Growing up, I always wanted to be just like my dad. He was everything a dad should be and more. He inspired me every day and continually pushed me to be my best self and because of this, I wanted to do exactly what he did. This is where my passion for all things IT (and more specifically networking) came into my life.
My Dad, Gavin Wright, achieved his CCIE in 1999, number 4465. He loved talking to me about it and would often pull me into his office to show me the latest gadget or gizmo and try and explain what it does in simple terms. His passion for the industry, and his charismatic character is what allowed him to excel and continue to rise within Cisco.
From as young as I can remember, Cisco was where my dad worked. He travelled the world with them, and I would often be waiting at the door to ask him all about his two-week work trip from all corners of the world. He loved the people he worked with, and they loved him. Seeing the opportunities he was given and the places he travelled was a real eye opener for me. And because of this, from a young age I always dreamt of working at Cisco and following in my dad’s footsteps.
In 2019 I dropped out of university. I felt lost. My dad and I sat down and had long chats about what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go. He thought it would be a good idea for me to try out some basic networking. So, he set up a couple of Catalysts 2960 switches and talked me through the very basics – I was hooked. I would nag him throughout the day with questions about everything from VLANS to QOS. He had the answer to everything and was able to explain it in such a way that made everything so simple.
In 2019, my dad unfortunately fell ill with bladder cancer. He was given whatever he was needed by Cisco, from care packages to his team constantly checking in from all over the world. He felt this love and it always lifted his spirits, and even though he was not feeling well he still tried his best to work through the pain. Work meant a lot to him because he loved where and who he worked with. Even when he was extremely ill, he would still find time to speak to his colleagues or go and visit them when they were near. He thought the world of his team, and of Cisco.
As the pandemic hit in 2020, I had to move out as I was an essential worker and did not want to risk passing anything onto him. He started multiple treatments from chemotherapy and radiation to having countless scans and operations. Even through this, when I would visit him through the garden window, he would still sit and talk for hours with me about all things networking.
Unfortunately, the cancer slowly became more aggressive. Even after dad’s (and the doctor’s) best efforts, it spread. This did not dampen his spirits however, and every time we would see him, he would have a smile on his face and a laugh or a joke to share with you. He was always himself, a giant of a man, who loved his friends and, most of all, his family.
In September of 2020, surrounded by loved ones, with his wife Jane by his side (just like she had been for the past 30 years) – dad passed away. He made such an impact on everyone he knew and was simply unforgettable. People from all over the world reached out to us to send their condolences, and Cisco could not have been better in anyway.
A couple of days before he passed, when we knew he did not have long, he and I had a conversation. He told me how proud he was of me. I promised him that, one day, I would follow in his footsteps, and I would work for Cisco too.
On the August 9, 2021 – I became a Cisco Cross Functional Degree Apprentice. A dream I’ve had since age seven finally came true. This moment allowed me to begin following my dad’s footsteps. He left big shoes to fill, but I know I’ll do my best to fill them. His legacy is now mine, and I’m so happy that it’s led me here to Cisco.
Want to join us? Check out our careers.