Fulu, from Oracle Intern to Associate Sales Consultant
By Maria Sandu on Dec 13, 2013
“You dream of being in a company like Oracle, and when that dream comes true you get mixed feelings, mostly joy infused with fear”. When asked about my thoughts on my first week at Oracle, I didn’t give the response because it was expected of me to say so rather, it was the impression I got and the more time I spent at Oracle the happier I felt.I joined Oracle as an intern for the 2013 graduate intake which started in March. For the first month we had a lot of training to do to get used to the organization, but I made it no secret that I wanted to remain at the end of the program and continue as an Oracle employee. So, from the first week, I became very involved in as many activities as I could. I was very proactive and passionate about my work.
I was given Oracle SOA as my focus area, despite studying it at tertiary level I wasn’t clear at all about the product. In fact all that I knew went out the window as I learnt the product at Oracle. I was still a bit nervous but luckily as a grad you are part of a mini community so it was always fun to catch-up and hear how the other guys awere doing. I must be honest, I was and still am part of a fantastic team, the Oracle Fusion Middleware presales team led by Craig and Alen, they were fundamental in my rise to this position, along with Heilet who is the Director. They all worked in grooming us and took their responsibility as mentors to lead us. For my work ethic to be discovered it had to be tested and the FMW management team didn’t hold any punches or spare us when it came to work. Once a week assessments were prepared for us to complete, so these could be in the form of presentations, role-plays and documentation which in completion were reviewed by the panel. This was the least fun part the anxiety would kill you because it’s always the hardest to present something back to the expert as you never know what they are thinking, if they are happy or not? If they weren’t happy they didn’t hold back and they would express their disappointment. Fortunately, they gave us ways to move forward and change what we did wrong. It was referred to as the safe environment. When it came to preparation for what was requested of us, I made sure that I worked with the right people to understand what’s required and did enough dry-runs with the interns in FMW to practice and perfect the delivery.
What made the difference I think is the hunger. I am very driven and I believe I have mastered the art of self-motivation, a quote I always remember is “begin with the end in mind” and the end I began this program with was “UNEMPLOYMENT”, I knew I had to do all I could to stay at Oracle or get absorbed by the partners. I was extremely shocked when Alen called me after a presentation that went horribly wrong to tell me that if I played my cards right I could be here next year. Ironically, this was after delivering a bad presentation. Two weeks later Craig asked me if I’d be interested in a full time position I paused for a minute and thought ”did he just offer me an opportunity of a lifetime and an option too?” he was very modest about the question but I responded excitedly with a “YES”.
The next few weeks leading to mid-June were the longest of my life as I waited for the paper-work to be finalised, I knew I was the new BPM (Business Process Management guy) but I had no choice but to wait. I was scared, but since then the transition has been nothing but exciting, my confidence has been boosted by the early intake so the confidence that was put in me by my managers is something that I choose to see as positive rather than pressure. I do not have as much time as I used to but the long nights are fun whilst you still learning. I’ve worked on a few big deals and it has been easier due to the training I had as a graduate. From here I plan to be an expert in my product (I look at it this way, Oracle is a franchise and I’m a franchisee, so I assume ownership of my product). A lot of trust has been put in me and being goal-driven as I am I would like to return the favour by achieving and possibly over achieving in my first year, ”beginners luck right?”
My advice for anyone else entering Oracle what happened to me was through hard-work, goals and self-belief. It’s not a benchmark that I set but merely an example that it can be done and much as it is a cliché you can do anything you put your mind to” and be passionate about what you do, it makes everything easier.
If you're interested in becoming one of the #Oracleinterns in South Africa send your CV to mpho.lekeba-AT-oracle-DOT-com.