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Jumpstart Your Career: Lieke Reflects on Her Time in the Sales Graduate Program at Dell Technologies

Lieke S. | Graduate Account Manager | Netherlands

Originally Published: May 15, 2023

Did you ever think you would end up working in Information Technology (IT)? 

Never! I had zero knowledge about IT when I started, but the fact that I didn’t know anything was actually something that pushed me towards it. I knew that the future of every business is in IT. I thought, how cool would it be to work at Dell Technologies, be on top of all the developments and changes, and really understand them too! The number of learning opportunities in a big tech company like Dell seemed endless, which excited me. 

I studied economics at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. I originally wanted to focus on finance but quickly realized I needed to do something more creative, strategic, and social. When I did my masters in Strategy Economics, we had a CCO in IT services and IT consulting come in as a guest lecturer, and I immediately felt like this could be a perfect fit for me. Later, during the career weeks, I had conversations and interacted with Dell people for the first time. It was so much better than I had expected! I was still slightly uncertain about whether I wanted to be in IT and at Dell, but I proceeded with the interviews. I talked to the sales managers and directors and immediately felt like the structure in Dell was super flat without a clear hierarchy when it comes to the social environment, something that really attracted me to Dell. I chose Dell mainly for the people and culture, not necessarily for the job. I didn’t know what I wanted and just went on my intuition: I liked these people, so I was sure I would find my place here.

What do you enjoy the most about your role and working at Dell Technologies? 

I love the interaction with customers. I like that we do not just push a product on them but instead listen to them and get them into the right conversations. It’s still a huge learning process for me. I don’t know everything there is to know yet, but I enjoy joining in on conversations between customers and Dell specialists. These are the conversations where I really learn a lot.

Besides that, it’s incredible that you can get a coffee with literally anyone in Dell. If you’re interested in a person or their job, all you have to do just message them, and they will talk with you over a nice cup of coffee. This also reflects the flat hierarchic structure that pulled me towards Dell.

A while back, I also joined an Employee Resource Group (ERG) called Family Balance, where I managed their communications. ERGs are another great way to meet new people throughout the entire company. It brings me in contact with people outside of my segment. I really enjoy the connections I've made through this!

Why should more graduates join Dell?

The sales graduate program offers a great platform to jumpstart your career. When I compare my role to some of my colleagues who started as account managers not in a graduate program, I see a lot of benefits in my position. During the first week of onboarding, we had the opportunity to meet the managers and directors. Because you are encouraged to be visible in the company, you meet many people that others might not get exposure to in their first months. Whenever I face a challenge, 99% of the time I know who to go to, and often they know me too! This is largely due to the many visibility opportunities available through the graduate program. 

Additionally, I’ve met several colleagues from other countries by joining different projects. Expanding your network on a global scale is a great way to learn from your peers. 

To learn more about graduate programs and life at Dell, visit students and graduates at Dell EMEA and our stories.

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