Two years ago, we spoke to Marjorie, a Chief of Staff from the USA.

Since you shared your #STEMStory with us, have there been any changes in your STEM career?

Since the last time, I have changed roles in my organization. I now lead a Global team of Strategists and Architects in our Multi-Cloud organization. My manager and I worked together to create a plan, and I landed this role within VMware.

Having career discussions with your manager is extremely important for one's professional development and career growth. Without it, your leadership will not know what your career desires are. Your manager can help you identify what gaps you have for your next step. A good manager will help you create a clear plan and be accountable for that plan.

1. Introduce yourself, who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Marjorie Abdelkrime, professionally my title is Chief of Staff, that means I lead all execution of vision and strategy for the organization I work for, the Solution Engineering Org at VMware. Personally I am an ally and advocate for equality and equity in the workplace.

2. How did you arrive at this career (or point in your life/work)? Was it always something you knew you wanted to do?

Chaos seems to be how I end up in every new point in my career. I call it good chaos though. It is important to look at every situation put in front of you and look at how it can be made to make things better for you.
My current role Chief of Staff is a role that I bumped into as I looked to enter a company that I felt would be a good place for me personally and professionally. However as I looked at the role and what it could do, I felt it was a role that was created for me at this point in time in my life and career journey. The culmination of my work experiences as a professional services consultant and solution engineer has allowed for me to have a unique perspective in this role and to ensure that we take a point of view that helps improve our effectiveness as a team.

3. What about your job makes you jump out of bed in the morning, especially on those cold, dark mornings?

My why: My Why is to inspire and uplift others to shatter boundaries so that they become impactful contributors of society. Secondly the people I am surrounded by, I will always say this, the people around you will make or break your ability to execute on a personal and professional level.

4. What is your personal cure for stress or how do you raise your spirits in times of doubt? Can you share a story?

I take a moment to look at where I came from and how far my journey has taken me. I come from an immigrant family that worked hard to ensure that my siblings and I had a roof over our heads and food on the table. I realize that those before me had it especially hard for me to be where I am today. That sets so much into perspective for me. I am blessed with good health a great career and amazing people that surround me from my family and friends to my coworkers.

5. Who is your role model? If no one, any thoughts on this?

I always struggle with this question the reason is my role models change from topic that I need to the time I am in my life. Lately I have found myself quoting a lot of Brenee Brown. She is a thought leader in the space of vulnerability and courage. Which at this point in my life I am doing a lot of.

6. What advice would you give to yourself if you could go back in time?

Always speak your mind. I have many instances that I have thought back to and regretted not saying something. I would say it is important that we feel that we are expressing ourselves without regret.

7. Top 3 tips for girls starting out in STEM?

  1. Always have the confidence that you know what you are talking about if that is an area of expertise you have. Do not let others tell you what you know.

  2. Network, spend time meeting new people in the field you are looking to take your career into. If you are still in school, ask your parents to assist with this one.

  3. Ask, I was once told by a colleague of mine, “What’s the worst that can happen when you ask? someone will say no. But you will not know that if you don’t ask.”

8. How do you measure your success?

Did I get the customer impact I was expecting? My role has an impact on the people I work with as well as the customers we engage. If the people I work with are unable to ensure that customers are solving their business problems because of initiatives that I have launched, then that means I have failed.

9. Where can we find out more about your work?

If you are looking to find out more about the role of a Chief of Staff here is a neat little article that gives you the gist of what the role is about. The CoS role is one that varies from Company to Company but also even within a Company it can vary from org to org.

10. Are you social? Will you share your Twitter handle, or LinkedIn profile, or Facebook so that young women can connect with you?

Yes!! I love connecting with new people! I share stories at times on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Twitter: MarjAStem