I don’t think anyone will argue that 2020 was a year of change. It was unexpected for many of us, uncomfortable, unnerving, and – yes, unprecedented. But, when I look back on the past 12-months, I realize how grateful I am for all those changes.

In a time where it is so easy to be distressed, I know these changes have made me better.

Last year, my team and I were focused on creating innovations for our Webex Calling products, constantly improving them for our billions of users all while working face-to-face. When the world shifted in 2020, we shifted right alongside it and accelerated our learnings and productivity – now from our home offices through Webex Teams and Meetings. Today, our horizons have expanded even further, as we’ve grown our professional skills by leaps and bounds and never took our focus off providing the very best for our users.

I’ve also had the opportunity to meet so many new people through my activity with the NextGen group (a cadre of early in career Cisconians) – all of whom have taught me something I didn’t know before. And I’ve had the chance to become a (now two-time) published blogger, sharing my story about what I do and why I love working at Cisco. (Kinda exciting, right?)

I’ve learned to set boundaries to ensure I balance my professional and personal lives – all of which have been respected by my colleagues. In fact, my placement of boundaries was solidified in a simple statement from our SVP/GM of Collaboration, Javed Khan during a meeting. He shared that he blocks out time on his calendar each day – providing him time to recharge, reset and refocus. Which shows to me that Cisco’s top-level leaders do as they say. When they encourage us to do something, they do it themselves – leading the way.

I have always known that Cisco is a place where people want to help each other. This is just who we are and every bit the heartbeat of our culture. We come together to teach and learn from each other. We support and are there for each other. We are appreciated by and reward each other. We are encouraged to not only bring our very best selves to work every day but empowered to truly be who we are at Cisco.

Outside work, I love to spend my leisure engaging in creating Zentangle and Mandala art. In fact, I hosted a Mandala Art workshop as a part of Cisco’s Early in Career events. Not only that, but I am now a Certified Zentangle Teacher as well! My managers and colleagues have cheered me along every step of the way – and this speaks volumes to me about the wonderful people and culture.

Change makes the world go ‘round, and I embrace it. It is what makes us see that what once seemed impossible – is truly possible – and I think my past 12-months are proof of this. I cannot wait to see how I will change and grow through 2021.


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Diparati Sen

Software Engineer • Artist • Dabbling Poetess

Engineering - WXC - Webex Calling - India