In November of 2010, I announced that, after 15 years, would be leaving the customer side & joining the ranks of “Chad’s Army.”
Since joining EMC, I’ve grown & learned more than I could have imagined. Going through vSpecialist on-boarding, at least from a mentally challenging perspective, seemed similar to basic training. The camaraderie that I have had with all of my vSpecialist brothers & sisters is very similar to what I had with my military family. We knew that everyone else always had our back. At the same time, we all had the same mission, that we had to perform with some pretty solid values. My Air Force core values were easily applied to my EMC role.
Those were “Integrity First,” “Service before self,” & “Excellence in all we do.”
My Tour at EMC
In EMC’s Federal Division, I initially supported Civilian Agencies. I’ve worked with customers including some departments like, the VA, DOE, DHS, FEMA, and others, not to mention multiple integrators supporting those customers, and more. For the past two years, I’ve primarily supported the U.S. Military & organizations bringing additional value & resources in support of the U.S. Military’s mission.
At the same time, being a vSpecialist, I have had opportunities to support the greater EMC & VMware community at EMC World, VMworld, VMware Partner Exchange, & various other conferences/workshops in various technical, organizational, & speaking roles.
I’ve been fortunate in having traveled to a couple different countries I had not been to during that time, as well as quite a few domestic places I had not had the pleasure of experiencing.
For those that follow me on twitter, I’m sure they’ve seen some of my “colorful” travel mishaps. Unfortunately, there have been so many, we have an internal message board named “Jase Does Travel Advice” where people can get a laugh about some things I haven’t mentioned publicly.
Other than some of the crappy travel, I would say my time at EMC has been pretty awesome. Again, I’ve learned quite a bit, & have made some pretty awesome friends along the way. I highly recommend EMC as an employer. Great folks, great direction, great strategy, & always changing to remain competitive.
To Grow, Things Must Change
In 2013, I retired from the Air National Guard with over 24 years of service. My first few years, I was an Avionics Technician, working with Guidance & Control Systems. Despite having a blast doing it, I wanted to get into a military career field that aligned with my civilian goals. When the time was right, I moved over to Communications, which aligned perfectly with my civilian career field. I worked my way through the ranks & gave my all. Once I got to a certain point though, I knew my time was up, & it was time to leave/retire.
In the 15 years of being a customer, it worked pretty much the same way. After 5 years in an academic support & education role, I knew it was time to do something different.
I then spent 5 years at a handful of health insurance companies, a completely different vertical, while bringing what I had learned in school & my previous role. A little turmoil was going on then, & I ultimately ended up in a role that I wasn’t really well suited for.
In leaving that role, I spent my next 5 1/2 years providing products for a completely different market, the financial sector. As a datacenter lead, I learned a lot, designed quite a bit, and deployed more solutions than I can easily remember.
Each time I changed verticals, I had the opportunity to learn more, while applying what I had learned before. Whether it is application/web development, infrastructure design/deployment, project management, marketing, or other, I am always looking to learn more.
Hanging up the Dog Tags
As of the last week of March, I’ll no longer be part of Chad’s Army. As I’ve said before, I’ve had a great time working for EMC as a vSpecialist. I’ve tried to be the best customer advocate I could be, while positioning solutions that are appropriate, right sized, able to grow, provide value, & are cost effective to the Federal Government. Knowing some of the things I’ve accomplished, I feel pretty good about myself. I’ll miss my customers tremendously, the EMC Federal organization, and especially my vSpecialist brothers & sisters.
Each time I move to a different position, I feel the same. I appreciate the people I had the pleasure to work with, miss those I’ve worked closely with on a daily/regular basis, as well as those that I worked with only from time to time.
The comfort of knowing what to expect each day, week, month, quarter, & year, to a certain degree, is now gone. There is a blank slate to start with… Yes, reputations come along and aren’t really wiped clean (Thanks to the airlines & Twitter for that), but ultimately there is somewhat of a “start over” or “new beginning” period. And every time, that new beginning is uncertain… Exciting… And a chance to grow.
My next adventure
Without further ado, starting the first full week of April, I start working for the Storage & Availability Business Unit at VMware. I’ll be reporting to Chuck Hollis, and working in an Ecosystem Development role.
The role is definitely a change of pace, with some exciting new responsibilities. It is a dream job for me, and I honestly couldn’t pass up on it. I’m really looking forward to this next chapter in the book of my career, and can’t wait to get started.