Live Event: May 12, 2017 at 1:00pm Eastern (US)
Jamila Cowan-Wideman is a Global Employee Engagement Lead at Dell where she creates opportunities for Dell team members to give back and volunteer and to increase employee engagement.
Do you play any sports or do any athletic activities?
Yes, I swim, ski and play field hockey.
What is your favorite non-science book, magazine, or blog?
I actually like HGTV magazine.
Who do you look up to and admire?
I look up to Scientists, Engineers and other women in technology who have paved the way for me.
Highest degree attained
Bachelor of Science
Future degree(s) planning on pursuing, if any
Master’s in Business Administration
Certification in Corporate Citizenship
Sacred Heart University
University of Cincinnati
Favorite classes/coursework in elementary school, middle school, high school, college
I enjoyed English, Science, Constitutional Law and C++
What educational accomplishments are you most proud of?
I am most proud of graduating college with honors and continuing my education at Georgia Tech with a certification in IT Management.
What kinds of challenges did you overcome during your education?
Math was always very challenging for me, however, I did not give up. I spent time with my teachers during their office hours for extra help and even had a math tutor.
Global Employee Engagement Lead
Years in this organization/position
10+ years with Dell, 3 ½ months in this position
What does your organization do?
Dell is a technology and solutions provider.
What is your role in the organization?
I currently work within the Corporate Giving Team to create opportunities for team members to give back and volunteer and to increase employee engagement.
Previously, I was Sr. Regional TAM Manager. In this role, I led a team of 17 Technical Account Managers who worked directly with Dell customers on technical issues.
Describe your work environment
I work remotely from home. I periodically interact face to face with customers, vendors, charities and other Dell employees.
What tools and/or techniques do you use in your job?
I use a laptop every day to do my job. I also use a softphone and video conferencing.
Describe a typical day in your job
There is no typical day! When working with our customers you really do not know what to expect from day to day. There may be customer escalations with systems down that you have to help find the right people to fix or you may be onsite with a customer touring a new facility and showing them how to use Dell hardware and software.
How is the work you do important to society?
The work that I do helps to connect people with technology which creates opportunities for people to achieve their goals and dreams.
What accomplishments are you most proud of in your current role?
I am most proud of partnering with Women In Technology, a local non-profit in Atlanta, to create opportunities for girls and young women to learn more about STEM careers. I am also very proud that I started Dell’s first annual job shadow program, in Atlanta, for local girls in high school and the first local chapter of an Employee Resource Group – Women In Action.
What projects or goals are you currently pursuing?
I am currently working on helping Dell team members give back to and volunteer in the communities where they work and live.
What are the biggest challenges you face in your work?
My work can be challenging because I am a remote employee. My work can also be challenging because not everyone understands the importance of volunteering and giving back.
What is the most exciting, most amazing, or scariest thing that has happened to you during your work?
The most exciting thing that has happened was the opportunity to travel to Malaysia and not only work with a customer but also tour a beautiful country that I had never been to.
Previous employers and positions that have lead to your current role
MCI WorldCom – Help desk support agent
Bank of America – Help desk Tech Support and Virtual Private Network remote support
Best job you’ve ever had and why
My different roles at Dell have been my best work experiences.
What were you like as a kid?
Energetic and athletic.
What were your favorite books/shows/movies when you were a kid?
I have always loved comedy so books and movies that made me laugh were my favorite.
What did you think you were going to be when you grew up at age 12? At age 15? At age 18?
Age 12 – An Olympic skier
Age 15 – A Lawyer
Age 18 – A Lawyer
When did you know you wanted to pursue your current career, and what drove you towards it?
The more I learned about technology and the impact that I could have as a problem solver, the more interested I became. As one of very few women in the field I was excited about what I could accomplish and teach others.
Who inspired you on this path?
If you weren’t doing what you’re doing now, what other career might have you pursued?
What advice would you give a student interested in pursuing your career?
Careers in technology offer endless opportunities. This is a great field!
What advice would you give students in general?
Be open to new opportunities and even if you are afraid to try something new go for it—you just might like it and learn something.
What are some interesting places you’ve traveled?
Malaysia, Japan, Brazil, Colorado, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic.