I always knew
Like many children with dreams of what they want to be when they grow up, I too, had a career vision. From the time I was five years old, I never wavered from wanting to be an engineer. I enjoyed the process of making things—or make something better—as much as I was intrigued with putting things together to remedy a problem. Perhaps the experience of growing up in a war-torn country influenced my desire to fix the world around me.
However, the most significant motivation in this career path was from not knowing any female engineers around me growing up. And I was going to find out why, by becoming one. Over the years, it has been so encouraging to see more women pursue STEM interests and engineering careers.
One experience leads to another
It started with conviction which guided my education that manifested into a career. Each step of the way required hard work, and the rewards were the important learnings, lessons, and opportunities. With an undergraduate degree in industrial engineering, I received a worldview of science and business. This would become valuable to my eventual two-decade career in product management.
As many industrial engineers do, I started on the factory floor, managing factory equipment and processes. It was there where I secured a solid foundation and hands-on knowledge of how products are made and how to lead production teams to success. It was also where I recognized my prowess in influencing the decision process and customer outcomes, and why I embarked on a role in product management.
Making a difference
With an eye on industries that I believed played the biggest and most impactful role for customers, I was intrigued by companies that adapted to market needs. It was an indication that they were ahead of the game. The way I saw it, identifying customer needs was advantageous. Cleverly addressing them was revolutionary. And product management was the connecting force to align with the right people across disciplines to truly help customers overcome a game-changing challenge.
In addition to actual job functions that could make a difference, my career journey was influenced by game-changing industries. From hardware to software, I eventually joined the world of cybersecurity where I could help customers adapt to the increasing savviness of bad actors by creating solutions that keep their environments safe.
And then it happened
Security stars aligned. Cisco Secure was doubling down on the future of security, including an opportunity to lead one of its fast-growth security businesses. Like many eyes across the industry, I kept a close watch on Cisco Secure. Through internal innovation and strategic acquisitions, Cisco Secure had the vision and people to adapt to market needs and make an impact on the industry and customers. Its momentum was not lost on me. And I recognized that it would be remiss to not be part of its industry-shaping trajectory.
The stakes and expectations within Cisco Secure were as high as my interest in having the opportunity to develop comprehensive and market leading cloud security capabilities. I liked the idea of being part of the transformation to set the stage for the future of network, cloud, and application security.
What I knew more than anything was that my success as a leader could only be realized in partnership with a winning team. They listened to understand customers’ needs. They openly and inclusively ideated solutions. And they were nimbly delivering to the needs. It was the stellar talent at Cisco Secure—their passion to help make our customers’ lives better, excitement to collaborate, and diverse approaches to the work—that sealed the deal for me.
Happy team, happy customers
Throughout my career, all I ever heard was how much people enjoyed working at Cisco. Experiencing it first-hand has made me understand the accolades. From the get-go with Cisco Secure, I have experienced a culture of collaboration, a team that cares about the customer, where diverse ideas are celebrated, hard work is appreciated, and people are making an impact—on their professional growth, as a collective team, and in the world.
I always knew I would be an engineer. Throughout my career, I continually had an eye on Cisco, especially hearing the great experiences from those who worked there. I believe happy people do their best work and happy teams create happy customers. And that is why I am beyond grateful to now be part of this formidable Cisco Secure team and the future that we are innovating.
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