Two years after going private, Dell continues to deliver technology solutions that enable people everywhere to grow, thrive and reach their full potential. While executing their mission to become the leading provider of end-to-end scalable solutions, Dell is continually evolving and developing new ideas amidst a dynamic and challenging technology industry. BHP alumni, Melissa Beaver and David Kuo, are at the forefront of these challenges driving excellence and results.
Melissa and David are graduates of Dell’s Financial Development Program (FDP), an entry-level rotational program that provides participants with mentoring, networking, community service and teambuilding opportunities as well as exposure to the senior leadership team.
Degree: BHP/Finance, minor in International Business
Current Role: Project Accounting, Dell Software Group in Cork, Ireland, will soon move to Pricing, Dell Financial Services in Austin, TX
Previous Roles: Federal Finance Financial Planning & Analysis, Sales Compensation Project Management, Productivity Transformation Analyst
What makes you excited to come to work every day? What is your favorite part about working for Dell?
There is a lot of opportunity at Dell and lots of ways to impact the company with a job in the finance organization. Finance has a seat at the table to influence decisions by business partners, drive the company forward, and shape Dell’s overall strategy. A sense of ownership, a constant intellectual challenge, and the enthusiasm of the people around me to adapt and improve makes me excited to come to work and is one of my favorite parts about working for Dell. Dell has thousands of people around the world that strive to make technology simpler and more accessible every single day.
What aspects of BHP have helped you most in your career?
I took several things away from the BHP curriculum – the broad base of business knowledge was one, but more importantly the ability to digest complex problems and come up with solutions, to collaborate in group projects with diverse team members, and to craft professional messages and give effective presentations. BHP gives you valuable experience in business case analysis, Excel analytics and modeling, and in-depth research, and BHP also teaches you soft skills to improve your business communication. All of this goes a long way in advancing a career.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
So far the most rewarding part of my job has been the network I’ve established from my four rotations through the FDP over the past two years. I have worked on global projects with people from China, Brazil, Slovakia, and Ireland, one of which sought to improve the annual planning process at Dell. I attended a week-long work conference in Penang, Malaysia where I had the opportunity to present the project to six of Dell’s Finance Vice Presidents and had the chance to network with directors from the Asia-Pacific region. The FDP is a truly global group, one that is passionate about the brand, the company, and enabling me. It has given me incredible opportunities to travel and lead over the past few years.
What has it been like participating in a rotational program immediately out of college?
I am a huge supporter of rotational programs being a college graduate’s point of entry into a company. Dell has a culture centered on career development and has several programs for new college graduates, including Finance, Accounting, Supply Chain, Marketing, Human Resources, IT, and Sales. These programs develop the future generation of leaders and provide countless opportunities for networking and cross-functional collaboration. If you are interested in learning more, please visit Dell’s University Relations page for additional information.
Degree: BBA – Business Honors and Finance, Class of 2012
Current role: Associate, Dell Ventures
Roles in FDP: SEC Reporting, Software & Peripherals Finance, Corporate Strategy, Quest Software Finance (based in Orange County, CA)
What was the transition from UT to Dell like?
There’s definitely a learning curve to climb when transitioning between college and any full-time job. Generally speaking, there are two learning curves to climb: personal and professional.
I think the personal learning curve is a bit easier from UT to Dell because you likely have a local support system to lean on and are already familiar with the city. This makes it easier to develop the appropriate lifestyle habits that set you up for success. The professional learning curve at Dell is probably similar to that of other large companies. Communicating and understanding expectations, developing a solid relationship with your manager, and showing up with a positive attitude are great practices for making a smooth transition.
Why Dell? What does Dell offer new college grads?
The Finance Development Program (FDP), which offers four six-month rotations, MBA-style coursework, and leadership training, attracted me to Dell.
Exposure to multiple business units and functions in just two years was very attractive. The opportunity to compete for a regional assignment was also a key selling point. I was fortunate to earn an assignment in our Quest Software office, based out of Orange County. In my experience, having 6 months to truly immerse yourself in a new place is fantastic and beats the typical airport-hotel-conference room dance that most business travelers experience. Dell also invests in leadership training. My FDP experience concluded with a conference in Bangalore where we attended expert-led training sessions, networked, and learned about the local culture.
The structure the program provides also streamlines the college-to-work transition described above and creates a network of your FDP peers and alumni that are a tremendous resource as you progress in your career. All in all, I’d highly recommend it!
What skill sets are you using on a daily basis?
After FDP, I joined the Dell Ventures team, which involves exercising several skill sets.
Foundational skills like Excel and PowerPoint are critical to the job. For example, I model cash flows to project IRR and cash-on-cash returns and prepare C-suite level decks to facilitate investment decisions.
I’m also developing other skills I believe will be critical in later stages of my career. Depending on the day, I could be flexing critical thinking skills while taking a pitch from a startup, picking up technical knowledge while researching a new technology, building financial acumen by analyzing cap tables and term sheets, sharpening communication skills while interacting with entrepreneurs and VCs, and much more.
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LinkedIn: University Relations Page