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  • May 25, 2018

Wearing Different Hats at Oracle – Glenda’s Story

At the end of our hour-long conversation, Glenda narrows her eight-and-a-half-year journey with Oracle down to one line: “If you show up and give one hundred percent, Oracle is your oyster” – a pearl of wisdom she has followed time and again across three distinctly different roles.

Glenda came to Oracle by way of the real estate sector. It was 2008, and the fallout from the U.S. housing bubble was starting to roil global financial markets. Circumstances rendered a successful real estate career untenable, so Glenda took advice from her husband and long-time Oracle employee Matt: Look for openings in our real estate department.

A few months later Glenda was project coordinating Oracle’s new data center in Utah. From contacts and payments to tracking progress for 10-K reports and board meetings, Glenda was on the frontlines. With unparalleled attention to detail, she managed anywhere between 30 to 75 projects at a time, including office relocations and renovations.

A Quick Detour to Facebook

Nearly three years into her role as Global Real Estate Project Coordinator, her boss took on a role as head of real estate for Facebook. He was so impressed with Glenda’s work at Oracle that he offered her a role as Facebook’s Global Program Manager of Real Estate. It was hard to refuse.

Glenda worked on a massive project to build out the Sun campus that Facebook had recently purchased from Oracle. Leveraging the experience she gained at Oracle and her familiarity with the Sun campus, she ran the back office side of building out what became Facebook’s Menlo Park campus and global HQ.

Back to Oracle with a Different Hat

Facebook offered challenges, but Glenda’s heart belonged to Oracle. After a year and a half, she came home: “There are so many opportunities that come across your desk and into your realm,” she says. “It’s more about your attitude and your work ethic, than knowing how to do the itty-bitty pieces of the job. You just have to believe in yourself and jump.”

Through an old connection, she learned of opening on a team led by Donna Reid. It was an M&A-focused role, but Donna only needed someone who knew how Oracle’s business worked and who had connections internally. Glenda interviewed and was quickly offered a Project Manager role on the team. The new challenge reinvigorated Glenda’s passion for her career.

“Donna seeing that opportunity to bring me back to life with just a little bit of coaching and time made all the difference in the world,” she says. “I felt like a star again. I felt like I could do anything.”

Glenda’s new role wasn’t real estate, but she knew she would succeed. She understood the procurement side of the business well, which made sliding into the M&A portion of her role easy. She exceeded everyone’s expectations and was promoted to Senior Project Manager within a year.

Heading for the Atlantic

Three years into her role, Glenda and Matt decided to relocate their family from the West Coast to the East Coast. It wasn’t possible to hold on to her M&A role away from Rocklin, so Glenda sought another internal opportunity.

“As I found through my years at Oracle, it’s not all about what you know. It’s also about who you know and the relationships that you build along your path at Oracle,” she says. “You just never ever know who you’re going to be working for or who you’re going to be working with, so building relationships is key to being able to move around at Oracle.”

Word of Glenda’s passion for Oracle and commitment to her work helped her land a position in HR. “It was a realm that I knew nothing about, but I did know how to organize content and people, and I could make it happen.”

Over the course of the next 18 months, Glenda put 680 people through the CSS Emerge Program, globally, for the Customer Service and Support organization. This involved negotiating contracts with suppliers, hotel rooms, conference facilities and menus, coordination and delivery of all communications to the participants for training and logistics, setting up social media for program cohesion and in closing ensuring all suppliers and vendors were paid. This program has since been taken on by Michigan State University and delivered as a packaged offering at Oracle.

Two and a half years into her HR role, Glenda continues to thrive, learn, and grow.

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