I feel very privileged to be a part of that. I feel there’s value in what we’re doing, and I’m getting paid for it… How awesome is that? 

Keep an eye out for the next blog in our ‘Create Your Own Path’ series or check out the previous versions here. To find out more about the IT Academy, click here. For more information about career opportunities at VMware, head to our careers page.


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