2 Years at EMC

EMCToday marks my 2 year anniversary at EMC.  Back in January of 2010, I literally graduated from college on a Friday and started at EMC on a Monday.  I was enrolled in the Global Services Associate program (GSAP) which started off with a 10 week intensive training program known as “Bootcamp”.  During this great opportunity I learned a lot about all the different products and services EMC has to offer.

My first 3 weeks were dedicated to passing my first certification known as EMC Technology Foundations (Now replaced by Information Storage Management).  This was a tough challenge as I had no experience with enterprise storage being fresh out of college.  After this I began my deeper training in CLARiiON, SAN, and networking protocols.  This program was a great experience and gave me a good foundation for my job in the NAS support lab.

It was decided quickly that my focus within the NAS support lab would be with CIFS, Active Directory, and anti virus.  With roughly 90% of our install base using CIFS, this was going to be a an important part of the organization.  I quickly excelled in this area and have become a subject matter expert.

At EMC World 2011 in Las Vegas, I passed my NAS Specialist certification and then shortly after that I earned my VMware Certified Professional 4 during the summer.  I’ve been out to Utah to train our new employees and participate on the EMC Community Network as well.

So far these first two years have been great for me.  I’ve met a lot of great people and have participated in some great events.  I only see good things to come from the next 2 years.

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  • Mel

    Great overview.  My husband is interested in enrolling in the GSAP program.  How does he apply?

    • Mel the jobs that are part of GSAP are usually
      associate positions. Mostly CE, IDE, TSE, or PM positions. Usually the job
      description on the Brass Ring website will say GSAP or CSAP on it.

  • James

    Hey Sean,

    Great write up… I start GSAP next week. Can you give me a little information on this training?

    • Study hard every night until you pass your first big cert.  Don’t plan on doing much durring the weekends until you’ve passed it.  Once thats done, it’s smooth sailing so enjoy it.  the connections you make there will last you the rest of your career.

  • CuriousMan


    How did you enroll in GSAP?  I have a friend who is interested but has no technical experience… Though he does have an interest for computers, he’s never held a job in the field. Do you get any sort of pay during the bootcamp or is it an unpaid internship until you pass the 10 week bootcamp?

    Thank you for any help.

    • So depending on the job posting on EMC.com some of them will say GSAP or CSAP, those are the ones that put you through this bootcamp.  However they don’t just higher anyone.  Usualy you are required to have a college degree in a related field or previous work experience in that field to qualify for the job in the first place.  The boot camp is job training, so your paid and treated as a regular employee during that time.

  • Tom

    Hi! I’m having an interview next week for the associate customer engineer position (technical support) that includes a two-month bootcamp training. I don’t have a degree but have experience with tech support. Do you know if the degree is mandatory? Do you think I might have a chance? How is this bootcamp training? like college classes?
    Thanks in advance!

    • EMC usualy has a requirement on the GSAP recruiting process that they wan’t everyone to have a degree OR related job experience.  Since you have some background you might be ok.  If you got past the recruiter that is fine.  Bootcamp training is long.  8 hours of class room each day and then studying all night every night till you pass your first cert.  After that it gets easier.  Let me know if you get it and they send you to Franklin, MA for training.

      • Tom

        I think I got selected, but for a bootcamp starting next year. Can you recomend me some material that I can start studying so that I get prepared?

        • Melaniefwilliams

          Congrats! How did you apply? My husband is trying desperately He’s been in IT for 15 years but does not have a degree.

          • Mel,  The GSAP (or CSAP) jobs are listed on EMCs Jobs Website (Powered by Brassring).  Not having a degree may make things difficult, but 15 years experience should offset it.

        • Studying all depends on what job role your doing.  They should be able to provide everything you need to know, so no need to read up.  Perhaps you can get a head start on learning the required course work to pass the ISM course (and maybe ITIL V2)

  • Guest

    Hey Sean, do you have any study tips for the program?

    • your first certification will be what you should focus on.  Make flash cards and study as a group every night.  Once you pass that, it’s smooth sailing.

  • Hugo

    I’m starting the bootcamp in 15 days and I was wondering if there are any topics that should I reinforce to be more prepared for the bootcamp?


    • Bootcamps vary from position to position, what role were you hired as?

      • Hugo

        As an Associate Customer engineer

        • They will teach you most everything you need to know.  You will probably have to pass the ISM exam (or something similar) in the first 3 weeks, so be sure to study every night.  A basic understanding of raid concepts and storage area networks will help, but if you don’t understand them its ok … you will be the end!

          • Hugo

            Thanks for the tips…

      • Kryswithak

        Great blog!  I have a 2nd interview for an associate tech consultant position.  Any tips you have would be great.  Also how much did you travel your first year?

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  • GSAP Hopeful

    Any insight you can provide on the interview process for GSAP? I’ve got a phone interview in 2 days for the Associate Consult position and anything and everything would be helpful.


  • John

    Great blog! If you don’t mind asking, what is GSAP salary?

    • Salary varies per position, so there isn’t one fixed salary. However there are performance reviews every 6 months instead of yearly, so the potential to increase is much greater.

      • John

        Sounds good. I presume technical support for such graduate role would be minimal.thanks !

        • Biden


    • John Moore

      Check out salaries reviews on Glassdoor.com. They are pretty accurate. Also, a friend of mine was hired into the GSAP program seven months as a Storage Ops Associate out of college. It was his first professional job. He said they started him at $50k.

  • organ

    Dear Sean Thulin,

    Please do help me with the following:

    Your desire to help and honest answer will be most appreciated.

    I have been offered a position as an “associate consultant I” for the cloud and virtualization consulting group. I would like to accept the job, I am happy to get it. BUT I am feeling uncomfortable about the following:

    I am a recent college graduate and I did NOT study IT or computer science. My degree is in chemistry!

    I do NOT have IT/helpdesk experience. (My computer knowledge consists of basic Excel, some programming in java, python etc.)

    I also did not work in business before.

    I studied theoretical chemistry in college and did well in that but how does that prepare me to be a cloud computing consultant who comes in when companies can not solve technical problem about virtualization for example?

    I am not sure how I am qualified for this without having studied IT or computer science. How is an economics or physics graduate going to help a client with complex cloud computing issues? Why is EMC hiring a bunch of people who do studied economics, sociology, physics to become associate consultants in the cloud and virtualization section?

    Is 8 weeks really enough for an economics or sociology major to learn about how enterprise cloud servers work for example? How to fix problems?

    Your advice will be most helpful.

    • Consulting is a very different organization from some of the other ones that are offered under the GSAP program. In talks that i had with them last year about the program, my understanding is the are looking for people WITHOUT industry experience because they want to be able to mold them a specific way. This will be to your benefit so i encourage you to accept the position. The training process should teach you plenty about what you need to know, and you can also learn a lot more by reading blogs such as mine and the ones listed in my blog roll.

    • Half of being a consultant is your ability to communicate clearly to others (it helps to be a people person too). I think your lack of a computer background may be a good thing as you are a bit of a clean slate. EMC has a great training program internally that should be able to teach you everything you need to know for your job, and if you feel like you don’t understand something, don’t hesitate to ask your coworkers or your manager for help.

  • James

    Hi Sean, any idea how GSAP agenda and program is like for RSA?

    • I am not sure on the agenda for the RSA track (and it also depends on what role with RSA you took).

  • Raju

    Hi Sean I got placed in EMC as an Associate Consultant I and i feel so happy about it and looking forward to have a long lasting successful career with EMC. What is the difference in roles b/w Software Developer and Associate Consultant I at EMC mainly. I am a B.Tech Computer Science Graduate. So is it a right decision to start my career as an Associate Consultant I or i should have preferred Software Developer/Software Engineer roles??

    Pls. reply fast!

    • Congrats on getting the job with EMC! My guess is there is a very big difference between being a software developer and a consultant. I don’t think you’ll be writing much code as a consultant, but instead evaluating clients existing options and helping make recommendations. Since you have a tech degree, that will probably come in handy when you start to get down to talking details. I can’t comment as to a right or wrong decision cause it’s different for everyone.

      • Raju

        Thanks for your reply. One more doubt I got hired in EMC, India. In the GSAP Training Brochure it was written “As a member of EMC’s Global Services Associate Program (GSAP), you will initially travel to an EMC headquarters location for multi-week training”. So will i be given training in Boston, USA or in INDIA itself.

  • Sid

    Hi Sean,

    I am into a GSAP program and into VNX technical support. Many of the people say that Technical support is not a good option.. Better designations are Associate consultant and Implementation Engineer.

    Shall I stick to Technical Support or try working hard to get some other job role through IJP(Internal Job Posting)

    Can you please tell me about the future growths and the best path to work on for a better future being in EMC.

    Thanks a lot in advance.

    • It really all depends on what you want to do with your career. I know people who have been doing tech support for years and love it. Some of them used to work in the field and wanted a bit more stability in their life (same commute, defined hours, etc..). I know others that used tech support to get their foot in the door. If you are going through the GSAP program, you will need to stay in tech support for I think at least a year and a half before you can change jobs (unless you have your manager’s approval), but I could be wrong on that timeline, it might be 2 years.

  • davi

    Hi Sean,

    Does EMC provide a car for transportation? Also do you spend the majority of your time out of the office going to client sites?

    • that really depends on the job and location. If you are traveling outside of your local area, you can get a rental car as part of expenses. Otherwise, EMC pays milage according to the published rate from the US government. Working in customer support you do not usually go on site, that would be more for a CE or SE

  • Vikram

    Hello , I am new to the storage world. I am primarily a UNIX admin but my company wants me to start doing storage work too and I am wondering where I could start with EMC. Please help me out with this. Thanks in advance

    • The best place to start is with the ISM proven exam. It covers a wide range of industry storage and cloud topics. you will also need to pass this exam before you can take any of the specialist exams.

  • Vicky

    Hi I joined EMC as NAS support and its been 5 months now. I find it interesting. But worried about future as support engg. Please explain me the future of storage and how long do i have to work so that I could move as Storage Admin. Thank you

    • you need to work in the role for at least 18 months before you can transfer to another position within EMC.

      • keker


  • Anon

    where is the training for EMC proven prof.? this is for the position Asc Customer Eng. I heard its in MA. but where exactly in Massachusetts?

    • Instructor led proven training happens all across the globe. For Massachusetts, it mostly occurs in either Franklin or Milford.

      • looking around

        you don’t have to answer this and I know it differs from places to places, but how much is the usual average increase for this position?

  • Paul

    Hi. I will be enrolled into CSE part, i would like to know more info for boot camp.
    to register, they asked me having ITIT and ISM or not. and i have it. what would be taught if i have ism ?

  • Alex

    Hi, I’m just wondering how often does EMC provide a bootcamp for the GSAP program? Once a year, or more often. I see the opening for GSAP but it posted probably for a month already. So, can you give me a hint, when does it start?

  • Daryl

    Hi Sean,

    I’ve just accepted a role into EMC as IT Customer Support for their graduate program.
    I was just wondering if you know what tools/software I would initially be exposed to?
    I’d like to do some research and learn about these applications before starting the job. I’m about to graduate and already secured the position, just don’t have much real world experience, so I thought I’d give myself a head start.


    • Tools are going to be different depending on what products your supporting. There isn’t a real set standard for anything.

  • Ash

    Hi Sean,

    I have an interest in Storage and Data center energy. Is there a program catering to that part of the fields. Also, are there exams and certifications compulsory to proceed in the program?