Advancing Life & Work

My Journey through HPE

Clesmie Burden @HPE Houston officesClesmie Burden @HPE Houston offices

My career at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) began just over a year and a half ago.  Fresh out of college, ready to make an impact, I landed a position within HPE's Strategic Account Program as a Project Manager.  It didn't take me long to realize the major differences between my former college life and life in a global corporate environment.

  • No defined syllabus clearly showing all major deliverables due and their percentage impact to my overall success
  • No set structure for what to do to move up in the ranks
  • No daily schedule to follow, etc....

Adapting to the lifestyle change was rough.  There were dozens of times that I felt completely out of place, but with the help of mentors and new friends, I would say I passed that first test of endurance.  But that would not be the last test. 

Clesmie lead a kickball program and tournament at the HPE Houston campus.  Here he is with other HPE employees who participated in the program.Clesmie lead a kickball program and tournament at the HPE Houston campus. Here he is with other HPE employees who participated in the program.

Since beginning my career at HPE, I have had seven (7) different managers, been a part of three (3) different teams and supported several different aspects of our sales organization from a strategy and planning perspective - all in a year and a half.  For me, change was, and still is everywhere.  So much so that I have come to expect it.  It is one thing to say you are comfortable with change, but completely a different thing to show it.

Currently, I am a Project Manager with HPE's Strategy, Planning and Operations (SP&O) team supporting Alliances and Top Accounts.  I am actively involved with the Young Employee Network (YEN), and even had the opportunity to hold a leadership role in YEN during FY 17 helping to develop our next generation of leaders with professional development, networking and community service opportunities.  Also, I recently joined the Leadership Council for the Black Employee Network (BEN) to help drive the 9th annual HPE Black History Month celebration in February 2018.



During my career at HPE, I have accomplished a lot.  I was a key part of the team that launched HPE's new sales knowledge management tool, "Seismic"; I successfully lead a program that redesigned our Presales Organization in a way that positioned them to collaborate more effectively in the sales cycle; I played a key role in the SalesNext effort, from a program management perspective; and I have been able to travel to different HPE events to grow my knowledge and connections across the company.

Clesmie with HPE Inclusion & Diversity leaders as well as members of Employee Resource Groups at a recent Brown Bag lunchClesmie with HPE Inclusion & Diversity leaders as well as members of Employee Resource Groups at a recent Brown Bag lunch

I have met amazing people through Employee Resource Groups like YEN and BEN, as well as acquired brilliant mentors who seem to genuinely enjoy helping and advising me.  The list goes on.  The key to these achievements, I would say, relied upon my:

  1. Willingness to seek opportunities to expand my role - as opposed to waiting for assignments to come to me.
  2. Treating every task as a direct reflection of "who I am" - that way, I ensure that everything I do is done to the best of my abilities.

So, what advice would I give to someone entering the ever-changing tech industry?  Network, get involved, seek mentors and remain curious.

  • Networking allows you to gain access to different organizations and functions across the company, and learn about your business from all angles.
  • Getting involved will increase your commitment to your new team and help you to develop long lasting relationships.
  • Mentors will provide you with the wisdom of past experiences that will help you to navigate your career path.
  • Remaining curious keeps you ahead of the change.  And once you see the change coming, acknowledge the changing environment and evolve your old ways of working to fit your new situation.

And, if at all possible, provoke change and BE THAT CHANGE.  That is how I have been able to thrive in my changing environment.HPE employees Heart WalkHPE employees Heart Walk


About the author

Cclesmie2.jpglesmie Burden has been with HPE for 1.5 years working in the Sales, Strategy and Planning organization. He is an experienced Project Manager with a demonstrated history of driving business outcomes and value in the Information Technology and Services industry. Skilled in critical thinking, entrepreneurship, communication, data analytics, process improvement (Six Sigma), stakeholder management, and Agile and Scrum methodologies. 

In his spare time, he enjoys working out, playing outdoor sports and reading.  He is a former college athlete - he played American football as a wide receiver as well as being a track and field athlete.

Stay connected with Clesmie via LinkedIn and if you feel like exploring different paths to solidify your professional journey, you can always explore HPE Careers and join us!  

Susan Graye
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Talent Acquisition and Attraction

ajit bhakta

Hi Clesmie,

Obviously changing to new environment is difficult but at HPE it gives a lot and also rewarding. Your experiences are same as my friends at HPE narrates and You would carry it forward too .