Tell us a little bit about yourself (Your studies, When did you join Dell etc.)
I am Raja Tamilarasan, currently working as a Product Technologist for the Dell OEM and IoT Solutions Group. I started at Dell as an intern back in 2008. After finishing my internship, I came back to Dell full time in January 2009.
What has your experience like as a University hire been? How did you hear about Dell and what was the application process like?
I heard about Dell everywhere, starting with my first PC while I was in middle school to the data centers that I helped setup as part of my first job out of college, I have always been a Dell customer in one way or another. My experience as a University hire has been incredible starting with the great professional network I have acquired over the years. In addition to expanding my professional network, I have had the opportunity to grow from an intern to an entry level programmer to an engineering leader and now a technologist of the internet of things group, which I believe is the most the most cutting edge field in the industry at the moment. I have also had a great group of mentors who have guided me at every step of the way and helped me make decisions that would have otherwise been extremely difficult to make.
Why did you choose to come work at Dell?
Dell was a very familiar name to me, especially during my first job setting up data centers for television stations across Asia, we used a lot of Dell products in those data centers. Reflecting on my memories, I remember being in a very remote part of Sri Lanka and setting up a brand new datacenter for one of Sri Lanka’s leading television networks. We ordered a lot of Dell products that we would then install, configure to automate the television station operations. During these projects, I got used to seeing the Dell logo everywhere, especially for someone setting up a data center that was all you say during the day.
Did you participate in any internships or rotation programs before you were hired? If so, tell us about your experience.
Yes, I started as a summer intern. The internship experience was a great learning experience for me. My manager at that time was very open about his expectations from me as an intern. When I started I thought an internship was all about finishing the project that was assigned to me. It was my manager that guided me and explained that as an intern, completing my project was just one among the many things I should be doing at Dell. He encouraged me to connect with as many people within Dell as I could and also learn about all the other groups within Dell.
What are some projects that you have recently been involved with and some of your career highlights at Dell?
I feel like I have been fortunate with many highlights in my Dell career. Starting as an intern I remember the intern group meeting with Michael Dell, where our group of about 180 interns got to spend about an hour with Michael Dell. After my internship, I started working on a highly complex embedded firmware engineering project, which was almost a dream come true for someone who graduated with a computer science degree. To me it was as technical as things could get all the way down to the 0’s and 1’s. I quickly started excelling in my role and within a span of few years, thanks to the trust my managers and mentors put in my work, I was offered the opportunity to lead the same team that I started with. I also wanted to go back to school and pursue an MBA or a Masters in Engineering Management.
How do you think Dell can help you achieve your career goals after graduation?
Great group of mentors and managers that are ready to help you formulate your career path. Mentors helped me mold myself to be a better engineer and motivated me to take on a leadership role. My mentors also gave me constant feedback on how I could be a better leader and continuously enabled me with tools that ensured that I am successful.