How does a young woman- having left her mother country of Vietnam when she was five years old – chart a career to become the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and Chief Operations Officer (COO) at Workforce Software, a leading global provider of cloud-based workforce management solutions. The company creates business plans to make work easy for customers by digitalizing time sheets, scheduling and leave management which can be time consuming for enterprise businesses.
In order to appreciate her tremendous fortitude, one can assume that she was not only intelligent and determined, but also had the unique ability to seize opportunity when she saw it. Seeing opportunity rather than obstacles is always vital to success.
Once settled in Virginia, with her mother and brother, she became frustrated because people could not correctly pronounce her Vietnamese name. Since she did not speak English, she was using the Bill Cosby show to teach herself English. She created an easy first name, Denise after Denise Huxtable from the show. She began early in her young life to turn setbacks into opportunities. This was a pattern she would follow.
Anxious to share the satisfaction she has found in her career in the usually male-oriented world of technology, Denise advocates for women to embark on a similar journey – particularly enterprise tech. “ Prior to my current role, I was the Industry Cloud COO at SAP overseeing $10 billion in software and services. My move to Chief Marketing Officer was a lateral move because I really wanted to experience end to end marketing and communications.”
Some thoughts from Denise: “Careers are a marathon, not a sprint. It is never a linear line. Enjoy the process and enjoy the journey. Meet people, create great friendships, inspire youth, learn from your colleagues and make a positive impact on your customers. Time and experience will also help you define what you are more passionate about and how to create a life around that. A career does not necessarily have to be about chasing your passions but owning your passions. Knowledge is power, because when you know, you can create a plan to achieve it.”