Hello Readers! You might have seen last week's Life At Veritas Interview with Johnny Karam, Vice President of Emerging Market, this week I caught up with Stefan Aitman, Partner Success Manager in the Nordics just before he headed on a personal adventure trip to Uzbekistan to discover the secrets of the Silk Road. In his candid #LifeAtVeritas interview, he shares some career advice, how he was influenced at a young age to explore the world, shares what motivates him and why it is important to have a work-life balance, read on to find out more about Stefan.
Zoe: Stefan, what made you choose a career in IT?
Stefan: I didn’t, I sort of slipped into the IT industry after my military service. An old friend of mine was working at an IT Distributor and managed to get me a position as an Inside Sales Representative.
Zoe: Do you have any career advice for those trying to secure their first IT role?
Stefan: Do your homework about the company you want to work for and do some research about the hiring managers, send your CV to the companies you want to work for instead of waiting for a job ad. Show passion, be curious, show drive and use LinkedIn and other social networks to connect and never give up, even though it might be tough in the beginning.
Zoe: What has been your career highlight to date? And what are you most proud of?
Stefan: The Swedish team and I quadrupled the revenue from €1-€4 Million with my partner Atea a couple of years before the split with Symantec. Atea is by far the largest and most important reseller in Sweden, so this was very important for us. It was great to see the ripple effect it gave when pitching a strong NetBackup and Appliance story at the different branch offices, showing all the cases we had closed, in particular, switching from EMC to Veritas NetBackup.
Zoe: What do you enjoy most about your role at Veritas?
Stefan: Working as a Partner Success Manager is a very fun job but can also be very challenging at times. You need to be very good at networking, build relationships on all levels and work closely with Enterprise and Territory reps, presales, marketing guys, sales operations, renewal teams, the management both within Veritas and at the partner. A Masters degree in Phycology and Conflict Management should be mandatory for the role, lol.
Zoe: Stefan, to some extent, we are influenced by others. Who are your role models and influencers?
Stefan: The person who has influenced me the most was a guy, probably around 25 years old, a stand-in teacher while our normal teacher was off sick one day. He started the class by saying “let’s skip grammar class because today I’m going to tell you about my trip around the world”. I was probably around 12 years old and I was blown away. After listening to his adventures, I wanted to explore the world and I still do! So far, I’ve been to 60 countries and I’m actually right now on my way to Uzbekistan to explore the Silk Road for a week.
Zoe: Can you tell me about the Swedish mentoring programme you were involved in?
Stefan: A few years ago, I enrolled in a programme which is run by an organisation called Mentor Sweden. This organisation focuses on giving young teenagers in poor areas an opportunity to meet a mentor for a couple of hours every fortnight for 12 months. I was mentoring Mohammed, a 14-year-old from Iraq. I loved challenging his view of the world and we had a lot of interesting discussions about family, religion, girls etc. My main goal was to try to inspire him to keep studying and get into university. At times, I felt very frustrated and that I was not making any progress with him. But in the end, it was very rewarding because he is now studying IT and we are still in contact today.
Zoe: Different things motivate different people. What motivates you?
Stefan: I grew up in a working-class family in a poor suburb of Stockholm, so my initial drive when I was young was to get a well-paid job. Today my motivation is to have a good work/life balance (happy wife happy life, which applies to non-married couples as well 😊), staying healthy by exercising regularly and eating well, having a challenging job, having fun at work and great colleagues.
Zoe: What’s your favourite Veritas solution? Or product?
Stefan: Information Studio! It’s awesome and very easy to show and talk about.
Zoe: Describe Veritas in one word?
Zoe: Finally, what technology can’t you live without?
Stefan: My dive computer.
It was great catching up with Stefan and I'd like to thank him for sharing his IT experiences and thoughts. He shared some great advice and gave us all a reminder to have a good work-life balance, enjoy your job and have fun in your personal life - Stefan definitely lives life to full. So, if you liked 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 Stefan has inspired you to join our growing team, then check out our job vacancies on LinkedIn and apply here.
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