Vanice Hayes started her career as a math teacher. When Dell offered her a role, she took a leap of faith and accepted it. This is aligned with the Fairygodboss's philosophy: Be open to opportunities that come your way, and go outside of your comfort zone. 

Fairygodboss of the Week: Vanice Hayes

Vice President, Learning & Development, Dell

Austin, Texas

Tell us a little about your career. How did you get to where you are now?

I started my career as a secondary math teacher. I taught during the day and attended grad school at night. After teaching, I took a leap of faith and accepted a role at Dell. Since being here, my career has been a testament to being open to opportunities that come your way. I never chased a title or status and even accepted a few roles that were outside of my comfort zone.

What is an accomplishment that you are proud of?

I’m proud of seeing my team members progress in their careers. There’s one team member in particular that was based in APJ. I watched her grow and develop and move on to new roles where she continued to succeed. We stayed in touch despite NEVER meeting in person.

What is a challenge that you've faced and overcome?

During my first experience as a global leader, I faced a challenge of bringing together a team that was dispersed around the world. I overcame this challenge through regular, open communication. I did everything I could to foster a collaborative environment where my team members could thrive and contribute no matter where they were located.

Who is YOUR Fairygodboss? and Why?

My current boss! She trusts me and genuinely wants to see me succeed.

What do you do when you're not working?

Spend time with my family.

If you could have dinner with one famous person—dead or alive—who would it be?


Lightning Round

What is your karaoke song?

"I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor

What is your favorite movie?

Hidden Figures

What book would you bring with you on a desert island?

How to Stay Alive: The Ultimate Survival Guide for Any Situation by Bear Grylls

What is the #1 career tip you'd like to share with other women who want to have successful careers like you?

If someone you trust asks you to take a role that seems out of your area of expertise or interest, be open to giving a try! I have been presented a few “obscure” roles that ended up giving me the skills that I needed for the role that I’m in today.

Why do you love where you work?

I love the culture, the people and the work.