A Woman’s World: VMware Spotlight on Jamie Lewis

Jamie Lewis’ tech journey started on the digital Oregon Trail.

She recalls playing the infamous game every day after school in third grade on a teacher’s computer that would often malfunction — leaving her to solve the problem but growing her passion for tech, too.

“I fell in love with computers,” she remembered. “To me, when I sat in front of that screen even in third grade, it was an escape and nothing else mattered. I was engulfed in a world, and much like when I read, I can just completely shut everything else out and it becomes almost like a peaceful tranquility zone for me because it keeps my mind going.”

The Missouri native turned her dreams into an IT career, which led her to VMware four years ago. She’s currently a Senior Technical Account Manager (TAM) and Team Lead specializing in digital workspace and end-user computing.

A foot in the door

Jamie began formal typing classes in junior high and signed up for the computer science courses offered at her high school. She worked with a teacher to map out a career path in tech, which led her to a trade school IT program after graduation.

Trade school didn’t come easy for Jamie, who was a single mother and the only woman in her graduating class. However, her teacher Mr. Tripp was a valuable mentor and she’s still in contact with him today.

One tip of his that proved fruitful was to dress for the part she wanted. “I went and I bought a suit and I printed off probably 30-40 resumes, which was nothing of a resume at that point.

I walked into this massive job fair and there were so many companies, so I just started handing out my resume and talking to them and I think I handed it out to every bit of 17 or 18 companies. I was so excited the next week I got six callbacks for interviews, and then I landed a position at [Sisters of Mercy Health System].”

While she enjoys the technical skills she now implements at VMware, including multiple years of experience with VMware Horizon, she’s developed a passion for the customer service aspects of the TAM role. As a Team Lead, she enjoys motivating other TAMs on her team.

“I love being able to help my team not just better themselves skillset-wise for our technologies but also personally. I’m really big into building professional relationships and friendships instead of just straight professionalism, and then I try to drive everything by just positiveness.”

Connecting with the next generation

Helping others in tech is important to Jamie because of how valuable mentorship was to her as a woman and working mom.

“Had I not had that guidance, I think I would have been a little bit lost, which is what drove me and drives me still to this day to take part in so many of our women’s programs. I want them to know that there is a support system out there because that is the one thing that helped me fulfill my IT career or to even know where to start,” she emphasized.

She believes mentorship can help young women build confidence and overcome discrimination, which she’s experienced from both men and women in tech. “I personally have faced very, very harsh discrimination being a woman and I’ve had to fight to prove that I was smart, as smart as the guys that were delivering the same exact type of infrastructure solutions. I think that’s one of the biggest challenges that women face.”

On the other hand, she’s also had many fond experiences as a woman in the field, including when she represented VMware at the 2022 Grace Hopper Celebration. She describes it as the “most humbling, empowering, confidence-building” experience of her career.  

She was moved by one young woman she spoke with who reminded her of her younger self and asked Jamie questions about tech careers, particularly as a mom. “She looked at me and she goes, ‘You’re such an inspiration.’ And her words stuck with me. It almost makes me tear up every time because I don’t look at myself as an inspiration. I just look at myself as a drive to prove that women can do anything that men tell us we can’t but to hear that from somebody who I looked back at and I saw myself 20 years ago, it got me excited.”

Be confident and jump into it

Though the prospect of navigating a career as a single parent once scared Jamie, she’s proud that she raised a family and chased her dream job at VMware simultaneously. A self-titled “boy mom,” she now spends much of her time outside work at football games and wrestling competitions whenever she’s not coaching fitness, running, or offroading. It’s also hard to miss her bright pink hair, which she enjoys dyeing bright, fun colors.

She recommends parents ensure their employers prioritize work-life balance so they can spend plenty of time with their families. She also encourages others to look at challenges not as barriers, but as opportunities for growth.

“It’s not how many times you fall and it’s not how bad you fall. It’s about what you’re learning through the process and how you get up better and you come back stronger than next time. So to always keep your purpose and find the lesson on how you can come back stronger.”

She leaves women interested in tech with the following advice: “You’re gonna hear a lot of, ‘You can’t do this. Are you sure that’s the way you should do it?’ But just stand strong in your confidence, stand strong in who you are, and don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do it. If this is what you want to do, jump into it.”

Looking for more?

In honor of International Women’s Month, VMware is shining a spotlight on some of our remarkable employees. Check out the rest of the “A Woman’s World” blog series for inspirational stories of women like Jamie, Phoebe Kim, Tina Krogull, and Martha Bellens-Martin.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *