I joined Cisco in Feb 2022 as a Project Specialist with CX APJC, and the experience has been amazing so far. Among the many things I love about working at Cisco is how supportive the company is towards volunteering and giving back. Cisco gives every employee 10 annual ‘Days to Give’ in order to contribute to the causes that mean the most to us; not only that but Cisco also matches any donation we make to charity, dollar for dollar.
When I am not at my desk, I am an avid runner who has participated in many marathons (42.195km), both locally and overseas. I ran my first marathon back in Dec 2018 at the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon and it was a life-changing experience. While I suffered and hated myself for signing up, I saw the beauty of the distance and was determined to train properly and reduce my time.From there, I set my goal to run the Boston Marathon.
Being the oldest marathon in the world, it is also the most prestigious because of its stringent qualifying times for runners as well as being one of six World Marathon Majors. Aspiring Boston Marathon time qualifiers have to achieve a certain timing at another marathon before they are accepted into the race. Due to this reason, Boston is often thought of as the “holy grail” of amateur marathoning.
My journey to qualifying for Boston was definitely not easy, it required lots of perseverance, sacrifice, and discipline, coupled with the constant doubts in my head about whether I will ever make it. After years of putting in the work and not giving up, I eventually ran a Boston qualifying time of 2:59:16 at the 2022 Gold Coast Marathon.
Prior to the Boston Marathon, I knew that there was an avenue where I could make my efforts not just to get to Boston, but my many years of training could count to even more. My plan for this was to set up a giving opportunity on Cisco’s new Community Impact Portal which allows me to raise funds for a charity of my choice. I was stoked at this opportunity, as it was an amazing way to do something I love and also to give back to something greater than myself.
With that, I decided to raise funds for the Viva Foundation for Children With Cancer. I have always loved children, and I feel that those few years of growing up are the best years a child can have. I was blessed with a healthy and strong body growing up, which allowed me to pursue my dreams today. However, not every child is fortunate enough to have that, and I hoped that this giving opportunity would help to alleviate the effects of cancer on these children and their families.
On April 17th, 2023, I became a part of history books as I completed the 127th Boston Marathon in a time of 3:02:58. With the help of supportive managers, colleagues, and friends, together we managed to raise a total of SGD $17,393, including Cisco’s 1:1 donation matching. I was so humbled by the amount of support I received from the people around me, the inflow of congratulatory messages for my feat at Boston as well as the fundraising achievement was overwhelming. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who supported my giving opportunity, especially team Cisco SG and CX APJC.
If you are looking for various causes to support, be it giving back via volunteering or donations, the Community Impact Portal is the best place to champion that. I hope you find the means to give back in any way that you can, no matter the magnitude. I’m already looking forward to my next marathon and fundraising campaign!