Mark Fitzgerald spent much of his early career working around Ireland as a communications engineer before he eventually ended up working with VMware in Cork.
e has been at the Tech Solutions firm for seven years and is now its Senior Vice President for Global Support and Chief of Staff to Senior Director and Chief of Staff at VMware’s Ireland campus in Ballincolig.
“The thing that attracted me here was the technology because I saw VMware as an innovator, but what keeps me here is the culture and the people,” he says.
You discover that their time on the road has helped them appreciate the things that help make the workplace enjoyable.
He barely holds for breath as he spends nearly half an hour talking about his partners and the initiatives they take part in, but none leave out as his favourite.
“We try to hire personalities. It’s not always about talent,” he says.
This does not mean that there is a lack of talent, but a scheme where people come from different professional or unskilled backgrounds and are taught to develop careers with the company is close to their heart.
He says the business understands that people from different backgrounds can help solve challenges by seeing things differently.
“We bring in people with no IT experience – farm managers, architects, mechanics, our security guards at the reception. We try to have attitude because attitude is extremely important. We bring them in, give them 30 weeks of intensive training What they need to know from a technical point of view to help our customers.
“There are often people who have no jobs or are often less skilled. We’ve done 17 iterations of that program and put 492 people through it and 92 percent of those people have managed to land roles with VMware.
“We have an archaeologist who ended up in our support team as a technical architect. We have trust and confidence in those people, and they reward him with loyalty, and it also brings a great sense of collaboration. .
This also brings diversity. There are more than 40 nationalities adding to the mix of cultures and backgrounds among the 1,000-strong workforce.
Gender diversity is also at the heart of business.
“The diversity of ideas is huge, as we work extensively for our clients, so the more alternative approaches we have, the more likely we are to achieve successful results.
“Who are our customers? Looking at the Fortune 500, I believe 499 of them are our partners, so to put it this way, we keep planes in the air, bank machines move, supermarkets run and We cover every industry: pharma, telecommunications, finance, healthcare, government, logic, etc. So, if you’ve ever delivered a parcel, called a phone, got a tablet, we’ve played some part in that journey.
This is because VMware partners with some of the largest companies in the world to provide them with cloud computing infrastructure and technology. The technology attracted Mr Fitzgerald to the company, but it could be used to keep people there as well, he says.
“People like to challenge and we try to challenge people. We have things like our Innovation Hub where we have people who are passionate about pushing an idea.
“We have a pod here to present and generate ideas – so as to challenge the mind. It’s not just techies. Everyone – from finance, management, human resources, you name it – is involved. It’s not just about the next piece of code we’re going to develop, but the problems we’re solving. The problems of our customers, our own internal problems or even social problems.”