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Located in our Austin, Texas office. Zenoss is delivers unified IT monitoring and analytics for the modern datacenter. Some of our customers include: Rackspace Hosting, Sungard, Orbitz, and VMware.

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Advice for University Students

It’s already the end of April and for many of the university students I’ve been conversing with over the last week or so they are about to start or finish finals. If they’re lucky or worked hard at it, they’ve either already found an internship for this summer or already secured their first job post graduation. If they haven’t, time is quickly becoming their enemy.

According to the 2014 Internship & Co-op Survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers:

  • 96.9 percent of responding employers plan to hire interns and/or co-op students in 2014.
  • Employers choose schools for recruiting interns and co-ops based on academic majors offered, perceived quality of the programs, and past recruiting experience at the school.internship-pic
  • The average hourly wage for interns at the bachelor’s degree level is $16.35.
  • The average hourly wage for interns at a master’s degree level is $22.50.
  • Employers made full-time offers to 64.8 percent of their interns
  • 79 percent of interns accepted a full-time job offer with their internship employer

For parents this may be eye-opening, for students this may be completely new news.

My professional job deals with hiring both interns and soon to graduate university students in Computer Science fields, so some of the statistics are a bit different, but none of the information is surprising.

When I was studying at my university I always held a part-time job and didn’t know many people who had serious internships, let alone paid internships and since I always had a job it was hard for me to fathom going somewhere to gain experience without a paycheck. Times have changed though and the greater majority of what I refer to as legitimate internships are not only paid, but offer experiences and learning opportunities far beyond getting someone’s coffee.

So, if you have a student in your life have a frank conversation with them and make sure that they are planning out their summer breaks in such a way that it will benefit them in the long run and encourage them to take internship shopping seriously. I promise it will benefit them so much more than just getting a job for extra cash.

Not Much Can Happen in a Week

UPDATE: I actually typed this with a headache that started when I woke at 4:30 am. Ended up having a migraine for the entire day and didn’t actually go back to work until the next day.

I’ve had many people tell me that they don’t know how I do it.

The it they refer to is that they seem to think I’m on the go a lot and that I sleep very little. Nothing could be further from the truth, although online I seemingly sleep little. The reality is that during the working week I do tend to stay up later than most and on the weekends when I can I hibernate every chance I get. Nothing says weekend more to me than being absolutely lazy and watching some Bourne flick. (Not sure if you know this, but given any Saturday or Sunday you WILL find a Bourne movie on cable. Guaranteed.)

But this week has been quite different and really not much has happened.

Last Wed., Dec. 11 my husband and I arrived at Seton Medical Center at 4:30 am. The hospital doors aren’t even open then. We had a nice security guard buzz us in. We waited for a little while until they admitting lady started taking peoples information. After they called my name we went back into my post op room, undressed, changed into a super glamorous hospital gown with ventilation, bagged up the clothes I was wearing, laid down in the hospital bed as a nurse began taking my vitals and on his second attempt finally started my pic line in my hand. Ouch! First time I had ever had a pic line and I knew immediately I wasn’t a big fan. The area still hurts a week later.

I had a few meet and greets with the anesthesia nurse, the anesthesia doctor, my doctor and then at 6:30 am the two nurses came in – one was talking to Charles telling him it was time for him to go to the waiting room, the other nurse was speaking to me and telling me she was going to put something in my pic line . . . and I woke up in a different room, in a different hospital gown totally groggy about 5 hours later. I was to learn later that the drug they gave me was pretty much the same thing as the date rape drug.

I remember nothing. Five hours of my life totally disappeared.

Which I guess is really fine. They gave me an epidural, which was really one of the things I was least looking forward to, but I don’t recall it. They said I was speaking, but couldn’t really tell me what I said.

It took some time from when I began to awake for the hospital to have my room ready. Once it was, they wheeled me down halls and to my room all the while I was still semi-awake. Too many turns for my liking though and just as we entered my room I started vomiting. Fun stuff!

Charles arrived in my room a bit after I did. I spent the next couple of hours between awake and half-asleep. Started posting on social media by 3:45 pm that day and had already started the process of getting out of bed and taking a few steps.

We left the hospital by 4:30 on Thur., Dec. 12.

A week later, my new hip is on the mend. I had a few people come to visit at the hospital, friends and family sent me gifts for my short stay, at home I’ve had meals and flowers delivered, a few friends come by to check on me, met with my at home physical therapist twice, and most importantly become a walker super-user.

My husband has been at my beck and call and I’ve been working hard at not checking work email and resting up.

Today I return to work – albeit from home. Anxious to see what I’ve missed in a week.

Wrapping Things Up

It’s December and wrapping generally refers to wrapping gifts and presents . . . not in this case . . .


Just hit send on an email to alert my hiring managers that I’ll be out of the office for a wee bit very soon and ideally didn’t give my co-worker that will be covering things a heart attack.

It’s scary to put things on hold from my manager’s perspective, I’m sure. Scary for me too. A lot can happen when you’re away from the office. Things that you never anticipated breaking do. Drills that you never imagined, warrant all hands on deck. Meanwhile, I’ll be dozing away and when awake practicing leg lifts with a new body part.

While I realize time away is necessary and that I’ll be of little use, I admit I’m a bit of a workaholic. I don’t think I’m totally diagnosable with FOMA (Fear Of Missing Out), but I do like catching up on Facebook and Twitter and I’m constantly checking emails. So putting away technology for a day is unfathomable.

I suspect I’ll live through it though and until then . . . much to wrap up!

A New Beginning

Every-Day-Is-A-New-BeginningToday marks the end of an almost three year journey. Today I leave my contractor status at VMware and when I return to work after the Labor Day Weekend holiday I’ll be a full time employee at VMware. In HR terms we call it a contractor conversion and I’ll then be categorized as an FTE (Full Time Employee). And I’m thrilled.

I began working for VMware on October 7, 2010.

In the Spring of 2010 I had been a Recruiting Specialist at a day  trading firm in Austin, but 2009 was not a good year for the stock market. In August of 2009 we conducted a round of layoffs and by March of 2010 it was necessary to have an even deeper round of cuts if the company was going to continue to be somewhat financially stable. This round effected a larger number of employees than the earlier one and included my manager – our Director of Human Resources and myself – their only recruiter. I recall that day vividly and remember telling those that were being laid off that I completely understood, since I too was in need of finding new work.

From the time I found out that I was being effected until the time of my first contract gig was less than 48 hours. And from March until October I worked a few contract positions including as a long-distance sourcer, where I located candidates that were potential fits for companies in the New York area, an off-site recruiter for a health-care software company, a front desk / HR consultant for a medi-spa, an HR generalist for an identity theft company and finally for a little company based in California, PayPal as a sourcer. Each position was a short-term solution and I enjoyed each of the opportunities, but none were my employment home.

As my contract with PayPal was coming to an end, I looked for my next position. From the time I heard that my contract was wrapping up until I found my next job was less than 2 hours. My very first step was to look at the job opportunities in Austin on LinkedIn. A connection I had made years ago had posted earlier that week about a recruiter position at a software company’s Austin offices. The company was VMware.

I knew a little about VMware. I knew that their Austin office was relatively new. I knew that they were obviously a technology company. I recall that in speaking with IT folks that they thought that VMware’s products were good and that’s about it.

I quickly sent an email to my contact, Brooke Anderson and forwarded her a copy of my resume. It only took a day for me to hear back and within the next week I had a face to face interview. I remember meeting with Antonio Busalacchi, Gil Oakes and Kevan Blanco. I also recall that as I pulled into their parking lot that I had completely forgotten to bring something to take notes with and on. No pen. No paper. Nada. And I had cleaned out my car the day before and couldn’t even find a piece of scrap paper. So, I decided to take notes on my iPhone.

After all, my resume touted that I was a social media savvy recruiter and I had mad technology, cutting edge recruiting skills. Surely, taking notes on my iPhone would make sense to them.

Months later I learned that Gil had not been so impressed and commented to the others, “What was she doing texting while we were interviewing?!” I wasn’t texting, Gil. I promise. I was however, quickly pulling up each of my interviewers LinkedIn profiles.

The other part that I didn’t know until much later is that their then Social Media Administrator, Will Staney, had been asked whether or not I really was a social media savvy recruiter. He did a quick pass of the internet and assessed that indeed I was. [Thanks, Will!]

When I came on board as a contractor I started sourcing, locating candidates that might be a fit for our business openings such as financial and sales roles. I teamed up with a long-time recruiter, Tom Triolo. I’d find the candidates, make sure that they were good potential matches to the openings and Tom would take them further along in the process should they be deemed a fit. Over the next 11 months I supported other recruiters as well and sourced for a wide variety of roles in mostly our California and some in our Austin offices. We had a team in Austin of about six and it grew to around 14. Good people and fun to be around.

Then in the late summer of 2011, I found out about a new opening on our University Relations recruiting team. I applied to a full time role specialist, but the manager thought I’d be a better fit for a contract recruiter role. He was right, but I wasn’t thrilled about staying contract. I was ready to call VMware my full time home. I moved to the University team in August of 2011.

Since then my role has pretty much been the same. I’m tasked with finding great recent college graduate and intern candidates for our California office. My job is mainly a virtual one where I rarely have a chance to ever meet my candidates, but sometimes I do travel to college campuses and even meet the candidates that we eventually hire and I love my job. Seriously.

There’s not many things better than helping people find jobs – okay that’s just a blanket statement of being a recruiter in general. But finding jobs for university students is the best of the best. For most of the candidates that I recruit, I’m potentially offering them their first job EVER with the exception of some candidates that are completing their graduate degrees and have had some work experience.

Telling them about VMware’s fabulous perks of being a FTE is great. VMware has worked hard to be one of the best places to work for and earlier this year Fortune dubbed us as the Third Most Innovative Companies in the World. VMware is mindful of making sure that employees have a solid work/life balance, they encourage employees to give back to the community and I’ve seen first hand the compassion and passion employees have for each other and their work.

So, today, I say goodbye to being an outsider on the inside and join the ranks of the many that I’ve helped to hire. I’m so looking forward to being able to take part in everything that my full time new employment home has to offer me come Tuesday and starting the next leg of this journey.