"For anyone who has an entrepreneurial side to them, is ambitious, creative, energetic, it's a phenomenal environment. You have a tremendous amount of resources at your disposal..."
What have been the most defining moments along your career path?
I thought I'd be a broker, and I was for a time. I decided to leave that. Initially, being a retail broker, it was the caliber of the people I was working with, and it was also the nature of the business, that lead me to leave. You work over the phone almost entirely. There was very little human interaction. When I branched off into institutional sales, once again there was very little interaction, but the caliber of the people on the other end of the phone was heightened. You had more intelligent people on the phone. But you still had a relationship over the phone and I wanted to do something a little more hands-on, a little more dynamic, something that required a little more thought. I needed to make a change.
How did you get your big breaks?
For me the break came because I wanted to intergrate my interest in technology with my experience in financial sales. When I interviewed with Sun, I sold my ability to be put on financial accounts. I really sold the idea that once I got over the hurdle of learning the technology, I would know what the account's business was and I would be able to sell solutions to them. I would be able to marry my knowledge of and background in finance, to the new technology that I learned about. So, it wasn't as difficult for me as it might be for someone just coming in and being put into an area of technology that they're not aware of. It worked, they hired me.
What was the best advice you received when you were first starting out in your career?
You really want to enjoy what you're doing and you don't want to be the kind of person who looks at the clock.
What have you learned from your experience?
When I first started, there was supposedly a tradition of bringing in bagels every Wednesday, but I've never seen that. There's no free breakfast here. But there is an annual sales meeting that is just phenomenal. They spend a lot of money, they fly everyone out to California, they talk about the company, how it's doing, where it's going, and we have guest speakers. There's also something called "Sunrise," where if you achieve the goals that are set for you, the company sends you away to a special club, which is first class all the way. This year it's going to be in Singapore. Last year it was in Paris and they rented out Versailles for a night and had a period masquerade ball. In terms of little traditions...it still has a nice feel to it because whereas you have a large organization that has a hierarchy of organization that has to be adhered to, Sun hasn't really employed that. Once again, if you get your job done and you're doing what you need to do, they're very flexible in acknowledging your efforts. It's a very trustworthy business. It's a business for people who can purport themselves like professionals.
What most excites you about your job right now?
For anyone who has an entrepreneurial side to them, is ambitious, creative, energetic, it's a phenomenal environment. You have a tremendous amount of resources at your disposal, you've got brilliant people that you work with as resources as well, and you're able to really create things. My company (Sun) gives you a lot of flexibility as far as what you want to do, and provided that you achieve the goals that they ask you to, they encourage extra-curricular activities, such as forming groups to focus in on special technologies and doing area-level activities.
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What would you like to have achieved by the last day of your career?
I will always be exploring my options. I did Venture Capital for a while as well and I see myself eventually getting back into that down the road, maybe five to ten years from now. Also, graduate school is in my sights as well. But being at Sun, I can't think of a better place to be to learn about technology and how it affects business. It's a phenomenal place, and a fantastic resume builder. In fact, the top two schools that graduate schools look at now for placement and recruitment are Microsoft and Sun, on the technology side for Venture Capital.
Adversity and misfortune have created some of my best opportunities.
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