Here 3 Intel Vice Presidents—Intel Capital’s Lisa Lambert, Technology and Manufacturing Group’s Frank Sanders, and Software and Services Group’s Michael Greene—share their career tips.
Lisa Lambert: Get other people—besides your mother—to care about your career
Lisa Lambert is an Intel Capital vice president and managing director of the Software and Services sector for that organization. Lisa joined Intel in 1997 as a product marketing manager in the Desktop Products Group with responsibility for the Pentium® II and Pentium® III processor families.
On how to build a network: The first thing is realizing that you need a network. A lot of people still believe that if they’re heads down and they do their job that they’re going to get recognized and they’re going to get rewarded. That doesn’t always happen.
The only people who care about your career are you and your mother. So that means that you have to be proactive about being visible and talking about your accomplishments. The more people that know about you and what you’re doing, the more likely your name is going to come up when an opportunity arises. Invite somebody that you don’t know to lunch. Go to a networking event. Go to a conference. Hand out your business cards. Talk about projects that you’re working on.
On dealing with politics in a big company: Don’t give in and say, “If everybody is playing politics and everybody has got their own personal agenda, then I’m going to play that game, too. I can do it, too.” I’ve never had any conviction around that way of doing business. I would prefer to just do quality work and gain trust. If you don’t subscribe to that approach to doing business, then don’t. But just make sure that you have lots of options. Create other options by networking and having mentors and advisors.
On the best piece of career advice she’s ever received: To have confidence. Be yourself, trust in your ability, and do the job that’s before you. Believe in yourself, know that you’ve received the education, and that you’ve proved your skills because you’ve done X, Y, and Z. Rehearse your victories, if you will.
On advice she’d give a technical woman entering the workforce: I would tell her not to come in and just focus on her projects. I would tell her to carve out half or some large percentage of her time to get to know a community outside of her community. You have to attend conferences and speaking engagements. You have to be proactive about developing your presence, developing your community of people that you’re going to be working with and partnering with. So literally carve out a large percentage of your time to do that. Take a job where you can afford to do that.
Frank Sanders: Focus on relationships
Frank Sanders is a Technology and Manufacturing Group vice president and director of Corporate Strategic Procurement. Since joining Intel in 1992 as a process engineer, he’s held many roles across systems materials, integrated circuit sourcing, and global systems manufacturing outsourcing.
On how he started in engineering: When I was a kid, I spent a lot of time around my dad and uncles who built engines for cars they drag-raced on the weekends. I recall at an early age asking my dad who actually designed the engines and he said engineers do. From the age of about 8, I knew I wanted to be an engineer. My career in supply chain was not planned, but it allows me to stay close to my technical roots in many ways while exploiting a passion for business and developing relationships.
On the best career advice he’s ever received: An ex-boss and mentor, Ralph Gillespie [former TMG director], used to also tell me to focus on the relationship before the issue. That was very valuable advice. I have found that spending time building stronger relationships enables more objective debates and then we can make hard decisions without being overly concerned about hidden agendas or motivations.
On how professional networks boosted his career: I have several networks, but one in particular—a network of supply chain executives through the Institute of Supply Management—has been useful for everything from benchmarking to career advice. Everyone needs to have these and I think they are extremely beneficial when they consist of functional peers to maximize the two-way value of the relationships.
Michael Greene: Know the value of other people’s time
Michael Greene is vice president of the Software and Services Group and general manager of System Technologies and Optimization. Since joining Intel in 1990 as an assembly test engineer, Michael has served in a variety of technical marketing, manufacturing, architecture and design roles.
On how his first computer inspired a career: My dad bought me a Commodore computer when I was a kid. Then computers started coming to the schools and by eighth grade I was teaching my teachers how to use them. What I liked about computers was the ability to use them to turn one’s imagination into reality. So if there was a game, if you could imagine it, you could write it and develop it. The power of being able to turn one’s imagination into reality through software really hooked me.
On the best piece of career advice he ever received: At one point in my career, I was working on a project and I needed permission—at least I thought I needed permission—for a $150 purchase. That was on a Saturday and I couldn’t get permission because I couldn’t find anyone.
When I came back to the office on Monday, my manager did the math for me on how many people were waiting on this valuable information and the amount of money they make per hour collectively while I was waiting for a $150 question. He showed me how much money I would have saved if I just spent the $150. His career advice was on risk-taking—on looking at the whole picture and the entire cost, because there are a lot of indirect benefits to the work we do.
On his most valuable mentor: One of my best mentors was a technician that worked for me. He taught me so much. He was the 66th employee hired at Intel and I was like the 52,000th person. He taught me so much about how things work, what the company does, and how to leverage people’s skills. And I think back to that so often. I learned that you can have mentors from all ranges, from all backgrounds.