Create Your Own Path: Social.Exploration.Creativity.

Posted on 20/08/2021 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, Support Services Manager, Patricia Bueno Lacasa explores the sense of adventure that took her from physiotherapy to technology, how creativity plays a part in her role, and the value in exploring a range of different career paths. 

Patricia Bueno Lacasa, Support Services Manager, VMware

I’m somebody who has taken a lot of unexpected turns throughout their career, and when I say unexpected turns… I mean unexpected turns.

I’ve studied physiotherapy, packed up and moved to a country whose language I don’t speak, started my own business, found myself unemployed, moved again, explored shipwrecks in Bali… The list goes on.

But most importantly, I’ve had life experience, and now I’ve found myself happy, working in a role I love in the tech industry.

I’m a living, breathing example of the fact that there’s no one path into technology. There are multiple roads all leading to the same place, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with exploring them all along the way.

Social

One of the things I love most about my current role, and one of the reasons I believe I’m good at it, is that it is ultimately a social position. As a Support Services Manager within VMware, I’m responsible for managing customers’ overall experience, and helping them to find solutions for any issues they may be having.

I work closely with a whole host of people, and because I’m the main contact for support, I get to build relationships with our customers throughout the process – which is rare in many customer service roles. Too often you find yourself picking up the phone, resolving the issue and moving on.

As a social person by nature, I love the feeling that our customers know me, and trust that they’re in good hands. Naturally, an interest in technology has helped me in my role, but I think if you can also bring people-skills to the table you’re set for a great career in tech no matter what your past experiences are.

Creativity

The ability to thrive in tech regardless of past experiences works in my favour, because mine couldn’t be more varied if I tried. 

After leaving school I studied Physiotherapy, which saw me working in various clinics and hospitals throughout Barcelona. The next item on the CV was Customer Service Rep for a video game company in France, before eventually starting my own business back in Spain. After the economic crisis I found myself unemployed, before eventually discovering VMware’s Kickstart Programme.

Along the way I began dabbling in photography, eventually becoming renowned in the Cosplay landscape. I found myself with a lot of followers and would create artworks using a mixture of photography and photoshop.

You might assume that this branch of my career journey hasn’t come in particularly handy for my current role in tech… however, you might be surprised.  It was creative work, and all too often people don’t associate the tech industry with creativity.

As a creative by nature, I couldn’t disagree more. Problem-solving in itself is creative.

It’s an amazing thing to be able to come up with interesting, innovative solutions quickly, and believe it or not, I find myself using a lot of the same soft-skills I used in my past career in my current role. So, to anybody hesitant to explore a role in technology because it’s ‘not creative enough’, I’d encourage you to reconsider.

You never know how the industry can surprise you.

Photography by Patricia Bueno Lacasa

Exploration

I’ve always been an explorer. I left my role as a Physiotherapist in Barcelona to move to France, despite having admittedly forgotten what little French I knew.

After France, I agreed to move to Cork in Ireland for work. For a long time, I couldn’t understand what anybody was saying, but I loved experiencing the culture, meeting new people, and generally learning about a country that was completely new to me.

After a brief stint in Cork, I moved back to Spain to open my own business. Unfortunately, this didn’t go quite as expected due to the economic crisis, but I still count it as a great learning opportunity, and ultimately, this led me to move back to Cork, where I found the Kickstart Programme in due course.

The programme was an adventure in itself, and I loved every minute of it, not just because it gave me the chance to land the role I have now, but because it’s wonderful to be a part of something so valuable.

The programme is a great chance for unemployed people to get a foot in the door of the tech industry where they might not otherwise have a chance. And it’s programmes like this that allow me to say with confidence that following your heart is never a bad thing, no matter how complex your career path may seem.

Even the moments we think of as failures provide us with some form of knowledge, and valuable experience. Just take me – even though I wasn’t successful in starting my own business, it led to me returning to Ireland and ultimately getting to where I am now.

Whatever road you’re on, it’ll work out in the end, and if I could give you one piece of advice, it’s that.

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

 


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