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All-Things .NEXT — A Look at the Conference from an Intern's Perspectiver

By McKenna Haniger

As a recent college graduate, I’ve had the exciting opportunity to intern for the marketing department here at Nutanix. In my initial interview for the position, I was told that the scope of my responsibilities could cover helping organize Nutanix’s inaugural .NEXT user conference. “All things .NEXT” became my go-to answer when I was asked to describe what my responsibility was. This projection came true and I have had the fortunate opportunity to get my hands on many different projects. While my main focus has been the logistics of the conference, I have luckily been able to get exposure to all facets of the marketing department.

In January, I received a crash course in the company’s history and learned how this maiden conference fits into the future of Nutanix. By the time acronyms like SQL, VDI, HCI, and DR became regular parts of my vocabulary, I started to understand how months of planning would come together to create the reality of .NEXT.

I first began to see the conference materialize through the finalization of session topics and speakers. Through continued conversations with presenters, I have been given a sneak peek into the depth and array of the agenda. The content planned for .NEXT is truly it’s greatest selling point. The team made sure we picked topics that appeal to a broad set of audience – from deep technical sessions to sessions that senior executives will be interested in. Though planning a conference — and the first of its kind — has not come without its challenges, each project I have been involved in has come together due to great team efforts. Every aspect of the conference planning — the agenda, venue, website, sponsorships, — has manifested thanks to the close collaboration within the marketing department and beyond.

My favorite experiences include the interactions I get to have with those who will be in attendance at the conference. I spoke with a channel partner who plans to bring three of his customers in June, and I thanked him for his interest in .NEXT. I received this reply:

“You’re absolutely welcome. And thank you. The conference will be FAB!!”

The excitement of future attendees solidifies the imminence of .NEXT. As June draws near, what once seemed so far away is now just around the corner. I’m appreciative of this experience for a multitude of reasons. The importance of focusing on every minute detail, putting customer interests before everything else, perseverance, and team work are just some of the important lessons I will take away from being part of the .NEXT team and an intern at Nutanix.

One of the most exciting and encouraging aspects of planning this great event is that I get to see exactly how all the hard work comes to fruition in Miami Beach come June. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a part of .NEXT and see how it adds to the future of Nutanix.