You know you’re having a good day at Cisco when you win a Star Wars medal. For eating tater tots.

I am a security researcher in the Cisco Austin office, where our civic council often plans fun site-wide events including a “May the Fourth Be With You” party, “Bike to Work” day, and volunteer activities at local non-profit organizations.

Not so long ago, in a parking lot not too far away, Starch Wars happened. In the middle of the week I found myself scarfing down as many cold tater tots as possible in a minute along side several co-workers. Unfortunately, the force was stronger with my teammate Greg Franson, who took first place in the competition and was awarded the coveted Darth Vader Mr. Potato Head trophy. I still proudly claimed a second place medal for my chewing rate of 6 seconds per tater tot.


Tater Tot Eating Competition
Judge me by my size, do you?

Celebrating Star Wars Day and bad puns is just one thing that makes Cisco a great place to work. Another is how Cisco encourages us to build camaraderie while benefitting our local community through volunteer work. Our group took a break to visit the Special Olympics Texas warehouse as they were preparing for the Summer Games in Arlington, Texas. We spent the morning sorting and packing hundreds of t-shirts, backpacks, sunglasses, and award ribbons for different sporting events and sites.

Sorting clothes

Did you know what began in 1969 as a track and field event for 350 people with intellectual disabilities continues today as the largestthe team annual Special Olympics Texas state competition with over 3,000 athletes? True to our excessive eating tendencies, we finished this team building activity at a buffet, but without the competition this time.

Tater tot eating competitions and sorting merchandise absolutely did not make us better at reviewing code and writing scripts. However, these activities definitely made us a better team. Career tip – when you #LoveWhereYouWork, you realize it’s all about the people you work with.


Want to be part of doing great work with great people at Cisco? View open opportunities here.



Jennie Kam

Security Researcher

Security and Trust Organization