Everyone always has a different path to Cisco. For me, it took some time to discover Cisco – and to truly find what my passion in life was. I have gone from being someone who lacked ambition and hated their work, to being motivated to pursue my CCNA and CCIE and loving where I work.
Although, my journey wasn’t without its hardships.
I used to think that being an IT professional would bring purpose to my life and I would be making a difference in the community. But my situation remained the same. Where was the passion and excitement that I thought might come to my life being an IT engineer?
Eight months after my graduation, everything changed. I had a serious accident and was hit by a carriage truck on the road. With a minor skull injury, fractured ribs, back and shoulder, dual vision and a bilateral paralysis on my face, I was bed ridden for almost a year. As you can imagine, it was a very difficult year – but, slowly, I was able to achieve my daily activities again, and while it had been mentally and physically taxing – I felt it was a turning point in my life too. This accident and my recovery period also gave me time to think about the direction I wanted my life – and career – to move in.
It is said that you are only as successful as the people you surround yourself with, and I was blessed to have a supportive network of family and friends to help me heal and to remind me that this was only a moment of my journey. Though I made progress daily, I still struggled with the pace and, at times, felt like I was falling behind in life. With a positive mindset and an encouraging support system, however, I am proud to say that I did not allow this accident to come in the way of achieving my dreams.
During my studies, I understood the basics of networking and that interested me. I decided to start perusing Cisco’s Certified Networking Administrator (CCNA) certification. The more I got into it, the more I was loving it. Learning about technology really helped me heal mentally and come out of the trauma I had gone through. With Cisco’s publicly available documentations, learning was fun!
This led to me thinking that I would really like to work at Cisco one day – and inspired me to learn as much about Cisco technology as I could.
I got my first opportunity to work in a small organization as a Network Engineer – which further added to my motivation – and I was back with a bang! After completing my CCNA, I decided to become a Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) – I was hungry for all the knowledge that I could get. From there, I planned to learn more about Network Security, and found my calling in life. I loved exploring this new world, and it inspired me to set a goal of becoming a Network Security Consultant.
After a lot of hard work and digging into the technology, I got a chance to work with a Cisco partner as a Cisco TAC engineer for Network Security.
This role shaped who I am today. I’ve worked with some of the top technical gurus, faced a lot of challenging technical problems, and have been guided by so many wonderful mentors that changed my entire way of thinking. Because of them, in my free time, I started working on my Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) certification.
My first attempt, I failed. But I didn’t let that deter me. I thought through on my why I failed, my shortcomings, things I needed to work on and revisit in my studies. I continued preparing and a year after my first attempt, finally cleared my CCIE Security Certification – I had never been prouder!
At this point in my career, I wanted to explore different roles and continue to grow – so I moved to Melbourne, Australia to do just that. After working here for nearly 1.5 years, I realized Cisco was the only place for me, and in June 2019 I came back as a Customer Success Specialist in Cybersecurity!
You often hear that Cisco is a great organization to work for, and that’s true. There are wonderful people here, top notch teams, and I am always working on amazing technologies. Our culture is truly one from the heart, and we operate more like a family than co-workers because we are all so supportive of each other. It is no wonder to me that we were awarded the #1 World’s Best Workplace.
I love working at Cisco and am proud to be a Cisco employee.
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