Hello Readers! You might have seen last week's Life At Veritas Interview with Stefan Aitman, Partner Success Manager, this week I caught up with Eliane Gerges, Channel Account Manager in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Just like Stefan, Eliane is a keen scuba diver too. In her unbiased #LifeAtVeritas interview, she shares how she was influenced by her father to join the IT industry, imparts some valuable career advice – hard work and perseverance pays dividends, shares what motivates her and her love for the great outdoors and scuba diving, read on to find out more about Eliane and what she enjoys about her work at Veritas.
Zoe: Eliane, what made you choose a career in IT?
Eliane: My dad was an IT department manager for a bank in Lebanon and I have always grown up around computers. Since I can remember, I used to visit him at work and was very impressed with the big mainframes and blinking lights. It is something I grew into and never had a doubt about.
Zoe: Do you have any career advice for those trying to secure their first IT role?
Eliane: Start early and be willing to work for peanuts. Every summer since my first year at university I have done IT internships for free. I have done everything from IT support, to technical support, to going on-site and fixing things. This gave me an edge over other candidates at my first job, as I already had some experience. Also, work your network, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. I got my first job through a musician friend I met at a concert, who was working at that company and got me a face to face with the hiring manager. The second job I got through a friend of a friend and my third job I found out the HR director’s email address and I emailed him, he said he liked my courage. When I joined Symantec, and then Veritas 11 years ago, a friend was working there as an ISO, I was visiting her, and she told me to pass by and speak to our HR who is visiting from the UK. I guess what I am trying to say is work hard but also have the courage to ask for things.
Zoe: What has been your career highlight to date? And what are you most proud of?
Eliane: When I first started as an ISO, I was very impressed with the big deals closing and felt it was something out of reach. Johnny Karam at that time told me: “Confidence comes with success, start small and build on it”. I have followed that advice and I am proud to have grown from an ISO who was shy about picking up the phone to a confident woman ready to open any door and meet with any CEO at a partner or customer.
Zoe: What do you enjoy most about your role at Veritas?
Eliane: I am a huge people person and love the fact that working in the Channel I get to talk to so many different people and connect with them both professionally and personally. Also, the diversity in our office in Dubai has opened me to so many different cultures. I think we have around 14 different nationalities in our office.
Zoe: Eliane to some extent, we are influenced by others. Who are your role models and influencers?
Eliane: I have always been lucky to have great mentors at Veritas and managers that believed in me and saw the potential in helping me grow and believe in myself. I also believe we can learn from everyone around us and I try to pick the positive from each experience. But my role models remain my parents who have sacrificed everything for me and my brother and taught me the meaning of hard work, keeping your head down and perseverance.
Zoe: It is important to take time to have fun and enjoy life. What do you like to do outside of work?
Eliane: I am a big outdoors fan, I was in the scouts for 11 years and love camping and hiking. I met my husband scuba diving in Oman, and since then every year we go on one big diving vacation somewhere remote; in January we went to a place called Misool, Indonesia that was so remote there was no phone or internet coverage, it was pure bliss. Other than that music plays a big part in my life and has allowed me to meet 19 years ago a group of kids that are now my closest friends.
Zoe: Different things motivate different people. What motivates you?
Eliane: Doing good and feeling that I am breaking my personal glass barriers.
Zoe: How do you define success?
Eliane: Success is when you feel at peace with where you are and in a happy place. Though for me that goal post keeps on changing, I will get to a place where I am content for a while and then I think I can do more and I need more. So, I keep on pushing myself.
Zoe: Why should people choose to work at Veritas?
Eliane: It’s a fun environment with a great team that feels like family. Of course, having winning technology helps too. ☺
Zoe: Describe Veritas in one word?
Zoe: What’s a life or career tip you’d like to share with our VOX blog readers?
Eliane: Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and have the courage to ask for what you want; if people don’t know what you want, they won’t give it to you. This applies to all aspects of life.
Zoe: Finally, what technology can’t you live without?
Eliane: Music streaming sites, they accompany me when I am driving, exercising and travelling. Oh, and my Kindle!
So, that concludes my interview with Eliane Gerges, it was great catching up and thank you for sharing your experiences and thoughts. What stood out most from this interview for me was Eliane’s career mantra “confidence comes with success, start small and build on it”, which is great advice as all too often we try to boil the ocean, taking a step back and looking for the small wins is a good starting point as it helps you see things more clearly, builds your confidence and success. I have a few post-it notes with quotes in my home office, so I’ll add this to my collection of mantras today.
If you enjoyed this Life at Veritas blog post, then do stay tuned as there will be more interview style posts from other people at Veritas. And if this has inspired you to join our team, then check out our job vacancies on LinkedIn and apply here.
You must be a registered user to add a comment. If you've already registered, sign in. Otherwise, register and sign in.