Kara, Information Technology (IT) Rotation Program
When did you join Dell and what roles have you held in your time here?
I joined Dell in 2000 after completing my BBA in Management Information Systems. I started out in Software Testing learning our Order Management and Financial systems. To assist in reducing cycle-time to implement code, I became a Web Developer who developed an online portal for code deployment and then a Test Environment Manager monitoring the projects moving within our test environments. I moved to Supply Chain as a Test Lead and began working on my Project and Portfolio Management skills.
This role took me to Enterprise Architecture and then to Services where I focused on Infrastructure Management and Telecom Expense Management as a People Manager. A role in Business Operations led me to Emerging Technologies as a Program Manager for Infrastructure which enabled me to join the IT Rotation Program as a Business Systems Analyst supporting Finance in our Business Partner Management organization.
Tell us about the career development opportunities at Dell and what inspired you to apply for the IT Rotation Program.
I have taken full advantage of the opportunity to drive my career and have held positions in most areas of Information Technology. When I expressed interest in learning a new skill (web development, process improvement, project management, financial acumen) my managers have listened and provided assistance. This has come in many forms, from mentors in the field, to supplemental, additional training to build my skillset.
Dell and my managers supported me as I pursued my MBA through the University of Texas’ Evening MBA program by providing financial assistance as well as adjusting my role and schedule to enable my evening classes. An opportunity to perform in an exact-match role for my new skillset has not always been immediately available, but when I take the time to develop myself, I’m ready when the position presents itself – which is why I chose to apply for the IT Rotation Program. I am honing my leadership skills and strategically expanding my breadth of business knowledge to prepare me to be a successful executive at Dell.
What has been the best part about participating in the IT Rotation Program?
I have an immediately expanded network of participants, leaders and mentors to lean on for collaboration, advice and assistance. This network is not confined to IT as we participate in monthly events with the Finance Rotation Program as well. I have grown tremendously in this first year through leadership training, and also through the repeated opportunity to discuss my career goals and aspirations with our CFO leadership team and the talented program participants.
What has been your most rewarding project so far in your career at Dell?
In 2010, Paul Bell stepped up to lead the Austin March for Babies event as walk chair for the local March of Dimes chapter. As a Company Captain for the March of Dimes, I had the unique opportunity to work closely with him as we developed a campaign to raise “$210K in 2010”. We created an Executive Team, identified team captains, and rallied the Austin Dell team to meet our goal by the walk date in May.
It was exciting to be a part of a campaign that allowed our employees to gather around an important mission and deliver a huge benefit to our local community. The way my teammates organize themselves around a cause to give back to the communities where we work and live is inspiring and rewarding!
How would you describe the Dell culture?
It is a global community of very driven individuals that are motivated to enable success for our customers, communities and for ourselves. Our giving is inspiring. Our talent is exceptional. It is non-stop; it is challenging. It is my home.
Describe your Dell experience using 5 words.
A challenging and rewarding career
What advice would you give others who are considering applying for one of Dell’s Development programs?
You will get out of this program what you put into it. Use the Development Program to enhance your career and expand your capabilities. Do not choose the easy road. You will have more support than you’ve ever known so take a risk and challenge yourself to learn a new skill or function where you previously haven’t had the opportunity to invest.