As we celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we caught up with Gian Sese, Chair of CDW's Pan Asian Council (PAC) Business Resource Group. Gian shares his experience at CDW, PAC's efforts and a food recommendation!
What’s your role at CDW and how long have you been with the company?
I started out as a temp back in 2012 then was offered a full-time opportunity after six months with CDW. I started out in Product & Partner Management (PPM) as Dropship Buyer for backorder fulfillment, then moved quickly to a Dropship Emergency Buyer. I progressed to be the Dropship Buyer for the majority of our enterprise and security partners. My exposure to this role expanded my network within the company from Backbone organization to our Sales organization, and with our partners as well. From this, I became a Sales Operations Supervisor to one of the most unique segments—Federal—where I cover the Department of Defense for U.S. Army Programs and Agencies.
What do you like about your current role?
The challenges that customers and partners present to our team are always new and unique. I enjoy being able to overcome them through problem solving and working collaboratively with the coworkers on my team.
You recently became the new Chair for Pan Asian Council (PAC), tell us about the journey to that leadership position:
I took this as an opportunity to create a bigger impact on our members and coworkers and give back to CDW. Taking on a “volunteer job” on top of your day job isn’t easy, but I have a solid leadership team behind me. PAC leaders come from various business practices, but we’re able to act as one and undertake the challenges that come with these volunteer positions because we all believe in the notion that BRGs are FOR coworkers BY coworkers.
For those who are unfamiliar with PAC, can you tell us what it is?
We act as a representation and celebration of Asian culture, but it doesn’t mean that it’s exclusive for only those of Asian descent. Everyone from every ethnicity is welcome. Our mission is to provide an open platform for coworkers with shared interests to achieve their aspirations and drive competitive advantage for CDW.
PAC is also known for strong networking and collaboration with Asian BRGs from the Top 25 companies in Chicago. While we’re proud of that and are going to continue to maintain our relationships outside of the organization, we’re also taking this year to go back to our roots, focusing on more internal events, professional development programs and workshops.
We’re going to build a stronger foundation to support our members and coworkers to help them with their journey to success.
One of the great things about APAHM is that it recognizes so many different cultures and heritages. What food from your cultural heritage would you have people try?
I’m Filipino. It’s tough to pick a favorite, so would suggest trying everything! Filipino food is based out of Spanish cuisine since the Philippines was a Spanish Colony for 400 years. The country is composed of 7,000+ islands so there could be 7,000+ versions of the same “traditional” dish. The popular food I would suggest is pork or chicken Adobo.
What makes CDW a great company to work for?
Where do I start?! CDW’s core foundation and beliefs, passion to innovate new solutions, achieve the best possible outcome on every opportunity and challenge, the drive to pursue success, and the amazing teamwork that’s performed behind the scenes.
Even though the organization has so many different segments, teams, and departments, we still work as one big team to accomplish a mission. Challenges may occur, but those challenges can’t be resolved by one person; they’re resolved by every department. We know how to work together, to bring the Circle of Service to life. There’s never a dull moment—CDW will consistently challenge you to be the best version of yourself.
Learn more about CDW's Diversity & Inclusion efforts here.