Husband. Father. Veteran. When I set out to grow my career last year, my search led me out of Colorado where – save for a short stint in North Carolina while I was in the U.S. Marine Corps – I spent most of my life.
I had previously worked for Cisco partners and have always loved the way Cisco shows up for their customers, partners, and employees. So, when I was offered a contract role at Cisco to work with the Virtual Private Network (VPN), Authentication Authorization and Accounting (AAA) and Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) technologies for our High Touch Technical Support (HTTS) contracts – I knew it would be a risk. But, still, one I thought was worth taking.
Life is, often, about taking risks and hoping they pay off.
I moved out to North Carolina to join Cisco’s HTTS Security team while my precious family – my wife and three young children – stayed back in Colorado. This was intimidating and challenging, but I put my trust into Cisco, and hoped for the best. The difficulties of separating from my family were made slightly easier thanks to my Cisco family and the Cisco tools that I was able to take advantage of to communicate with them.
Six months after my contract began, I was offered a full-time position with Cisco, and my family and I are in the process of a full-time transition to North Carolina. We are officially a Cisco family now, and Cisco has become such a valued part of our lives.
Here are three ways Cisco impressed me:
1. Diversity: After finishing my New Employee Orientation, I was ecstatic to find out that Cisco’s executive leadership team is 58% diverse! This is important to me because as Hispanic Americans, I want my babies to see that places like Cisco exist – and to not see any limit to their potential.
I have found Cisco to be welcoming of all people, from all walks of life and I am proud to work on a global team not only with fellow veterans, but with those who come from Nigeria, China, Columbia, Mexico and beyond. I work and collaborate every day across many continents.
2. Veteran Support: As a disabled combat veteran, with two purple hearts, I am also touched by the support veterans receive at Cisco through our executive leadership, management, and fellow colleagues. Cisco is a company that built a bulk of its backbone and technology in collaboration and the tools we have today are ones I only could have dreamed about having while deployed.
When I first came to Cisco, I trained with our Technical Assistance Center (TAC) VPN team. I believe that team is made up of over 20% veterans, and it was great to walk in the door and feel immediately embraced. On my first day, I sat down next to a team member who had 6 CCIE’s – with my personal goal this year to get my CCIE security, I was blown away. Getting to see our unique specialties shine as we collaborate together to achieve a common goal and getting to work with this caliber of co-workers challenges me every day.
3. Family First: My family’s transition has not been easy – but we are so THANKFUL for the Cisco tools which built a bridge across 1800 miles until we were able to be together again. I would join my 10-year-old Brayden in a Webex room daily for the Python class we took together. My wife and I would use Webex to pick recipes, grocery shop, and cook together twice a week. And our youngest, Jensen and Scottie, could hang out in a room and play trucks and cars with me virtually. Technology kept us deeply connected in that time, and it meant the world to us.
I love getting to work at Cisco and with our incredible tech, comfortable vibe (flip flops and Nerf objects are prevalent when we’re in office), and brilliant minds. For me, this means working with our Cisco VPN and Identity Services Engine (ISE) technologies for High Touch Premium customers of Fortune 50 and 500 companies that have unique and expansive technology landscapes. Recently, we also helped with the rapid increase in utilization of Remote Access VPN and ISE products for businesses that transitioned to remote work. It was such a rewarding experience to collaborate with this experienced team and serve our customers in these challenging times.
Our security team is not just a technical support arm, but an advocate for our product, too and I feel my work not only impacts our customers, but the product itself. We are constantly challenging ourselves to contribute to the enhancement of our products in the security stripe.
If you’re looking to grow your career – my advice would be to, “get uncomfortable.” In technology, the more uncomfortable you are, the more you are learning. Don’t be intimidated by experience, because experience means that individual came from where you currently sit and there may be something new to learn from them.
Culturally, Cisco is the greatest company I have ever worked for. I feel valued, recognized and accepted here, and I know this has not only been a great career growth move for me – but a great move for our family as well.
Personally, I couldn’t have made a better choice than to come to Cisco.
Ready to join our team? Apply now.