By Leona O' Sullivan
Submitted by VMware
At VMware, we believe everyone has something unique to contribute to our society. Our culture of service influences the way we interact with others – inside and outside of work – fostering empathy and building connections. We are all Citizen Philanthropists, empowered to support what is most meaningful to us through VMware Foundation programs.
In honor of Women’s History Month, we checked in with Priya Lakshmi, Senior Product Manager in Bangalore to learn more about her experience as a Citizen Philanthropist. Earlier this month, the International Women’s Day theme was “Break the Bias.” We are inspired by the ways that Priya has helped recent college graduates from rural India break the bias and secure their desired new jobs with her Service Learning experience.
Priya Lakshmi: I have actively led and participated in several Service Learning events since I joined VMware five years ago. Over the past year, my colleagues and I have engaged with several nonprofits that focus on education, conducting events such as curriculum development, preparing answer keys in regional languages, and creating educational content in the form of short videos covering a wide range of topics.
One of the nonprofits that I have been supporting reached out last year for some assistance. They were looking for help with conducting technical and non-technical mock interviews for new college graduates from rural India. While the students were very good at academics, they did not have much exposure to the corporate setup, interview etiquette, etc. I led and participated in the mock interview sessions with a few other volunteers from VMware. After the event, the nonprofit informed us that 80% of the students who participated had found a job a few weeks later. In recent times, this has been one of the most fulfilling Service Learning events for me as I got to see the immediate impact these sessions had on the students.
Over the years, I have realized that while it is important to take care of oneself, it is equally important to take care of the community that we live in. When I started working at VMware, one of the things that struck me was how much support our leadership gives to ensure that employees feel fulfilled not only in the work that they do but also in the work they do towards a cause that they feel passionate about. I feel immense joy in giving back to the community through the Service Learning initiatives and seeing the impact of these events in my community.
Inspired by what you’ve read? Learn more about the VMware Foundation and see Citizen Philanthropy in Action here.
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