Kimberly Carrieri and Alessa Serda may have entirely different jobs at Dell, but they have one thing in common: they’ve both attended Dell’s Managing Success Now (MSN) program — and they both rave about it.
Carrieri, senior manager, Americas Resource & Skills Management Theater Lead, says the course taught her to live her life “with intention and purpose, and not by default.” Serda, a strategy consultant, loved the program because it was “applicable, inclusive, and impactful.”
It’s no surprise that Dell offers such a game-changing course. The company is fiercely committed not only to social missions like bettering the environment and giving back to communities — but also to improving the lives of its own employees.
Carrieri and Serda recently checked in with Fairygodboss to share with us what, exactly, that kind of employer support looks like.
How long have you been in your current role, and what were you doing previously?
KC: I have been in my current role, senior manager, Americas Resource & Skills Management Theater Lead, for slightly over 2.5 years. Prior this role, I was the ASD Lead for Mid-Atl/SE.
AS: I’ve been a strategy consultant for a little over one year; I was previously the Organizational Analyst for our Pure Play Services BU.
You recently attended Dell’s Managing Success Now (MSN). What’s the most memorable piece of career advice you’ve received there?
KC: When meeting with Executive Leadership: Be Brief, Be Bold, Be Gone.
AS: Live life by design — not by default.
What learning from MSN have you applied in your personal life?
KC: Live with intention and purpose, and not by default.
AS: I’ve made sure to take time for self-care. This means lots of music — without it, I’m not bringing my best to both my career nor my personal life. I’ve also learned/am learning to focus on what I can control, followed by what I can influence, instead of what’s out of my control.
Would you encourage other women to attend MSN? YES In 3 sentences or less, why?
KC: Yes! This course was like career therapy. We took a look at ourselves, got outside of our comfort zones, and felt safe to speak to various issues personally and professionally that can halt success. The number one reason I’d recommend it is that it made me feel like I wasn’t alone with the challenges that women in the workplace face.
AS: Yes! The environment is incredibly inclusive and safe, allowing you to bring real situations and problems to the table. You will be able to identify detracting behaviors that may be inhibiting your definition of success and [the course] provides you with tools to overcome those behaviors.
What 3 words sum up the MSN experience for you?
KC: Collaborative, therapeutic and motivating.
AS: Applicable, inclusive and impactful.
What’s the most unique or interesting aspect of your job or Dell?
KC: We work hard, play hard and act like family. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do here.
AS: As an internal consultant, every project is different, allowing me to continuously grow and stretch.
What’s something you think most people (perhaps even current employees) don’t know about Dell that you think they should?
KC: We may not see eye to eye all the time, but we have each other’s back no matter what. I would say this isn’t a “job” for us — it’s an extension of family and that culture is seen across the company. We take our culture code very seriously, from how we treat our customers to how we treat each other.
AS: Our 2020 Legacy of Good Plan. At a high level, this is Dell’s commitment to improving our supply chain, bettering our environment, giving back to our communities, and providing a great place to work for its employees. The program is outstanding and probably best in class.
What’s something you’re especially good at work?
KC: Managing through politics and red tape.
What are you trying to improve on?
KC: The mystical idea of work-life balance.
AS: Professionally, I continually try to improve my framing and storytelling skills.
What’s the one career move you’ve made that you’re most proud of?
KC: Attending school while my daughter was ages 2-4 to attain my MBA. It wasn’t easy, but it set me up for the next role I applied for within the company. It was a sacrifice of my time as I was still a full-time employee, a mom and a wife – but so worth it.
What do you love most about your job or about working at Dell?
KC: Rewarding and recognizing the teams, no matter their roles, for the contributions they make. We have a great system to recognize each other, as well as quarterly rewards globally.
AS: The 2020 Legacy of Good Plan!
Who is/was the most influential person in your life and why?
KC: My Dad. He taught me to be honest, loyal, and to have integrity and confidence in myself that I can do anything I set my mind and energy to.
AS: My mother. As a single mom, she juggled raising two daughters, a very demanding work environment, and put herself through a MBA program. She instilled in her daughters a strong work ethic as well as a family-first mentality. I continue to seek her advice and guidance in all aspects of my life.
What was the best quality of the best boss you’ve ever had?
KC: A supportive attitude, even when mistakes were made. Taught me everything is a lesson learned. Learn from it, don’t repeat it, and share with others what you learned.
What’s your #1 piece of advice for women who are looking for jobs right now?
KC: You’re not a special snowflake or unicorn. Don’t confuse diversity and inclusion with a “free pass” to not bust your tail and “get promoted or a raise.” Your body of WORK is what gets you where you want to go!!
AS: Challenge yourself and take the chance.
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