Co-authored by Luis Islas and Liz Torrence

Liz sitting in front of Cisco sign

Liz’s Story

Hi, my name is Liz Torrence, and I am a Customer Success Manager at Cisco. A proud Cisconian, I drank the “Cisco Kool-Aid” early on, when I was only sixteen years old and part of the Cisco Networking Academy program. My high school was the first to implement the program in Mexico, which allowed me and my brother to have hands-on experience into the IT world. Fun fact, my brother works for Cisco too!

For the longest time, I wanted to be part of this fantastic company. I couldn’t imagine, however, that I would find not only friends but an actual family. After six years of working at Cisco, my love for Cisco is more mature. It sees the faults and contributes to fixing them with an open heart. I want Cisco to be better but to achieve that, I must be better. And Cisco makes me want to be better because they care deeply about the family that we have formed. Why do I love where I work? Well, for starters:

1. Cisco allows you to grow and empowers you I started my career at Cisco as part of the Cisco Sales Associate Program (CSAP). The program is designed for top university graduates from around the world who aspire to become the next generation of sales leaders at Cisco. Cisco paid me to learn and develop my skills. I felt empowered from the very first day.

2. Cisco becomes part of your family – During my first year, I connected with people from around the world. I had the opportunity to live in the United States with Valentina, a peer from Chile, and David, a peer from Mexico. We end up being close friends, a Latino family. The Cisco culture and values attract the best people. It intrigued my brother, and I’ve heard of cases where it attracts sons and daughters, husbands and wives, and best friends and neighbors. So, to us, Cisco is literally our family.

3. Cisco supports you all the way – I got engaged in September 2019. My husband and I planned our wedding to be in October 2020. Little did we know that 2020 had other plans. The wedding got moved from February to October, and when things didn’t improve – we moved it yet again to March 2021. And it was still difficult as my father and my closest aunt were not going to be able to join us. In a conversation with my brother, he suggested using Webex to stream the wedding. I could get a temporal WebEx license, and then stream our wedding via Webex to Facebook. My brother helped me with the Webex Camera. My team lead, Jennifer, and fellow Cisconians were supportive in every step, and helped to make the situation less stressful. If it wasn’t for Cisco, I don’t know what I would’ve done.

Webex brought my family together and enabled us to celebrate ‘together’ – no matter the distance.

Luis’ Story

Luis next to park

Hi, my name is Luis Islas and I’m a Network Engineer. Back in high school, the thought of a career in networking never crossed my mind. I even told my teacher that I wanted to opt-out of my networking classes, but she convinced me that I should keep at it. I decided to finish the 4 CCNA modules, and in that time, I realized that I liked networks! From there, I had one clear goal: to combine my passions of electronics and telecommunications and eventually work for Cisco!

After I got my bachelor’s degree in engineering, I worked for a company where I didn’t feel like I fit. There were no growth opportunities, and I wondered if I had made a mistake. During this time, I decided to continue studying and got my CCNA and CCDA certifications. Soon thereafter, I saw job offers posted to work at Cisco – my dream was about to come true!

I was immediately convinced that Cisco is the most incredible place to work, and I still think that today! Here’s why:

1. Cisco allows you to grow and empowers you – While working as a contractor, I was able to have hands on experience with every Cisco technology as part of Cisco Customer Experience Labs. I loved my job. After a year, I got a promotion and got hired directly by Cisco. I was leading a team and doing what I love while continuing to grow my career. I never felt so happy as a professional to see my dreams come true.

2. Cisco becomes part of your family When my sister told me she was taking a job opportunity within Cisco and moved to the United States, I thought we were going to grow apart. Thankfully, our telepresence solutions helped us to connect regularly using Webex for video calls and as our preferred chat. I introduced my parents to high-quality video calls; it was like she never left! Cisco was part of our family and kept us all connected.

3. Cisco supports you all the way – I was so excited for my sister to get married, and that I would have the honor to walk her to the alter, but I was sad that some of our family could not join us. At that moment, I remembered that I’m a Cisconian! As a Customer Experience Labs Network Engineer, I assess customer requirements and provide them with the best solutions while also having access to the latest and greatest Cisco toys, including the new Cisco Webex desk camera.  If Cisco can make a perfect virtual office anywhere, why not extend it and make the ideal virtual wedding?

When the day came, setting the meeting and linking it with Facebook was a piece of cake. Using my mobile data, I created a hot spot, placed the Webex camera, and started streaming just before the ceremony. I ran like crazy to meet my sister and take our walk down the aisle. I was happy not only because my sister was getting married and I was walking her, but also because I was able to use Cisco technology and help connect our family while streaming on Facebook using Webex!

We went from 28 attendees at the wedding to have another 40 people sharing this moment with us remotely! My father also made his way to the reception, using the Webex record feature and the same camera; we recorded a brief message to the happy couple and showed it at the event on screens for all to see.

We are both so happy and proud to be a part of the same family and to be a part of Cisco.

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Liz Torrence

Customer Success Manager