What I’m Thankful for This Year: Combining Passion & Career

By Philip, Program Manager, People First Office

Back in April, I started my new role at McAfee as the Program Manager of our newly-created PeopleFirst Office. It was an exciting yet daunting time as we had launched McAfee as an independent cybersecurity company, just a week  prior to my first day. In the office, the excitement was palpable, yet there were the requisite challenges that come with any structural and logistical change of that magnitude. But as I look back, I am thankful for our sound leadership and our collective ability to truly live out our value of Achieving Excellence with Speed and Agility. In just a few short months, we successfully stood up a global multi-billion-dollar company (without losing too much sleep, either!).

As I think about the things that I’m most thankful for, there are three things that are near to my heart:


This week, I am reminded of the journey of those who came before me. Specifically, my paternal grandmother who was the daughter of a first-generation sharecropper from a small town in Arkansas. Ma’dear, as we affectionately called her, was barely able to obtain a secondary education, but she taught our family the value of hard work, discipline and education (or “getting your lesson” as she referred to it). Although she was born during a time when our country still had laws in place that perpetuated racial divides, she instilled in me the value of being proud of my racial and cultural heritage, while also valuing those of others. Thank you, Ma’dear, for setting such a great example that I still follow today.

The PeopleFirst Team

Being guided by such great teachers like Ma’dear, I have always sought out ways to bring people together. I am thankful for my role in the PeopleFirst Office because it is literally the fulfillment of a desire I’ve had my entire life. The mission of our team is simple in statement, but in practice of course, comes with its own set of challenges which I’m excited to rise to every day.. In a nutshell, we work to create an environment that welcomes everyone. That can be hard to achieve within our own small communities, and so for a global company with over 7,000 individual personalities from numerous backgrounds and just as many perspectives, we work hard to make sure we celebrate and encourage all those wonderful things that make us unique.

I’m thankful to work for a company that places tremendous value on each employee and supports the diversity of our global workforce while ensuring that diversity is nourished within an inclusive work environment.

Our HR Team

Every day, I get the opportunity to experience what it’s like to work with an amazing group of people. I love being a part of the Learning and Development team because they find ways to keep the energy positive and upbeat – even if we are trailing the leaderboard for the global McAfee ‘Step To It Challenge’. My team embodies the McAfee spirit in how we collaborate and remain open, receptive to and honest about new ideas that help us live out our values and reach our true potential.

Our entire Plano HR team truly lives the value  ‘We Play to Win or Don’t Play’ . This was on display at our recent Thanksgiving “Dessert and Fun” team activity where we broke out into teams and played Jeopardy and Pictionary with the winning team receiving prizes. Each team also brought in various yummy desserts and treats that surely set us all back a week in our workout routines. Breaking bread with my colleagues not only during the holidays, but after work and even on some weekends tells a lot about our team’s comradery.

It’s opportunities like this which truly make the difference, and I’m so thankful to be a part of such a great community of people.

Happy Thanksgiving to all, and may each of us take a few moments this season to reflect on the things for which we’re thankful!

For more stories like Philip’s follow @LifeAtMcAfee on Instagram and on Twitter @McAfee to see what working at McAfee is all about.

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