Work From Home…
Well hello there! It has been awhile since I last wrote something. Given that things are slowing down due to the COVID-19 outbreak and everyone has to work from home, I thought it’d be a good time to dedicate some time to my blog.
I’ve been wanting to do a “Year in Review” post since the start of 2020, but I could never get to it. As mentioned, since there’s zero traveling allowed and with more time on hand, I think this is a good time to pen down my thoughts and reflect on the past 2.5 years since my career started in VMware.
Life as an Sales Engineer in VMware
After completing the Sales Academy Programme, my role as a Solutions Engineer begun. I was given the opportunity to be part of a rotational programme where I could support the various business functions. It was a great experience while it could be stressful at times, it was also extremely fun because I was constantly challenged and pushed out of my comfort zones. This was truly the pivoting point for me because of the real field experience I got, I started to really understand how the business ran from different perspectives.
About a year in, I was re-assigned to work on a new initiative. I was put in charge of running an Executive Briefing Center (or EBC for short) in Singapore. For those of you who are not familiar with this, an EBC is somewhat like a central experience hub where our customers can visit and gain first-hand experience of our solutions. You can also think of it like a showroom where we bring our customers through a solution “tour”.
Being in charge of the EBC allowed me to have the opportunity to work with various people from different backgrounds. I got the chance to work with so many experienced Solution Architects and Product Specialist to curate and deliver content to our C-Level customers. It was truly an immersive experience.
Fast forward to the start FY2020, I was allocated a “patch” to run. This means I am given the opportunity to run my own business in a particular territory. I was privileged to be paired up with an experienced and nurturing Account Manager. I must admit though at first the thought of running my own business in a given territory was daunting, I felt overwhelmed and stressed out. I was very concerned about whether or not I could reach the “expected” level of technical competencies. However, my Account Manager who is very experienced, guided me along the way and I soon became comfortable in whatever I was supposed to do.
In terms of the kind of work I do now, I am now fully accountable for the set of accounts I am taking care of. In other words, I am a fully-fledged Account SE. This is a huge change in terms of what I was doing previously. My goal now, is to be a trusted advisor for my customers and their digital transformation initiatives. This is a huge responsibility, and it marks the start of my journey as a Solutions Engineer.
I am happy to share that I was also awarded with two vExpert stars. I got my first star in 2019 and the second this year. vExpert is a programme for people coming from all walks of life and experiences to be part of the VMware community. The members do not need to be employees, in fact, most of them are actually not. I was awarded with this because VMware sees me as an evangelist, since I had various contributions that were for the greater community outside of VMware. All of these contributions goes beyond my day job.
One of the things I did, was blogging. The reason why I started this blog is so that I could have a platform to document my learnings and share them to the wider community. Although I think I could work more on the frequency of my blog posts (haha!) as well as the kind of content that I am producing, I treat the accreditation of me being a vExpert as a motivating factor for me to improve and carry on. Blogging aside, I also had the chance to return to my alma mater, Singapore Management University as a guest speaker to share insights on the IT industry.
This initiative first began a few years ago by a senior who also came from the same university. The motivating factor behind this initiative was for because he wanted to find a way to give back to our community/school. What he did was that he collaborated with our professors to create content as part of student’s curriculum. This gave us a platform to educate and share with the students about what VMware does as a company and also what we do for the company.
I’m glad that VMware has a program that recognizes external contributions and I definitely hope to keep this going.
Hands-on Lab, VMworld 2019 San Francisco & Barcelona
The highlight of 2019 would definitely be me having the opportunity to collaborate and be part of the Hands-on Lab team. If you are not familiar with VMware’s Hands-on Lab offerings, it is essentially a website that allows anyone to test drive a wide selection of VMware’s latest solution offerings FOR FREE!
It was a pleasure working alongside a huge group of like-minded people globally who enjoys building labs for the community to learn, test and explore. As the Hands-on Lab programme is run by a small group of core members, in order to make it work at a large scale setting it heavily relies on the wider VMware team to volunteer their time outside of their day job to contribute to this program.
As part of the Hands-on Lab team for building the labs, we would also get the opportunity to go to both the VMworld events in America and Europe, to support and showcase the labs that we have built. As it is my first time attending VMworld, needless to say, I was blown away at scale of it, especially the way the entire event was executed. It was amazing to see all the passionate attendees soaking themselves in the spirit of VMworld to learn and share knowledge.
Just to wrap this review up, I’m almost completing my 3rd year in VMware.
I have to say- I am truly humbled to be given the chance to work at this company and experience a journey like this. Being able to see and understand how VMware grew from a company that focuses heavily on software virtualization into cloud business and now into the application and security space is truly mind-blowing for me. The level of speed and innovation that goes behind the scenes to deliver solutions that helps customers with their digital transformation initiative is what continues to drive me as an SE to stand in front of my customers and to be able to share our vision of “Any Cloud, Any App, Any Device”.