I was twenty-two years old when I joined Cisco Capital, a recent college graduate, ready and willing to bring everything I could to the table in my first real world position.
The role was in North Carolina – adding a new location to the new experience. So I packed up and moved 500 miles south. I had the pleasure of networking and meeting many colleagues on various teams in Finance as a whole.
Most people would think “Cisco Capital Team” and think “boring!” It soon became obvious to me that this team was the farthest thing from boring. Halloween is Cisco Capital’s favorite holiday. They pull out all the stops. Never would I have imagined working professionals in corporate America would embrace the fun like this. Count me in!
I had been an RA (Resident Assistant) at Marywood University, where I would plan and host events to bring people together. I saw this as my way to make an impact on my new team.
In 2014 the Netflix original series Orange is the New Black reached its peak of popularity. At the time I was coming into my own at Cisco, the second season was all anyone at work could talk about. My colleague, Margaret Baxter and I gathered our thoughts and pitched an idea to the Americas Operations Director, Deborah Baker. We were going to enter the Halloween costume contest and we were going to WIN!
The idea was a hit. Both our managers and their Director unleashed us to let the creative juices flow. Word spread like a wildfire. Soon teammates came to us for character signups. We even reached out to the more reserved colleagues to play a part. They agreed! We had over 25 teammates, managers, and a director dress as over 25 different characters from the show ranging from main characters like Piper and Alex to supporting roles like Sophia and Leanne.
The managers graciously supported our decision to not only have a little bit of Halloween fun (okay, a lot of fun) but also give back to our community and purchase a bulk order of tan scrubs and participate in the annual 5K Fun Run here in Raleigh. They encouraged us by offering to match a percentage of the entry fee for all Capital participants. Soon the day of the event came, and we skipped across campus, prison badges and all, in full costume. You could feel the excitement in the air. Teammates with big smiles on their face took selfies, Snaps, posted to Instagram… we basically took over social media before the event even started.
As our group congregated outside the 5K arch, random Cisco employees and volunteers ran up to us telling us how much they adore the show or how they wanted a picture with their favorite character. I have to say everyone’s favorite was Crazy Eyes! MJ (Margaret) stayed in character! Our team won the 5K costume contest.
Every day is a fun day in Finance, but this is one that stands out in my mind. Happy Halloween to all, and if you don’t celebrate in your location around the globe, make it an excuse to dress up and have fun with your team.
Want to join the Cisco Family? We’re hiring! Apply Now.