Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.

Nusrath Khan

Nusrath Khan

Business Operations at EMC

Cradles 3

 

The definition of a Great Place to Work differs from person to person. However, one thing is clear when a company highly encourages you to develop character by giving back at a local level – you know you’re in the right place!

 

Cradles 1

 

On July 30th, our volunteer group, WW Business and product Operations Team, had the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities at Cradles to Crayons in Brighton, MA.  During the morning, many of us categorized quality books into various age groups and during the afternoon, we combined quality pieces of clothing into different outfits. Cradles to Crayons emphasized quality in all their activities. They ensured that volunteers knew that no child would receive a torn outfit or a worn out book. A red skirt, polka dot top, blue socks coupled with a matching blue headband, all combined into one outfit for a toddler girl.  This may be just one outfit to us but, sorting through the clothes and books at Cradles to Crayons reminds you of how the smallest things can really be big in the eyes of a child.

 

 

 

Cradles 2

It is incredible to think that in just a few hours, we collectively affected so many children and families’ lives and most of all, had fun doing so! I am extremely grateful that EMC, along with my work group, often encourages us to take time out of our busy lives to give back. We don’t realize it immediately, but our conversations, work ethics and sense of empathy are enriched because of it.

Mid-Range Solutions Taking Opportunities to Give Back

Annette Cormier

Annette Cormier

Mid-Range Solutions at EMC

The Mid-Range Solutions Staff, lead by Jeff Boudreau, SVP within the Core Technologies Division (CTD), appreciates the opportunity EMC has provided to give back to our community.  Jeff started to put his staff into action after being inspired by the update at a recent EMC Quarterly Update meeting and hearing about the need for help at the Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB). The GBFB feeds as many as 545,000 people each year and has a goal to distribute enough food to provide at least one meal a day to every hungry person.   Our team scheduled a visit last December and sent 17 volunteers to GBFB for a 3-hour shift. We put together 500 boxes and 1500 bags supplying 6,197 meals and sorting 7,436 pounds of food.

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For the team, this was just the beginning of our opportunities to give back.  On June 29, 2015, 14 team members went to The Hopkinton Center for the Arts (HCA).   The HCA is a non-profit center that offers classes and events in visual arts, theater, music, film, and dance. It is currently housed in a 1850s farmhouse at 298 Hayden Rowe Street in Hopkinton.  Their current location has outgrown their needs and they are moving into their newly renovated barn in July.   They were ready to put volunteers to work organizing rooms, cleaning out closets, moving trash and painting.   By the end of the day, the HCA was ready to move into their new location.

If you want to support a local center, see theater shows and local artists; please visit their website to find out more http://www.hopartscenter.org.

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Employees in 4our organization want to give back anyway that they can, both personally and professionally.  It is a wonderful opportunity to work with your team members for the benefit and support of the community.  The Mid-Range volunteers will be at it again at the Greater Boston Food Bank on August 17, 2015.

As a team, we donated 107 hours of community service in just 7 hours of physical time.  The power of working collectively can move mountains.

Knowing that we can give back in our professional lives is the power of doing more together.

 

My Oscar Win!

Aoife Favier

Aoife Favier

Sr EBC Services Specialist at EMC

I got to attend Toastmasters here in EMC’s Cork Ireland Center of Excellence. Participating in Toastmasters helps to get rid of the dreaded nerves of having to stand up in front of a group of people and speak!

At Toastmasters you can attend first as an observer (to see what all the fuss is about), then you get to participate by standing up and giving an example for a certain table topic (which could range from The Kardashians to Formula One racing or to share your favorite childhood memory).

For the next step, you receive booklets and get set up on the Toastmasters website for new assignments.  I signed up for the ‘Grammarian’ Role.  Prior to this I took the role of ‘Ah Counter’ and ‘Time Keeper’.  Toastmasters recommends that each person take on a job at every session.  Everyone starts with an ice-breaker speech and then delivers different speeches in the sessions that follow.

I studied up on my grammar and gave constructive feedback and a very detailed report on three of my fellow speakers’ speeches.  The experience taught me how to listen attentively to finer details, and also gave me confidence to relay my feedback in a structured, informative, helpful and insightful manner.  As Grammarian, I also had to come up with the ‘Word of the Day.’ I choose Frenetic and the speakers needed to incorporate this word into their speeches.

My efforts were rewarded, and I nearly cried out of pure delight and shock at winning the Golden ‘T’ Award, normally given to the best speaker of the day!

I would highly recommend Toastmasters for everyone. Participants are in the same boat, and offer  THE most supportive surroundings I have ever been in. People are genuinely rooting for you and wishing you well.  We can grow and improve from our feedback we receive which will always include improvements and applause.

Standing up in front of people and having to speak can be terrifying. Even though I am in the early days of Toastmasters,  I am already feeling stronger and I am going to continue the course to become a great presenter and speaker even if it is just in my weekly meeting.  Capturing the power of my own voice and not stuttering or feeling embarrassed to speak…..there will be no stopping me!

A Look Inside: One Intern’s Experience

Gabrielle Mantel

Gabrielle Mantel

Global Services Intern at EMC

As a Northeastern student in my senior year, I have had the unique opportunity to complete three six-month internships over my five year college tenure. After completing my first with a large financial firm in Boston and my second with a much smaller company in Dublin, Ireland, I had high expectations going into my final experience with EMC.

As an undergraduate of the D’Amore McKim School of Business, I had always been aware of EMC’s close relationship with the university. For years, I heard only positive feedback from friends and peers who had previously worked for the company. So when my third co-op came around, I quickly focused on EMC as one of my top choices as a future employer. After working here for just over four months, I can honestly say that I have not been disappointed. EMC’s employees not only welcomed me with open arms, but allowed me opportunities for personal growth and professional development. My manager, as well as my fellow team members, have acted as mentors and advisors throughout my entire time at EMC. They make themselves available and approachable for any questions that I may have and treat me as an integral part of the team.

One of the best aspects of working for the Global Services team has been the opportunity to take on key projects and enjoy the autonomy that comes from working for such a large organization. My supervisor gave me increased responsibility as my time at EMC progressed, and I recently had the honor of working on a large Facebook ad campaign for the Global Services account. As a marketing major at Northeastern, I was incredibly interested in learning more about social media marketing. Through this project, I was able to learn from a trusted colleague and put my classroom knowledge into effect. In a few short months, our mutual efforts resulted in a 99% increase in Facebook page followers, a 27% increase in engagement, and a 239% increase in link clinks to additional information on topics we posted. To have made such a positive impact in my four months at EMC has been the highlight of my time with the company.

Even with all the superior benefits and opportunities that the company offers their interns, EMC’s greatest asset by far is their people. In my time here, I have met and worked alongside countless intelligent, driven, successful individuals who are not only friendly in the office environment but truly care about EMC’s success in the market. I work with colleagues that I respect and admire, and I have used this internship to learn as much as possible from experts in the field.

I have witnessed on numerous occasions EMC’s commitment to investing in their employees and guiding them on their path of professional development. It is rare and invaluable to find a company that not only appreciates their employees, but strives for their improvement every day. For this reason alone, EMC has proven itself as a great place to work. As I quickly approach my graduation date and shortly after the end of my internship with EMC, I have begun pursuing a post-graduate career with the company. My manager has worked diligently with me to find the best career path and has introduced me to a plethora of opportunities available to interns for full-time employment. Whether it’s one of the many leadership rotational programs EMC offers or a new role with another department, I enthusiastically look forward to what my future with EMC holds.

Avon 39 – An Amazing Weekend

Kimberly Lindsey

Kimberly Lindsey

Finance at EMC

I love working at EMC for many reasons, one of them being, that I am given the time to volunteer at fantastic events like Avon 39 – the Walk to END breast cancer.

3.7Million

Every year thousands of men and women converge on Boston’s famous harbor and walk through the lovely neighborhoods like Back Bay and Beacon Hill, through Boston Common, and down to Canton. The group then tents overnight at Reebok international headquarters and the next day walks back up to Boston Waterfront. This is a total of 39.3 miles! It is an amazing weekend.  I have met many survivors and heard stories of the struggle, stories of loss, and stories of courage from the people who walk.

33.miles

I walk because my grandmother died from complications of breast cancer. She was never given a mammogram; she was never informed of self-breast exams. Once detected she had a radical mastectomy and removed all the lymph nodes from her right arm. She underwent chemotherapy at age 65 and it made her very weak.   The cancer spread to the underlying breast bone and into other bones. It was sad to know that if they had caught this earlier, she could have went through so much less than she did.

I walk so NO ONE has to hear those awful words: “You have breast cancer”.

This year my team: the” Solo Stutters” raised $155,437.22.  And the Boston Walk included approximately 1,600 walkers and raised 3.6 Million Dollars!

The net funds from each walk:

  • Houston, TX
  • Washington, DC
  • Boston, MA
  • Chicago, IL
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Santa Barbara, CA
  • New York, NY

Go directly to that area’s local hospitals and research centers.

Crossing finish

This year the walk the beneficiaries of the walk in Boston included:

  • Boston Medical Center
  • Boston University
  • Community Servings
  • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
  • Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Partners Healthcare System
  • Silent Spring Institute
  • Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven
  • Tufts Medical Center
  • YWCA of Malden
  • YWCA of Southeastern Massachusetts

 

Next year’s Avon 39 will be July 9 – 10, 2016. I have already signed up and hope some of you will join me or make a team of your own. Together we can END breast cancer once and for all!

(Go to Avon39.org for more information.)

Solo.Strutter.Team

Cradles to Crayons: EMC Transforms the Lives of 157 Children in the Boston Area

Kiara Ortiz

Kiara Ortiz

HR Global Talent Acquisition Intern at EMC

 

Being a first year intern at EMC, I was overwhelmed with joy to be a part of such a successful, growing, company that values community involvement as much as I do. Volunteering is an important aspect of my life and I have worked with many organizations to help give back to my community.

I grew up in Seattle Washington with my mother and sister, where we collaborated with many local and international organizations to volunteer around the world. Now that I attend Spelman College, I have dedicated my time to volunteer through mentoring programs, soup kitchens and educational facilities to serve beyond the required hours we need to graduate. As I approach my senior year and transition into the workforce, I find it necessary to immerse myself in a work environment that values community involvement.

cradles

During my first week of interning, I was invited to volunteer with an organization named Cradles to Crayons. This group provides children from birth through age 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essentials they need to live their everyday lives. The items are supplied free of charge by engaging and connecting with communities to donate the necessary resources. More than 305,000 Massachusetts children, 12 years old and younger, live in low-income or poverty-stricken households. More than 100,000 Massachusetts children are more than likely to experience homelessness.

Cradles 2 Crayons 1

On Wednesday June 3, 2015, our volunteer group had an opportunity to split up into three different work groups at Cradles to Crayons. My role was to combine clothing and to create outfits, according to the specific packages we were given. For example, I created four different outfits for over 20 children between the ages of three and four years old. With a combined effort from all of my colleagues, we were able to use our hard work to provide 157 local children with packages filled with clothing.

This was such an amazing opportunity and knowing how many people we were able to help was very inspiring. I encourage everyone to take advantage of the various volunteer opportunities that EMC has to offer. The company offers great opportunities to support and help out the people that need us the most.

Giving Back – United Way

Calli Pappas

Calli Pappas

Human Resources at EMC

Giving back has been a priority for EMC and we see the immediate impact it has on our team members, who work in the Global Talent area of Human Resources. It has opened our folks up to new perspectives, and gives a new sense of appreciation and respect. It also shows that while our jobs are important, we can also take the time to step away and truly help those in need. It is often easy to get caught up in your day-to-day job and lose momentum on giving back. Luckily, with the combination of EMC’s “Give Back Days” and my work group’s emphasis on Community Service, we’ve continued our efforts to make volunteering a priority and creating opportunities to join in on team volunteer events.

Global Talent Team - United Way 1

Recently, we partnered with the United Way of Tri-County in Massachusetts. This organization is focused on local solutions for local problems. Over the last four years, the United Way of Tri-County has allocated over $5 million in support of organizations within their 34 communities west of Boston. Locally, the organization has helped over one million people receive food, clothing, housing, domestic violence support, quality in-school and after-school programming, and many more services to survive and thrive. They’ve convened community groups and organizations to share ideas, best practices, and resources to reduce duplication of services and ensure successful programs.

Our EMC team was lucky enough to help out this organization across 4 different locations. We broke into groups of 10-12 people in the following locations: Framingham’s Pearl Street Cupboard & Café, Clinton’s Wheat Community Connections, the Marlborough Community Cupboard, and lastly, the Framingham United Way Distribution Warehouse Store for a range of different assignments. Some helped to sort through gently used furniture and housewares to help prepare the distribution center for a “shopping experience.” Some helped provide families with food from the pantry shelves. Others helped to sort through clothing, books, and cans of food to help prepare for families and individuals in need.

Global Talent Team - United Way 2

Though we all helped in a slightly different way, one thing was common: we were able to help out our local communities and provide them with a warm, welcoming environment for friends, families, and neighbors who may be faced with difficult times. Each team spent a few hours together helping out the community, while getting to know one another and making new connections..

 

If you’re interested in knowing more about the United Way of Tri-County, be sure to check out their site! Meanwhile, the Global Talent team has continued to be active in local community service events thanks to EMC’s three “Give Back Days”!

The Power of an EMBRACE

Bryan Michael

Bryan Michael

Sr. Program Manager at EMC Cloud Solutions

There are people at EMC who spend all year waiting for a Saturday in June to celebrate who they are.  Some care about this day as much as anything else in the world. This day is all about LGBT Pride. It celebrates who we are and where we’re from – without titles, barriers or fear.  For the EMC employees who take part, it is a time to share unconditional love, acceptance and support on a day that has become timeless.

This year our theme for Pride was EMBRAC2E, incorporating the EMC name into a personal connection. For me, this theme captures EMC’s ability to provide employees with a virtual EMBRAC2E that enables us to soar to new heights.  This combination of support and encouragement is one of the many reasons why EMC is a Top 25 global Great Place to Work – a powerhouse with great possibilities and great people.

2Being a top sponsor of Boston Pride for three years in a row gives EMC a competitive edge when it comes to diversity and inclusion.  Our involvement shows our ever growing dedication to becoming an even more progressive company and highlights the benefits and culture that help to draw top level talent to join the EMC family.

This year, over 160 EMC employees marched in our Boston Pride delegation and engaged with over 10,000 people on the parade route.  As we shook hands, handed out EMBRAC2E buttons, or just said ‘thank you for your support,’ we represented the many faces of EMC to future employees, customers and partners.

Celebrating Pride draws those who love the camaraderie of people, the action and the energy.  To us, this day feels like home. On this day, we EMBRAC2E our differences for a common goal. On this day, we ALL win.

EMAIL-BANNER_boston

Finding Flexibility & Balance in a Working Environment

Krista Palombo

Krista Palombo

Director, DPAD HR at EMC

As a working mom of two daughters, ages 12 and 7, I’ve spent considerable time, like most parents, pondering how to get it all done. Early on in my “working mother” journey I can remember being eager for any advice or guidance. I recall attending a working mother seminar presented by a consulting firm and being excited about how I could learn to manage it all. Unfortunately the seminar didn’t offer practical daily solutions on how to find balance.

I remember one of the speakers was an executive at an investment firm – certainly her earning power was different than mine, her advice was outsource everything, hire a nanny, get someone to cook meals, have a cleaning person. I left that seminar feeling so defeated. I couldn’t afford that kind of “support system”.  It just wasn’t practical.

This is when I realized I had to take responsibility for my own work life balance and be transparent about communicating those needs back to key stakeholders.  I’ve been fortunate over my fifteen years at EMC to have amazing managers and colleagues that have been able to identify with the same set of issues. Due to our common bond we’ve supported each other and this has resulted in creating a work environment that has allowed for flexibility and balance.

Now that I have a few more working mother years under my belt I’ve had some experience in figuring out what works for my family.  Remember it’s not one size fits all, each family has their own balance.

Palombo, K

I’d like to share my own version of a Top 10 List for being a working mom or dad….

  1. Create a mantra that guides you (aka a catch phrase) – I once heard someone say at a working mother’s conference, “You can do anything, but you can’t do everything”, I like the quote but I’d like to expand upon it – “You can do anything, but you can’t do everything at the same time”. As a society we love to multi-task but that can backfire. I remind myself of my mantra when I start to get that drowning feeling, it reminds me of what I can handle. Pick and choose what’s reasonable under the circumstances. So I can’t volunteer for the PTO this year but there will be other times in the future that I may be able to take on the commitment. Then just, “Let It Go”, more on that later…

 

  1. Support other working moms (and dads) – we are our own best network. How many times have you come to work exhausted because you were up all night with a sick kid but you just had to come in and meet that dead line. Isn’t it great when you have a shoulder to lean on? That other person “who gets it”. It’s so important to be able to lift each other up in our time of need. I’ve even found the small things to be helpful, trading crockpot recipes has been one way a colleague has helped me.

 

  1. Don’t try to live up to other peoples standards – it’s important to remember we all have choices and it’s what we do with those choices that sets us off on our own personal journey. Just because one person decided to work part-time or stay home doesn’t mean your choice to work fulltime is a bad one. Or maybe you decide not to take on a new role because there’s too much travel. Again, make choices that are appropriate for your situation in the current circumstances. I’m a firm believer that timing is everything.

 

  1. Social Media warning – this goes along with #3 – Facebook is fun but can also be a brutal trap. I put on my “Facebook filter” especially around the holiday season. I have a Facebook “friend” who loves to share all the holiday baking, decorating and fun activities their Elf on the Shelf does over the holiday season. Back to my point about choices, I know that my “friend” has made different choices than I have and has built her schedule to allow her to do the things that she enjoys. Therefore I am able to filter her posts and don’t let myself feel inadequate about them. It’s worth noting I’m lucky if I remember to move the darn Elf on the Shelf before my daughter wakes up in the morning.

 

  1. Plan ahead – since you now know “You can do anything, but you can’t do everything at the same time”, plan ahead. For me I spend my weekend creating a plan of attack for the week ahead (while I’m still recovering from the week that just ended!).  I look at our family’s schedule for the week, what nights do we have soccer practice, religious education etc… and then come up with a plan for what nights I need to have dinner ready. I try to cook a bunch of meals on Sunday so I can reheat dinner throughout the week and have a couple nights that I pick up take out. I also have a plan of attack on laundry – let me just say, I hate laundry. It never goes away!  So I try to divide and conquer, I will pick a night and do one child’s laundry that night so I can get it all done and then move on to the other child’s the next night. Now if only that Elf on the Shelf could do laundry!

 

  1. Be there for your kids/family – It’s important to be able to go to your child’s special events or get there when the school nurse calls because she’s sick. But I also know the inner-conflict we face by leaving. However I’ve also sacrificed and not gone to the school function because I HAVE to be at this very important meeting only to have it get cancelled or rescheduled on me. I’m not saying to not attend important meetings or meet your work commitments but if you plan ahead and prioritize as much as possible you can make those special events. Then for those unplanned sick kid days it’s important to have strong communication with your manager to determine how you can work around it. Maybe you can work from home, dial into a meeting or reschedule it. I’ve found with open and honest communication everyone I work with at EMC is very flexible and understanding.

 

  1. Me time – I have a simple picture hanging in my office that says, “Home, Work, A Night out, A well balanced life”, like my mantra it’s a simple phrase to remind me of the importance of maintaining balance for my health and well-being. Several years ago I had a major health crisis and my daughters were 1 and 6 years old at the time. After the year-long battle was over I made some choices to live my life to the fullest. Growing up I rode horses and consider it a passion. After putting it aside for nearly 20 years I decided to return to it. This has led me to buying a horse and pursuing my passion for riding (yes, owning a horse is essentially like having another child… I think that could be the name of a country song). As it turns out my oldest daughter also has a passion for horses and this is something we enjoy together. It’s important for you to find something that brings personal joy and happiness that nurtures your soul.

 

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help – Again, we can’t do everything at the same time. I’m blessed to have a loving and supportive family that lives nearby. They are willing and able to help out when I get in a bind. While I prefer to do things “my way” I also realize its ok to ask others to help out. It shows strength to ask for help. Now that my kids are getting older they are learning to help out too- the older one is now starting to move the Elf on the Shelf each night.

 

  1. Let It Go – Just like the hit song from the movie, “Frozen”. We all know what it’s like when we start the day with the best of intentions, we had a plan when we left the house that morning and nothing went the way we expected. I remember when my daughters had an EPIC case of head lice – I don’t wish this on anyone. I will admit I was a raving lunatic, to quote one of my daughter’s, “Mommy you’re scaring me”, okay not my finest moment. But the good news is we got through it. During that exhausting ordeal a lot of things weren’t getting done, there were no home cooked meals it was purely laundry and hair combing. My manager at the time was amazing, she helped me manage my work schedule so I could be home and get through this mini crises. It was during that time that I realized I have to live in the moment and deal with the problem at hand and everything else can just wait.

 

  1. Enjoy each phase of the journey – in the end we are all just trying to be good moms and dads, colleagues, employees, spouses, friends etc… it all goes by so fast. So when you are in the middle of some overwhelming moment take a deep breath, a brief walk to clear your head and remember that this too shall pass. Before you know it some new thing will take its place and you will work through that too… I look back now at my daughters going to bed on their own (as they should at this age) but there was a time when I will admit we drove around town to get our baby girl to go to sleep, note my parents thought we were nuts but we did it anyway. I look back on that time and can’t believe it was 11 years ago. Now I’m entering the phase of pre-teen drama and Instagram which makes me miss driving around town at 10pm to put my baby to sleep.

 

I hope you found this helpful, insightful and maybe a little funny.  Being a working mom and dad isn’t an easy journey so give yourself credit for all that you do day in and day out. Find happiness in the little stuff and always remember to laugh!

Work/Life Balance Is Attainable

Bryan Shogren

Bryan Shogren

Senior Service Account Manager, VCS_Care at VCE

Folks in IT Support needs a special type of DNA to always be “on” when customers need support the most.  A customer’s worst moment with an IT event is our best moment to shine.  But these times are never planned.

I have worked in other IT Support organizations where the requirement for employees to always “be on” was literal.  I regret to say that for too long I allowed one former employer to interrupt my plans with family or even prevent me from something as simple as attending a church service for one hour on a Sunday morning.

My area of the company, VCE, is in a hyper-growth mode and the demands for effort, time and results are high in order to keep our existing customers satisfied and to ensure new customers that acquire our Converged Infrastructure solutions receive the same industry- leading experience.

However, here is the difference from my perspective:  As we grew, VCE implemented a follow the sun shift model schedule for on-call weekend support.  The result is during my scheduled week for on-call, I need to be ready to serve for a defined shift and can rest comfortably knowing I have colleagues in other geographic regions who can help me transition an escalation.  In the United States, VCE offers a take-a-break week during the July 4th holiday each year.  It is a time where one can truly enjoy some family summer fun realizing the company wants you to relax and recharge.  Finally, my local teammates are like a tightly woven quilt.  If I need to get to my son’s soccer practice, I have multiple colleagues offering to cover, even with short notice.

This type of culture manifests higher performance and productivity.  The highest performing sports teams achieve their pinnacles of success with taking timeouts to refocus, having suitable substitutes ready and stressing the mantra of “team first”.  This narrative fits all things in life.  Everyone needs balance for health and happiness and I am proud to say VCE does not compromise this simple need in the workplace.