15 years at Cisco and I really do still love my job! Every time I think about my role as an IT Manager, and these words, I think about that scene in Miss Congeniality where Sandra Bullock’s character becomes overwhelmed with emotion and let’s everyone know, “I really do want world peace!”

Jackie in front of pink balloons.

When I say, “I love Cisco” – I really, really love Cisco!

Not only can I bring my true self to work every day – yes, my fun, quirky, opinionated, emotional self – but my co-workers are a second family to me, too. We are there for one another, in good times and in bad. We always have each other’s backs, no matter what we are going through. From feeling helpless, worried, and filled with doubt to overcome with gratitude, excitement, and empowerment – those are the emotions I endured as my team rallied to support a dream I had.

As I am in Australia, our restrictions were lifted towards the end of 2020. It was so nice to be able to see my team mates again! And as we played a game of lawn bowls (a difficult game you should not underestimate) with the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House in the distance, I was overcome with emotion. I was so grateful that we were able to do this and share this moment. This was my first-time meeting some of my teammates in person even!

As we were catching up, I shared with them how I wanted to raise $1000 for PINK Day and the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF). This would be my third year supporting them, and what had inspired me to take action was the moment four years ago that my mum found a lump. Luckily, it was not cancerous. But so many others aren’t as lucky, and as I talked more about our experience – I learned of friends and neighbours who had experienced Breast Cancer or, sadly, lost their lives.

I felt helpless in that moment. But, then – I decided I could do something about this! I could raise funds and help! The NBCF’s goal is “0 by 2030” – meaning, zero deaths from breast cancer by 2030.

Within 15 minutes of sharing this with my colleagues, we went from a simple online fundraising concept to, “Let’s have a local PINK day and get everyone involved!”

Our team of 5 quickly grew to 15 thanks to our organizing efforts via Cisco’s Webex technology. And in our Webex space, all these brilliant ideas continued to flow. There would be PINK cakes, PINK cookies, PINK drinks, PINK wigs, PINK games, PINK Costumes…PINK everything! We were fired up – and because of that energy our team grew to 29 across multiple locations, cities, and functions.

We raised our goal from $1,000 to $5,000.

Jackie and team at breast cancer event.

I never thought that little me – one person – could bring together so many people to support a cause that was so important to me. But here we were, truly making a difference!

This isn’t to say that it was all easy, though. We certainly hit speed bumps along the way. But, in true Cisco fashion – any time it became difficult, our group rallied to make sure we achieved our goal.

This is another reason why I love working at Cisco. We had some amazing ladies and gentlemen step up to help frost cookies and bake, make candles and cakes, while others helped with decorations, logistics, and photography.

Because of their support, our event became even bigger – with four events, expanding across six locations during the same week.

We went on to raise $10,000 – and thanks to Cisco’s Donation Match we will wind up making that $20,000 for the National Breast Cancer Foundation!

This is proof of what we can do when we come together – and Cisco employees are no stranger to this way of life. We are a company with heart, and we rise to the occasion – especially when it means we can help others.

So, if you are wondering if one person can make a difference – my answer is, “YES!” Because of this experience, I have learned that I may only be one voice, but when joined with other voices that are passionate about a common interest – we amplify that efforts and make a much larger impact.

Don’t hesitate – use your voice! You never know whose life you will change.


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Jackie Li

IT infrastructure Manager

APJC Premise