When searching for a role or starting your career in the tech industry, you’ll typically find bulleted information on a company’s job description, benefits and culture. We want to go a step beyond and give you insight from a real CA employee. This profile of Oliver Sims III, Sr. Director, Presales, is part of our careers blog series “A Day in The Life At CA”.
In his role at CA, Oliver helps internal and external customers get to the heart of their issues, and then enables a solution. As a leader in the Mainframe Presales organization, he and his team are at the center of sales opportunities that are not only are significant in value and scope, but are onramps for positioning CA as a go-forward partner. Internally, he has worked to nurture an impactful relationship with the Product organization – one that pay dividends for both sides.
Outside of CA, Oliver is an advisor and angel investor for minority startup companies, and serves on several boards including the Sam Walton College of Business Diversity and Inclusion Board, the Walton Colleges Deans Advisory Council, HackMy Future, Joyful Giver and the Community Empowerment Council (CEC) in his hometown of Pine Bluff, Arkansas. He is passionate about the mentorship of African American and other employees at CA, and creating a culture of inclusion, diversity and gender parity.
We asked Oliver a few questions on how he helps eliminate barriers, both at work and in the community. Here’s what he had to say.
How do you contribute to eliminating the barriers between ideas and outcomes for CA customers?
I believe most barriers are imagined and can be overcome with intellect and determination. Ideas are the beginning of all things and can come from anyone.
Why is it important that we all “bring what we bring” to contribute different and unique perspectives?
Experiences birth vantage points. The mere fact that every person has a different life story filled with unique experiences is clearly a signal that we’re all different. Those differences are valuable, especially when it comes to solving problems and creating new solutions.
Tell me a bit about how you’re bringing it outside of work with your recent appointment to the advisory board for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Arkansas.
The University was a springboard for my career success, so I feel compelled to give back. Serving on the Office of Diversity and Inclusion Board allows me to assist in the design and execution of programs that positively impact the minority student population. A student’s success on campus is key to graduating, which is key to becoming a contributor to our economy and society, so we don’t stop with on campus success. We also help students gain meaningful experiences through mentorships, internships and the acquisition of softer skills that are important to gaining a job – and thriving in it.
What did you learn from this experience that adds to what you do at work every day?
Working with other professionals to solve problems, design initiatives and sell those to the staff sharpen the skills that I deploy daily at CA. Both boards are made up of talented individuals from diverse backgrounds, which provides an amazing opportunity for personal growth.
Why is it important to you that you’re making a difference – both at home and at work?
I feel the U.S. has vibrant and varied economic opportunities, yet still the level of poverty, blight, imprisonment and people who believe they don’t have a fair chance are trending the wrong direction. I’m aware of how fortunate I am, and I want to help others. I read See You at the Top by Zig Ziglar as a freshman at the University of Arkansas, and it greatly affected me. The premise is, if you help people get to where they want to go, you will, in turn, reach your own goals. Doing enriching work—for profit or not—breeds internal satisfaction that is difficult to match.