Communities hold a unique power. They bring together individuals with shared interests, creating spaces for learning, growth, and lasting friendships. Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of being a part of several vibrant communities that have enriched my life in countless ways. In this article, I’ll share my experiences with the Go community in Bucharest, Romania, my involvement in the VMware community, and my current role in Lenovo’s internship programs.
The Go Community: Close to 40 Years of Lasting Friendships
In the heart of Bucharest, Romania, I was 10 years old when I first stepped into the vibrant world of the Go community, drawn by a shared passion for this ancient Asian game. Beyond the strategic moves and intense competitions, what struck me most was the spirit of camaraderie that permeated every gathering. We weren’t just players; we were a tight-knit family, bound by a mutual love for the game.
Late-night discussions dissecting the nuances of each move and the jubilant celebrations of victories are vivid in my memory. These experiences forged bonds that have stood the test of time. Even now, after close to 40 years, I find myself reconnecting with those same friends, reminiscing about those moments that defined our shared history.
VMware User Group (VMUG): Fostering Connections and Knowledge
6 years ago, a pivotal moment in my community journey was my involvement in the VMware community in Romania, where I had the honor of co-leading the local chapter of VMUG (VMware User Group). Together with my friends, Razvan and Mihai, we organized numerous meetings, providing a platform for local professionals to engage with renowned community figures like Joe Baguley, Frank Denneman, Duncan Epping, or Cormac Hogan. These gatherings became a hub for knowledge exchange, networking, and mutual support. It was incredible to witness how this community became a catalyst for professional growth and collaboration.
Empowering the Next Generation
Transitioning into my role at Lenovo, I was presented with a unique opportunity – guiding the next generation of professionals through our internship programs. The excitement and energy that these young minds brought to the table were infectious. It was a privilege to be a part of their journey, to share insights, and to witness their growth. Together, we navigated the complexity of the corporate landscape, from honing technical skills to understanding the nuances of professional etiquette. Seeing them evolve into confident, capable individuals was not only a testament to their potential but also a reminder of the transformative power of mentorship and community support.
A Week in the Community: Connecting Across Borders
One particular week stands out vividly in my memory, illustrating the far-reaching impact of community involvement. It began with a leisurely Monday morning in Sofia, Bulgaria, where I had the pleasure of sharing a cup of coffee with Vladimir, a fellow enthusiast from the VMware community and responsible for this year’s Hackathons at VMware Explore US and Europe. Our discussions spanned not only the problems of the community but also life’s nuances.
The following evening brought together in Bucharest, Romania, another gathering with Razvan, co-leader of VMUG Romania community, and Jens, authorized instructor and VMUG leader from Germany. Razvan was an old-time friend, but with Jens it was the first time I met face-to-face, after many messages exchanged on Twitter. Over dinner, our conversations went through shared experiences, aspirations, and the limitless potential of community-driven initiatives.
As the week progressed, Saturday was marked by an amazing live session dedicated to the Hardcore Entrepreneur Hackathon 3.0. Here, the collective energy and innovative spirit were palpable, underscoring how communities serve as incubators for groundbreaking ideas and collaborative ventures.
A Call to Action: Embrace Community
Communities have the power to transform lives. Whether it’s through shared interests, professional networks, or mentorship programs, there is a community for everyone. I encourage each one of you to embrace the power of community involvement. Take a cue from the VMware User Group, which has provided a platform for countless professionals to learn, grow, and connect. By actively participating in communities, you not only contribute to a collective pool of knowledge but also forge connections that can last a lifetime.
My journey through various communities has been marked by invaluable experiences, lifelong friendships, and a sense of purpose. The Go community in Bucharest, the VMware community in Romania, and my role in Lenovo’s internship programs have all shaped me in profound ways. They stand as testament to the incredible potential that communities hold. I invite you to embark on your own community journey and discover the transformative power it can have in your life. Together, we can create spaces of learning, growth, and enduring connections.