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IT Found Me! A #LifeAtVeritas Interview with Anita Smillie

Level 3

Hello Readers, so my last #LifeAtVeritas interview was with Fabio Pascali from Italy, this week I caught up with Anita Smillie, Senior Consulting Project Manager, who works in our EMEA Services Team in the UK. I’m slowly meeting people from around the globe with the #LifeAtVeritas blog series. In this interview with Anita, she talks about how IT found her and how her career has progressed. She reveals her highlights, what motivates her and why people should join our diverse Veritas team. Not surprising her favourite Veritas Solution is Professional Services. So, please read on to find out more about Anita and why she is passionate about her work at Veritas.

Meet Anita SmillieMeet Anita SmillieZoe: What made you choose a career in IT?
Anita: I think it chose me! :smiling_face_with_smiling_eyes: After leaving school I worked locally and Cabletron was a new local employer at the time, so I applied for a role with them. That has proved to be a pivotal decision as many of the friends and contacts I made there have helped and guided me to where I am now in my career.

Zoe: What advice would you give to those trying to secure their first IT role?
Anita: Be open to all opportunities. If the role isn’t 100% right but you believe in the company and its values, it is worth taking the risk. Once you are in that great place, you can work on gaining experience and building your personal brand. I know it sounds like rubbish, but the more people get to know you, your work ethic, the more they will look at you for other opportunities. The only constant thing in IT is change, so embrace it!

Zoe: What has been your career highlight to date?
Anita: During my time at Cisco I had the opportunity to work on some big internal projects bringing in new tool capabilities to allow the Services Team to work effectively and productively. It was a 3-year project and even now, the processes I put in place are still being used today. I’m also proud of the work I did integrating various acquired companies into Cisco Professional Services. Being able to work with new team members to share best practices and culture was very rewarding.

Zoe: What do you enjoy most about your role at Veritas?
Anita: The amazing people we work with internally and also our customers. Each day brings its own challenges and opportunities. Professional Services is an exciting place to be and the projects I get to work on are varied across our technologies.

Zoe: Who are your role models and influencers?
Anita: I had an amazing mentor when I worked at Cisco, he was an ex-marine who moved into IT after leaving the armed services. He was a strong leader who knew how to drive and motivate his team. As I was moving into a more senior role he was there guiding and supporting me. I think the best advice he gave me was about picking my battles. Some things are worth letting go for the greater good and usually better outcomes happen.

My Dad was also a big influence on my life and even though he is no longer here, he still influences me today. I frequently think, what would Dad say! And that makes me smile.

Zoe: What motivates you?
Anita: Doing the right thing – it's not always the most popular decision either, as it can mean saying no to people, which is a tough gig. Also, my family are big motivators, keeping me sane when things get crazy around quarter end.

Zoe: How do you define success?
Anita: For me, it's knowing I’ve done the very best I can do. That can mean being the support and not the lead, but if you continue to strive to do your best and keep to your own moral code, then I think that’s success.

Zoe: Why should people choose to work at Veritas?
Anita: It’s a great opportunity to work in a fast-paced environment. It has the feel of a startup (following the split from Symantec) but with the advantage of having an established market presence and customer base.

Zoe: What’s your favourite Veritas solution? Or product?
Anita: Professional Services! We have a suite of solutions to help our customers prepare, design, deploy, operate and optimise their information management environments. Managed Services, Consulting Services and Education are all key areas of the work we do.

Zoe: Describe Veritas in one word?
Anita: Entertaining! There is never a dull moment and as I’ve said before the only constant in our world is change.

Anita Smillie in her Games Maker Role at the London 2012 Summer OlympicsAnita Smillie in her Games Maker Role at the London 2012 Summer OlympicsZoe: What do you like to do in your free time outside of work?
Anita: I have volunteered at sporting events, including the London 2012 Summer Paralympics. I’ve just submitted my application for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. Also, I am a regular blood donor. To date, I’ve given 35 pints and feel it is a very worthwhile thing to do, as it is used for so many things such as operations, emergency blood transfer plus much more. Such a small contribution making a huge impact on others' lives. I love being with my family as well.

Zoe: Finally, what technology can’t you live without?
Anita: Amazon Alexa! :smiling_face_with_smiling_eyes: I never thought there would be music in all the rooms at home connected via Alexa and I've also connected our heating and lights to the device. It is quite cool when I’m going home turning on the lights and heating remotely. :smiling_face_with_smiling_eyes:

So, that wraps up my interview with Anita Smillie, it was great catching up with her. What stood out most for me was Anita’s passion and giving back to her local community. At Veritas each employee is allocated 5 paid volunteer days a year to support charities and participate in volunteer opportunities, this is just one of the many benefits of working here at Veritas.

Did you enjoy this #LifeAtVeritas blog with Anita Smillie post? I love doing these #LifeAtVeritas interviews, as it provides an insight into what it’s like working at Veritas and I uncover various hidden talents our staff have. Stay tuned as there will be more interview style posts published shortly. If Anita’s experience has inspired you and you’re interested in joining our EMEA team, then check out our latest job vacancies and apply today. There are plenty of opportunities at Veritas! Why not join our growing team?

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