I like to think of myself as a recovering nerd who has made a career in being excited about technology. I also happen to be legally blind. Here’s how I got to be where I am today and some of the insight that I’ve learned along the way.
The experience of a lifetime
I joined the very first Oracle Class Of Program in 2013. As a recent college graduate, it was an eye-opening experience to learn about how instrumental Oracle’s solutions are for most of the world’s largest brands and businesses. I mean, a technology thought leader serving 100 of the Fortune 100? You couldn’t find a more fascinating company if you tried.
Through the program I got inimitable exposure to the software, systems, and cloud technologies that are helping to shape the world of tomorrow. I suppose that was what attracted me to Oracle in the first place—the brand. I was intrigued by Oracle’s story. The proud culture of diversity and inclusion was an immediate draw.
From Class Of ‘graduate’ to Regional Sales Manager
I graduated from the Class Of Program with a wealth of hands-on experience that helped me to land a management role with Oracle Digital. Today I lead a team of regional salespeople who focus on helping our legacy customers to marry their business goals with the cloud technology that will help them get there faster. The training program helped me build a strong foundation in B2B technology services that continues to have an impact on my career each and every day. I must say that I’ve been extremely lucky to have so many inspiring mentors a long the way.
Barriers: A matter of perspective
People in the disabled community know how to focus on small wins which is a key attribute of people who are happy in sales. Being visually impaired isn’t exactly convenient. But the way I see it, barriers are a matter of perspective. Being able to put yourself in your customer’s shoes takes expertise, imagination and empathy; none of which require seeing the customer. Sales, in particular, is a profession that requires having a thick skin and that’s a characteristic that many people in the disabled community naturally develop. If bumping into a patio’s sliding glass door at a party doesn’t faze you, then the ups and downs of sales is something you can easily manage!
The rewards are worth it
Oracle’s supportive culture of respect and inclusion removes a lot of barriers that you might anticipate being in this kind of professional field as a visually impaired person. One of the things I love most about working at Oracle is that it offers continuous and increasingly satisfying challenges—with the incentives to match. It feels great to be rewarded for doing right by Oracle with a flexible work schedule and the opportunity to work remotely and travel to customers.
My advice to students with disabilities:
The secret to working successfully with your disabled colleagues
Sometimes people ask me for advice on the best way to work with their disabled colleagues. What I tell them is that curiosity is a good thing. Don’t be afraid to ask them how to best work and communicate. In my experience, finding new ways to communicate and accomplish something often leads to a more effective work environment for everyone.
Regional Sales Manager, HCM Up-Market