How does one gain "enterprise experience"?

rsxwithslicksrsxwithslicks MemberPosts: 73Member ■■■□□□□□□□
Applied for a contract position through a recruiter with a local healthcare/hospital with over 10,000 employees. My experience is more along the lines of SMB (roughly 500 users). This contract was to move the organization over to O365 from an on-prem solution and also handle AD administration. The posting was requiring 3-4 years of AD/Exchange administration and I have about 6.

The recruiter's manager wanted to speak with me before submitting my resume as she personally dealt with the client company on numerous occasions and wanted to make sure I was a worthwhile applicant. While speaking on the phone with her, she seemed to be imply that the Client wanted to know how many people onboarding/terminations I handled in AD a year... I answered roughly about 50-75 a year. Granted I have created PowerShell scripts to automate most of process so that it doesn't take up too much of my time. She seemed satisfied with my answers and told me to hear back in a day or two.

After not hearing back for almost a week, I reach out and am told that I was passed on for not having enough "enterprise experience". So my question is... How does one gain enterprise experience when all these enterprises companies want "enterprise experience"? Do I quit my job and work help-desk at these organizations to say that I have experience working for an enterprise company? Or should I work as a Walmart greeter to say I work(ed) for a F500 company? Lol.

Best Answer

Answers

  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Posts: 1,676Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    Variations of this question will be around long after you and I are gone.

    It is helpful to step back and realize that every single person on earth including you and every other employed person was born without experience. Keep learning and keep applying until you get an opportunity. Then take advantage of the opportunity. You might have to apply for 1000s of Walmart greeter positions but you only have to land one to start gaining that coveted enterprise experience.
  • paul78paul78 Posts: 2,933Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    The term "experience" is subjective. Quite possibly it doesn't have anything to do with your technical skills. My initial reaction when I read your post is that you don't have experience dealing with the politics at a large organization.
  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb They are watching you Posts: 3,170Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    I think they could've very well been looking for someone who has experience with IAM programs like Sailpoint or Oracle's solution.   Scripting the setup is great for small companies but larger enterprises will have software that does this.   I'd assume they were looking for someone with experience with whatever software they use. 
    GCIH | CCNA:Sec | Net+/Sec+/A+ | CCSK
  • Tekn0logyTekn0logy Member Posts: 101Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Read into the recruiter's response.  Some of them know exactly what the client is looking for and you might want to audit your resume, interview skills, LinkedIn and Facebook profiles to see if there were any other issues. Note that if you are seeking an "enterprise" position, your FB profile should be pristine, disconnected from LinkedIn and void of negativity or any other details not wanting to share with the pope.  Did either you or the recruiter have a "deer in the headlights" moment? Even if the recruiter is not well versed in technology, they may be given specific questions to ask and while appearing nonchalant they are testing you. Get certs above your pay grade and people might overlook the "enterprise". Also, be aware that recruiters in the same region while seeming to serve different clients, they are connected and may share details. Keep in mind that some hiring managers are hung up on secondary education, others on certifications and some both. They are hiring you to be an expert and unless they have a team of experts, they need a demonstration of capability. Also, know who you are talking to. Did you look up the recruiter on LinkedIn? If they have a track record of placing IT people, it will show. 
  • rsxwithslicksrsxwithslicks Member Posts: 73Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Jon_Cisco said:
    Variations of this question will be around long after you and I are gone.

    It is helpful to step back and realize that every single person on earth including you and every other employed person was born without experience. Keep learning and keep applying until you get an opportunity. Then take advantage of the opportunity. You might have to apply for 1000s of Walmart greeter positions but you only have to land one to start gaining that coveted enterprise experience.
    Thank you. I'm trying... 
  • rsxwithslicksrsxwithslicks Member Posts: 73Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    paul78 said:
    The term "experience" is subjective. Quite possibly it doesn't have anything to do with your technical skills. My initial reaction when I read your post is that you don't have experience dealing with the politics at a large organization.
    It wouldn't surprise me if I was unfamiliar with the politics at a large organization since I technically have never worked in one. Care to share a little bit more in detail?
  • rsxwithslicksrsxwithslicks Member Posts: 73Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I think they could've very well been looking for someone who has experience with IAM programs like Sailpoint or Oracle's solution.   Scripting the setup is great for small companies but larger enterprises will have software that does this.   I'd assume they were looking for someone with experience with whatever software they use. 
    The job posting did not mention anything like that. It seemed to be really focused on Windows AD/Exchange administration and the fact that the company was moving over to O365 from their on-prem Exchange 2010/2013 setup.

    Also for the companies who have the budget to afford such programs... How does one gain experience with them before getting the job? Lol. 
  • rsxwithslicksrsxwithslicks Member Posts: 73Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Tekn0logy said:
    Read into the recruiter's response.  Some of them know exactly what the client is looking for and you might want to audit your resume, interview skills, LinkedIn and Facebook profiles to see if there were any other issues. Note that if you are seeking an "enterprise" position, your FB profile should be pristine, disconnected from LinkedIn and void of negativity or any other details not wanting to share with the pope.  Did either you or the recruiter have a "deer in the headlights" moment? Even if the recruiter is not well versed in technology, they may be given specific questions to ask and while appearing nonchalant they are testing you. Get certs above your pay grade and people might overlook the "enterprise". Also, be aware that recruiters in the same region while seeming to serve different clients, they are connected and may share details. Keep in mind that some hiring managers are hung up on secondary education, others on certifications and some both. They are hiring you to be an expert and unless they have a team of experts, they need a demonstration of capability. Also, know who you are talking to. Did you look up the recruiter on LinkedIn? If they have a track record of placing IT people, it will show. 
    I'll take that under advisement for the future.

    Other than creating/terminating users, there was a question I may not have answered well... She asked me how many level 3 escalations I handle daily as I would be expected to handle 5-8 a day. I told her that levels to rank severity is subjective to the individual company. I am the most senior member below the IT manager and handle whatever I need to in order to ensure the company functions/operates without issue or minimal downtime. She asked me again if I think I can handle 5-8 a day or not. So I asked her to ask the hiring manager in what he considers "Level 3" and once I know what his definition of it is, I can answer if I can handle it or not.

    I did look up the technical recruiter who reached out to me but her manager I was not able to find on LinkedIn. 
  • kaijukaiju Posts: 321Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Rather than going back and forth on the ability to handle 5 to 8 level 3 issues you should have just said YES!

    What is a level 3 issue to you?
    Work smarter NOT harder! Semper Gumby!
  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Posts: 1,676Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    So I don't have very much interviewing experience so take this with a grain of salt. If presented with a question about being able to handle a certain workload it is fair to ask a few questions but in the end I would recommend giving an answer as your best guess.
  • PC509PC509 Passion For IT Oregon, USPosts: 745Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    I went from working for small businesses (small farm network with ~10 clients and a server; ISP with 4000 users, several servers) to a SMB business that I thought would be considered enterprise (1000 PC's, ~1500 users; ~150 servers...). It was a wake up call seeing the big differences. Much more by the book and procedures and policies for everything. A lot of things weren't based on your decision for action but by what the standard was. Think you can get rid of that virus on your own? It's an easy one, sure.... Nope. Reimage the machine. Wow, ok. Different roles are much more defined. Yes, I can fix that, but I need to have you call the service desk and open a ticket and someone else will take a look at it. It can be really irritating at times.

    Where I'm at now, it's a bit of both worlds. It's still considered SMB and we do have our standard procedures, but things are a bit more relaxed. Virus? Don't spend too much time on it, but go ahead and try and remove it before reimaging. Can I fix it? Sure, we'll do the ticket when I'm done. Any major systems I had to work on required change management procedures (which is a very good thing), so it wasn't the Wild West. 

    I do wish I would have had more larger business experience when I was younger, though. Spent the first 10 years with the small businesses getting my experience. When I got to play with the big boys, it was a shock. I wasn't an expert anymore. It was very humbling. Went from DOS/Win3.11/Novell to Linux/BSD to Windows NT/2000 to the larger companies Windows Server 2003/08/12/16/O365/Azure. It's like playing with toy trucks and equipment then going into construction any using the real thing. I did have to go from sys admin to help desk for a year or so before they moved me up to a sys admin role again, though. Small towns, though, so the sys admin to help desk was actually a step up in pay at the time. :) 

    But, now that I see your definition of SMB vs. enterprise, I wonder if I'll have the same issue when I move away for a new position. 
  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb They are watching you Posts: 3,170Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    edited April 14
    I think they could've very well been looking for someone who has experience with IAM programs like Sailpoint or Oracle's solution.   Scripting the setup is great for small companies but larger enterprises will have software that does this.   I'd assume they were looking for someone with experience with whatever software they use. 
    The job posting did not mention anything like that. It seemed to be really focused on Windows AD/Exchange administration and the fact that the company was moving over to O365 from their on-prem Exchange 2010/2013 setup.

    Also for the companies who have the budget to afford such programs... How does one gain experience with them before getting the job? Lol. 
    Usually you have to either start at a lower position within the company and move up (there will usually be a lot of lower internal employees who have this experience who will most likely be applying to the position you did.  Since it is a large company...So it isn’t like they will have trouble finding it)

    Also, what could’ve happened is the company already had someone lined up for the position and they just needed to post the job ad and go through the process of looking at other people. I once had an in person interview for a level 2 position at a large bank and nailed the interview.  The manager straight up told me after they had another person lined up already. He actually said he would contact me with the next opening position.  Which he surprisingly did a couple months later.  I found another position by that time though. 
    GCIH | CCNA:Sec | Net+/Sec+/A+ | CCSK
  • rsxwithslicksrsxwithslicks Member Posts: 73Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    kaiju said:
    Rather than going back and forth on the ability to handle 5 to 8 level 3 issues you should have just said YES!

    What is a level 3 issue to you?
    I thought I did..? Lol.
    "I am the most senior member below the IT manager and handle whatever I need to in order to ensure the company functions/operates without issue or minimal downtime. "
    And her question wasn't a yes or no type. She wanted me to answer how many Level 3 escalations I handle a day... I thought it would of sounded a little cocky to say that I setup things so I don't have to worry about 5-8 Level 3 tickets a day. 
  • rsxwithslicksrsxwithslicks Member Posts: 73Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Usually you have to either start at a lower position within the company and move up (there will usually be a lot of lower internal employees who have this experience who will most likely be applying to the position you did.  Since it is a large company...So it isn’t like they will have trouble finding it)

    Also, what could’ve happened is the company already had someone lined up for the position and they just needed to post the job ad and go through the process of looking at other people. I once had an in person interview for a level 2 position at a large bank and nailed the interview.  The manager straight up told me after they had another person lined up already. He actually said he would contact me with the next opening position.  Which he surprisingly did a couple months later.  I found another position by that time though. 
    True. I'm not sure I can afford to take a junior position and move up. California is expensive Lol.
  • rsxwithslicksrsxwithslicks Member Posts: 73Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Jon_Cisco said:
    So I don't have very much interviewing experience so take this with a grain of salt. If presented with a question about being able to handle a certain workload it is fair to ask a few questions but in the end I would recommend giving an answer as your best guess.
    I'll try and remember that for next time.
  • rsxwithslicksrsxwithslicks Member Posts: 73Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    PC509 said:
    I went from working for small businesses (small farm network with ~10 clients and a server; ISP with 4000 users, several servers) to a SMB business that I thought would be considered enterprise (1000 PC's, ~1500 users; ~150 servers...). It was a wake up call seeing the big differences. Much more by the book and procedures and policies for everything. A lot of things weren't based on your decision for action but by what the standard was. Think you can get rid of that virus on your own? It's an easy one, sure.... Nope. Reimage the machine. Wow, ok. Different roles are much more defined. Yes, I can fix that, but I need to have you call the service desk and open a ticket and someone else will take a look at it. It can be really irritating at times.

    Where I'm at now, it's a bit of both worlds. It's still considered SMB and we do have our standard procedures, but things are a bit more relaxed. Virus? Don't spend too much time on it, but go ahead and try and remove it before reimaging. Can I fix it? Sure, we'll do the ticket when I'm done. Any major systems I had to work on required change management procedures (which is a very good thing), so it wasn't the Wild West. 

    I do wish I would have had more larger business experience when I was younger, though. Spent the first 10 years with the small businesses getting my experience. When I got to play with the big boys, it was a shock. I wasn't an expert anymore. It was very humbling. Went from DOS/Win3.11/Novell to Linux/BSD to Windows NT/2000 to the larger companies Windows Server 2003/08/12/16/O365/Azure. It's like playing with toy trucks and equipment then going into construction any using the real thing. I did have to go from sys admin to help desk for a year or so before they moved me up to a sys admin role again, though. Small towns, though, so the sys admin to help desk was actually a step up in pay at the time. :) 

    But, now that I see your definition of SMB vs. enterprise, I wonder if I'll have the same issue when I move away for a new position. 
    I can understand a company not wanting their higher paid employees to be changing the toner at the rate of $25+ an hour when they have someone who's $15 an hour to do it. Then again I also understand the need to roll up my sleeves and help the team/company be as efficient as possible. If that means I have tp change toner for someone, so be it.  
  • paul78paul78 Posts: 2,933Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    paul78 said:
    The term "experience" is subjective. Quite possibly it doesn't have anything to do with your technical skills. My initial reaction when I read your post is that you don't have experience dealing with the politics at a large organization.
    It wouldn't surprise me if I was unfamiliar with the politics at a large organization since I technically have never worked in one. Care to share a little bit more in detail?
    Many industries have their own jargon, nomenclature, and professional norms. And understanding how to navigate who the stakeholders and constituents for a particular activity or goal in a larger company has its nuances. For example, I work in fintech and finserv mostly, and **** off the wrong people can hinder your career development or at worst end your career at that company. Many times - doing the right thing isn't necessarily obvious if you don't have the aptitude to figure out who the influential stakeholders so you can get buy-in - you won't get much done. In larger companies, there's also a tendency to protect turf - but it can also backfire if there is a leadership change.


    Other than creating/terminating users, there was a question I may not have answered well... She asked me how many level 3 escalations I handle daily as I would be expected to handle 5-8 a day. I told her that levels to rank severity is subjective to the individual company. I am the most senior member below the IT manager and handle whatever I need to in order to ensure the company functions/operates without issue or minimal downtime. She asked me again if I think I can handle 5-8 a day or not. So I asked her to ask the hiring manager in what he considers "Level 3" and once I know what his definition of it is, I can answer if I can handle it or not.
    BTW - the recruiter may have just wanted to deal with you because of your response. Your response imply that you may be too rigid and potentially someone that needs a lot of supervision.

    Also - in re-reading your post - I'm realizing that you may not have actually gotten an interview at the company. So the response you received may have just been a generic response. For all you know - you never made it past the recruiter's desk. Or if your resume did make it to the hiring manager, the hiring manager discounted your resume. Depending on the position, most hiring managers don't provide a reason to a recruiter on why a resume was rejected.
  • SteveLavoieSteveLavoie Posts: 631Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Something that can help you is to get familiar with ITIL(even certified). Sure it is not "experience" per se, but many "enterprise" are using ITIL and it could help you. 
  • rsxwithslicksrsxwithslicks Member Posts: 73Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    paul78 said:
    Many industries have their own jargon, nomenclature, and professional norms. And understanding how to navigate who the stakeholders and constituents for a particular activity or goal in a larger company has its nuances. For example, I work in fintech and finserv mostly, and **** off the wrong people can hinder your career development or at worst end your career at that company. Many times - doing the right thing isn't necessarily obvious if you don't have the aptitude to figure out who the influential stakeholders so you can get buy-in - you won't get much done. In larger companies, there's also a tendency to protect turf - but it can also backfire if there is a leadership change. 
    That definitely sounds very political... Lol. I just wanna do my job well and not have to kiss ass while doing it.. Is that too much to ask? Lol.

    paul78 said:
    BTW - the recruiter may have just wanted to deal with you because of your response. Your response imply that you may be too rigid and potentially someone that needs a lot of supervision.

    Also - in re-reading your post - I'm realizing that you may not have actually gotten an interview at the company. So the response you received may have just been a generic response. For all you know - you never made it past the recruiter's desk. Or if your resume did make it to the hiring manager, the hiring manager discounted your resume. Depending on the position, most hiring managers don't provide a reason to a recruiter on why a resume was rejected. 
    Correct. I did not actually get an interview with the hiring manager. I was just surprised to get a  reason so I wanted to see/learn what I can do about it to prevent that same reason from stopping me again in the future.
  • rsxwithslicksrsxwithslicks Member Posts: 73Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Something that can help you is to get familiar with ITIL(even certified). Sure it is not "experience" per se, but many "enterprise" are using ITIL and it could help you. 
    This is something that has crossed my mind recently.. I'm adding to this year's list of goals.
  • LonerVampLonerVamp Senior Member Posts: 269Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Keep in mind that there may be no reason beyond saying you didn't have enough "enterprise experience" just to give a reason. Maybe your resume just wasn't picked. Maybe they don't want to deal with you. Maybe that's really what the client said. Either way, you asked, so they will tell you something, even if it's vague and ultimately meaningless (since, let's face it, they can't evaluate your technical ability anyway).

    Security Engineer/Analyst/Geek, Red & Blue Teams
    OSCP, GCFA, GWAPT, CISSP, OSWP, CCNA Cyber Ops, Sec+
    2019 goals: GWAPT, Linux+, SLAE (possible: SEC573, CCSP, Splunk F&PU)
  • MontagueVandervortMontagueVandervort Senior Member Posts: 368Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    One thing I've learned in the past several years is that ability to work with others is often gauged at a much higher premium than just tech skills.

    You can train almost anyone who doesn't have the necessary tech skills but soft skills ... they absolutely need to come to the organization with those already intact, or you're in for one hell of a ride.
  • paul78paul78 Posts: 2,933Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    That definitely sounds very political... Lol. I just wanna do my job well and not have to kiss ass while doing it.. Is that too much to ask? Lol.
    I'm probably not explaining it well.

    Not to go offtopic - but I do want to expand a bit more on what I meant by "political". That's probably not a fair characteristic since it often has a negative connotation. And I wouldn't want to dissuade people with goals of working at a bigger company or to move into senior technology management roles. In larger companies, scaling sometimes becomes a challenge. As a result, roles tend to become compartmentalized. And for larger companies - especially public companies - the individuals responsible for a particular charter or mission may be heavily compensated based on key measurements.  So you can end up with an org where people focus primarily on making sure that the keep their jobs and work only on those key measurements. That can sometimes create friction and tension between teams/departments/LoBs and the people that lead them. At worst - it can turn into blame-game, back-stabbing, and turf-protection. Example: sales is incentivized to increase top-line production, legal is incentivized to limit liability caps in sales agreements - those requirements are often at odds during the sales process. Security is incentivized to reduce insider incidents, developers want agile processes. Etc. It's one of the reasons, why larger companies spend so much money on team-building exercises and personal development.

    My experience is primarily in fintech/finserv so your mileage may vary depending on industry.

    Also - the definition of large enterprise is very subjective. I realize that @JDMurray works for one of the largest companies in the world. But there's only a handful of companies in the US with more than 50+ employees. In fintech/finserv and there are only 6 banks in the US that have more than 50K+ employees. The top 5 largest fintech account processors in the US only has about 25K employees - although that may change with the recent merger announcements.

  • EANxEANx Posts: 1,008Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    It's also important to note that size doesn't necessarily indicate complexity. 20k people at a campus isn't the same as 20k people scattered at 100 locations around the globe.
Sign In or Register to comment.