“Many consider being a woman in IT a challenge. The key is to trust yourself: Gain confidence based on your work, and remember that it only depends on you as a human being, and what you can achieve. Your gender doesn’t come into it.”
These words of wisdom come from Corina Todea, Chief Technology Office Lead in our EMEA team of Technology Architects. If anyone know what it takes to be a successful woman in tech, it’s her. Her unstoppable career growth has resulted in countless promotions, wonderful leadership opportunities, and the acclaim of winning “Employee of the Year” in our presales organization.
“As a woman, you need to learn to remove the word “never” from your vocabulary,” she instructs. “Take the courage to say: I can do it—and I will do it.”
Childhood pastimes pave the way
When you consider that presales is often a combination of technical expertise and powerful storytelling, Corina’s early background helps shed some light on her success.
“I grew up in small town about 100km from Romania’s capital. During my childhood, I was passionate about mathematics and loved telling children’s stories on a local radio show,” she recalls fondly. “Later, during high school, I studied maths and computer science, going on to earn my Master’s in Automation and Computer Science at the Polytechnic University of Bucharest.”
Corina was in her second year of university when she started working as a C/C++ and Java programmer. She gained experience in a variety of banks and IT companies, before joining Oracle in her final degree year.
“I first joined Oracle as a performance analyst in support,” she recalls. “Oracle had a program to attract fresh graduates and they offered me a flexible program to finish my master’s degree. I was excited to join an important player in the IT industry that offers such strong career development.”
Career stepping stones
The career development Corina anticipated would soon be hers. After some time working in support, she decided to pursue an opportunity in our presales organization.
“I’ve experienced great career development at Oracle,” she reveals. “I originally joined presales in 2010 as a middleware consultant, working on all the on-premises products at that time—Exalogic, WebLogic, Database, SOA, BPM, and Webcenter Content. It involved developing proof of concepts and requests for proposals for big EMEA and APAC customers.”
Corina continued to rise through the ranks in presales; earning recognition and gaining promotions. She even had the opportunity to participate in Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco. “I felt very lucky to be part of such a prestigious event. It brings customers and employees together to learn about our latest advances, so it’s a very exciting way to develop your career path.”
Starting a family—and a new career path
In 2014, Corina pressed pause on her career to start a family. When she re-joined us four months later, her career ambitions burned as bright as they ever had. So much so, that she was ready to grow her career in a new direction.
“I decided to take on a new challenge in my life: be a mother and a presales architect at the same time, and start discovering more about the cloud arena,” she shares. “So, I started working as an architect, and I did so for three years. It was an amazing journey that revealed a new world to me.”
In typical Corina fashion, she excelled in her role as an architect and was offered more career growth in the form of a managerial position. “It was a change that was very beneficial for my career,” she shares. “I learned how to be a leader, how to coach, and how to drive a team to success.”
Not even the challenges of 2020 have been enough to slow Corina down. “The growth never stops,” she laughs. “Even in a pandemic year, as if that’s not enough of a hurdle to get over, I decided to take a new step, and take on my current role of CTO.”
Making her mark as a Technology Architect
Corina is finding her new leadership position to be extremely fulfilling. “There are so many routes you can take to grow your career at Oracle, so it’s all about finding what inspires you personally,” she advises. “My team of architects shows customers how they can solve issues and improve their IT landscape by using Oracle technologies. It’s a broad but very deep knowledge area we cover in order to help our customers make the smartest choices. At the end of the day, you know you’ve succeeded when you’ve helped a customer partner with Oracle to achieve their goals.”
While Corina has always shone as a technical expert, she also recognizes the importance of developing a well-rounded skillset. “I always liked the idea of being a specialist. If you really understand your domain, it’s impossible not to succeed,” she suggests. “My current role offers me the opportunity to keep learning; to achieve more and more—and this is something which I consider extremely important for my success. It’s not just the technical skills that make you complete, but also the soft skills. I’m positive that this role will help me sharpen those.”
Corina’s position also has a big footprint in terms of advancing thought leadership at Oracle. “It offers the possibility of translating all our work into standardized processes that Oracle teams can re-use to make faster and better propositions to customers,” she explains. “So it makes a huge impact on Oracle overall.”
Room to grow
There’s no doubt that Corina is on a remarkable career trajectory with no end in sight. To what does she owe her continued success?
“All the challenges and changes I took on during my career were always supported by my leaders and my teammates,” she says. “I think that’s what makes Oracle special—the spirit of collaboration and support. It’s why I’m still here after 10 years,” she reveals. “You need to be able to take on new challenges while growing at the same company. And Oracle has so much room to grow, you never have to stop learning.”
Do you want to grow your career alongside talented women like Corina? Our EMEA Presales organization is hiring! Explore our range of career opportunities.