My story with Cisco started in July 2019, just a month before my cancer journey began.
I was so excited about the opportunity to work for a big company like Cisco that when I felt a lump on my breast, I would run from my doctor’s appointments to make it in time for my next meeting.
Back then, I was what we call a red badge. I was working as a contractor for an outsourcing company hired by Cisco. Even so, my Cisco team was there for me when the diagnosis came in August 2019. They didn’t care that I wasn’t a “Cisco Employee.” I was always treated as one.
When I decided to return to my home country of Brazil for treatment, I had the full support of everyone around me at Cisco. They said if I had to take extended time off for my treatment, they would make sure to help me get my job back when I was done, but I knew I wanted to stay.
Working, learning, and occupying my mind were crucial on my journey. Actually, during chemotherapy and radiotherapy, working kept me sane. Having a reason to fight the side effects, leave the bed, and get ready for work was essential during the almost 12 months of treatment! During my eight rounds of chemo and 25 rounds of radiation, I kept myself motivated and maintained my position among the top goal achievers within the sales organization.
When I returned to the U.S. in July 2020, I knew I had enough knowledge to apply for a Cisco position and become a blue badge—a full-time Cisco employee. Furthermore, I had a feeling that I could contribute even more to the company that helped me, supported me, and gave me purpose during such an arduous journey.
So, I started dedicating time to learning more and more about collaboration and security. Again, with the full support of my “Cisco Family.”
When I was sure about which area I’d like to work in at Cisco, I started applying for positions. Back then, I thought I needed to begin in Small Business and climb the organizational ladder. But an opportunity in Enterprise caught my eye, and my friends said, “You should try, but don’t get disappointed if you don’t get it. It’s a big step moving from an outsourcing company to an Enterprise position.”
But I am the Brazilian immigrant daughter of farmers, have gone through cancer treatments, and have achieved a lot to be where I am already. So, when I applied for that position and Danny Warren, the hiring manager, contacted me, I felt like I had already won.
In our numerous interviews, he knew I didn’t have all the knowledge necessary, but he also knew I had the desire and ambition to make it work and believed in me.
When I got the final call saying that I got the position, I was days away from my “last surgery.” And Cisco, again, showed me why they are one of the best places to work in the world. They offered me the job and gave me the necessary time to recover.
And here I am, Cloud Pursuit Sales Specialist, blue badge employee of 19 months, working for a company that values me, supports me, and gives me purpose.
I try to be better every day and bring outstanding value to Cisco because I believe that our relationship is a two-way street. And I’m still just as excited about the opportunity to grow and learn with this awesome company as I was when this journey began.
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A truly inspiring story that brought tears to my eyes while reading it. I’m truly so proud of you, Suzi! May you continue to break barriers and achieve the highest of dreams because you deserve it!
Wow!! Amazing story. And a truly amazing person!
Suzi, você é merecedora de todas essas vitórias, parabéns por ser a pessoa que é, parabéns a Cisco que sempre acreditou no seu potencial, que você sirva de inspiração para outros guerreiros, história emocionante !
Amazing Suzi! You deserve the world! Congratulations on your amazing achievements!
Amazing Suzi! Congratulations on your amazing achievements!
Parabéns Su! Você realmente mereceu conquistar seu espaço na Cisco, demonstrando todo o seu potencial e superação independente das dificuldades, foi sempre uma guerreira… Te desejo toda felicidade do mundo e agrademos a Cisco por todo o suporte dado a você quando mais precisou.
Você sempre foi uma das mulheres mais competentes e admiráveis que conheci, inspira e transforma para melhor por onde passa! Todo sucesso é pouco pra você! Sorte da Cisco ter uma profissional assim!
What an inspiration on so many levels!!!
Inspirational – My wife went through a similar journey with breast cancer – so I know that is tough. I admire the fact that you persevered through those challenges and are thriving. I am happy Cisco was there to support you.
Suzi, thank you for sharing your story! Cisco is so lucky to have YOU!
Sou muito grata por ter conhecido vc, uma mulher linda, poderosa, generosa e totalmente inspiradora …obrigada por fazer parte da minha vida e confiar a mim sua história. Saiba que vc está em um lugarzinho de destaque dentro do meu coração.
Sua história é inspiradora!
A Cisco tem muita sorte por ter uma profissional como você no time.
Siga em frente!
Parabéns e muito sucesso!
Thank you for sharing your very personal and inspiring story. Life is so much about the stories we tell ourselves and others. Keep shining!
Wow, what a journey. For sure you deserve all of these things. Truly inspirational story. I wish you all the best on your Journey at Cisco.
Thank you for sharing your story, Suzi!
You speaking with Bernard.I would like to study at Cisco, how do i apply..?