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July 2018

Pride Month 2018 may be over, but Annette Friskopp shares what HP’s commitment to diversity and inclusion means to her today and every day. Before HP As Pride Month wraps up, I’m filled with gratitude and inspiration. Thirty-two years ago, I joined

If you haven't seen our Career Vlog, the name 'Ann Hsieh' might not ring any bells, but we can assure you, this 24-year-old amateur YouTuber and Mechanical Cost Engineer from HP Taipei, will stick in your mind after you get to know

Judit obtained a Master’s degree in Marketing and aspired to a bright future in a multinational graduate program in the field of Sales and Marketing. Throughout her studies, she worked in the automotive and aviation industries which were a solid

Sirine graduated from ISCAE (Hight Institute of Commerce and Business Administration) in Morocco and Nanjing Audit University in China and has a Master’s degree in Audit and Management Control. This is her story as a Start2Grow Program Graduate.

Tell us about your experience as a CEMA Start2Grow graduate

Working in CEMA (Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa) means embracing diversity. The innovation fueled by ideas that emerge from different minds is invaluable. Hence, relationship building and day-to-day communication with colleagues and customers have been the most favorite part of my Start2Grow journey.

“To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom,” said Socrates. Our relationships with others inspire growth, insights and innovative ways of thinking. They encourage me to leave my comfort zone and reflect on my strengths andcapabilities, while simultaneously learning to appreciate others and enhancing my emotional intelligence.

As a Junior Supplies Category Manager for North-West Central Africa & Islands, I collaborate and learn on the go. There are always new opportunities to grasp and innovative solutions to discover.

What’s like being part of the HP Family?

HP is not only about reinventing technology but reinventing yourself when it comes to balancing creative with organizational tasks. I love the fact that I can bring my whole self to work and could use both hemispheres of my brain.

From day one, I have been given myriad resources, training, and tools to develop and create a custom career path that is aligned with my interests and long-term aspirations.

This pretty much sums up the CEMA culture and Start2Grow philosophy. I remember the first time I heard this statement during my earliest meetings, it blew my mind!

Moreover, I am happy that I have a  manager who is an inspirational leader capable of driving his team to gain momentum and making bold moves. He utilizes constructive feedback ensure everyone’s voice is heard and matters.

I think it is paramount to my professional and personal development to be part of HP, where people are the most powerful and valuable company asset.

Balancing work while following your passion

One of the best aspects of my job is also work-life balance. The daily life of a Sales Graduate is very challenging yet it leaves room for my personal development.

Outside of work I gravitate around arts.

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life” – Pablo Picasso.

It has always been a real passion – the impulse of creation is perhaps among the most telling, and reveals my identity. Not only does it help me reinvent and relieve myself from stress but it enhances my analytical skills with an emphasis on both the visible and the invisible to the eyes.

Art intensifies my attention to detail and the ability to step back and embrace various perspectives.

Art also helps me develop patience and perseverance which are crucial ingredients of success in the workplace as well.

As a beginner, I have started looking at world-renowned masterpieces and challenged myself to reach the same level one day.  Following countless obstacles, failures and moments of self-doubt, I built resilience when faced with a challenge and have greatly improved the quality of my artwork.

The above-mentioned skills are easily transferable to my field of work and are valuable in life in general.

How are HP tools helping you to become a better artist?

Another dimension to my progression as an artist is attributable to my HP experience. The new laptops HP Spectre x360 and HP Envy x360 made me think of entering the digital art arena using a high-precision pen that handles sensitivity when inking and shading, so I don’t have to carry on my tools to draw, I can do it anywhere.

Without any doubt, being part of Start2Grow is a real opportunity to shape your own way in a dream company and be surrounded by successful people who are willing to support you on the way to becoming the best version of yourself.

If you loved Sirine’s story, start your own by applying to our Start2Grow program here.



Our Start2Grow Graduate Program aims to develop the HP leaders of tomorrow by providing focused sales curriculum while committing to support graduates in creating meaningful, long-term careers where they can continuously tackle new challenges and relish various business experiences.

Fresh thinking, diversity of backgrounds and beliefs are key to help us pioneer Printing and Computing worldwide and innovate continuously.

Thabiso Padi is a Big Data Analyst for the Africa Enterprise Solutions team in Johannesburg, who joined HP as a Start2Grow Graduate in 2017. He shared with us a few insights on the program, life at HP and the lessons learned so far:

What’s it like to be part of the HP family?


I still consider myself beyond privileged to have been selected amongst thousands of other applicants. You will consistently experience this in HP: they not only believe in people, but they also know how to make you feel valued.

Armed with barely more than my googly-eyes, enthusiastic smile, and a mission to make a difference in my little world back home, my journey at HP has been marked by many rises and falls, but most importantly, it has not been short of lessons.



Tell us about your experience as Start2Grow Graduate so far…

There have been tremendously awesome moments, nights you wished would never end, and days you wished would be over as soon as they began.

Sometimes everything feels harder than pulling teeth, and there are, of course, one or two times when it felt like the fight scene with the bear from the Revenant. For a Graduate Business Analyst, the bear’s name is “Quota Deployment”! 😉

On the bright side, being able to bring your whole self to work is what makes HP a great place to work.

For instance, where else would you be challenged to a twerking contest by the CEMA* Leadership Team during your onboarding?

An invaluable element of Start2Grow is the entire community of graduates just like you. You learn to grow together, to lean on each other for support, and even cover for each other sometimes.

In every step of the way, there is a hand waiting for you to reach out and hold onto when you need help and it all feels too much.

What are the key lessons you’ve learned in the program?

Eventually, you appreciate and enjoy all the ups and downs.

You soon realize your challenges, failures, fears, and mistakes are the breadcrumbs that lead you to your mission which you find along the way.

Such experiences help you better understand your WHY and get a clearer picture of the next steps you should take in your journey to becoming your own “big hero”.

You uncover the importance of learning, and the importance of learning the right way. You understand that you can do anything you set yourself to achieve.

And most importantly, you learn not to measure your growth to someone else’s. “Comparison is and will always be the thief of joy”, said Benjamin Franklin.

What is the most prominent insight about HP that you have gained?

Personally, there have been times that took me way back home, to those nights where we gathered with my siblings and mother, hungry and cold, in the dilapidated single bedroom we called our house, being careful not to gather underneath the several roof leaks when it rained.

This became my reason to reach beyond myself, my WHY. What I mean by this is that I come from a place where “it takes a village to raise a child”, and “what one learns is for the benefit of all”. These are deeply held virtues in my community so I was astonished to find parallel values when I joined HP.

I was amazed when I saw the principles of harmonious co-existence and collaboration, of Ubuntu – i.e I A

m Because You Are – begin to emerge in the values HP espouses.

I didn’t read all this in a brochure or the About Us webpage – I experienced it! And when I did, I knew this is this is tribe I belong to.

Your two cents to the next cohort of Start2Grow Graduates…

I can’t say if your experience will be awesome or not, but I promise it can be any experience you fashion for yourself. The best advice I can offer is Bring Yourself.

My mother likes saying, “Why play it safe when you can play powerful?”

So, have the confidence to stand for something, and raise your voice! Even if it’s just a whisper – own your whisper until it gets stronger!

If Thabiso’s story amazed you, apply to Start2Grow now and build your story with us today!


*CEMA – Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa represents a large business territory, covering over 100 countries, with a population of 2 billion people. CEMA represents 10% of HP’s global sales volume, with an annual revenue of $5bn. To give an order of magnitude, HP sells over 17,000 PC’s & 15,000 printers per day across the CEMA region. (April 2018)