Landing a dream job straight out of college may seem like just that – a dream. Some people are fortunate enough to see their aspirations turn into a reality however, and such was the case for me! 

Selfie of four Cisco employees attending a Warriors basketball game.

Back in late 2017, I was in my senior year at San Jose State University, prepping for job interviews as graduation neared. I remember hearing stories of alumni and classmates getting great job offers from Cisco, and I thought of how amazing it would be if, somehow, I got an opportunity to work there as well. Then, Cisco Day happened. This day was designed for recruiters to come and talk to students about the culture of Cisco and discuss available job openings. The event had paved the perfect chance for me to try out my luck and possibly get noticed 

Things happened to fall in place at the right time – I interviewed for two different roles, and the rest, as they say, is history! I was offered a role at Cisco as a Business Analyst in their Security and Trust Organization (S&TO).

Coming in as a new college hire in 2018, I had heard plenty of good things about Cisco, yet there was still a captivating aura of working for a conglomerate tech giant which held a door of endless opportunities that I had yet to discover. As a newbie, I’ll admit, it was overwhelming at first and I wasn’t sure what to expect. Little did I know that I had lucked out in joining a wonderful group of folks in the Data Protection & Privacy team, where I would be presented with a variety of valuable work projects. This role would have honestly been incredible at any point in my career, but the fact that it was my first job out of college – I was grateful for the opportunity.  

At the helm of my accomplishments and great experience at Cisco, was my leadership. As I was new to Cisco, and new to the workforce, my manager provided me with the ability to explore multiple areas and get my hands dirty in different kinds of work to see what I liked doing and where I wanted to grow further. From working on digitization projects, looking for ways to improve business processes, developing Tableau dashboards to present metrics and even getting a chance to lead client engagement projects for the team – no day was ever the same. I gained valuable skills and was even able to travel multiple times (pre-2020) for cool conferences or to see fellow teammates across the country in our Raleigh, NC (RTP) offices 

I was exposed to so much of the business at a very early point in my career! 

Aishwarya and co-worker celebrating Diwaliween.

This exposure through my work priorities, travel, and our phenomenal people is something I will forever cherish and not take for granted. I had no idea that someone as young and new as I was would get a chance to experience so much in such a short span of time. I’m amazed each day at what is in store for me to learn and discover through Cisco’s guidance and support 

I was even recognized as the Employee of the Month within Cisco’s InfoSec Organization in Security & Trust a few months ago. As humbled as I was to have received the award, I was more touched with learning the fact that you don’t have to be a senior or have worked at Cisco for many years to be recognized at such a scale. Your impact is valued at all levels in your career.

For that, I will truly be grateful to my team and Cisco.  

As exciting of a journey that it has been in working with different groups in S&TO, all the way from Data Protection, InfoSec, and the Privacy Office; I am now incredibly excited to transition into another amazing part of Cisco with the AppDynamics team. Cisco has been a constant rock and support thus far, and I couldn’t be more grateful to be given a chance to grow my career further with this tech giant in this new role. 

Whether you’re a college student reading this now or a professional well into the workforce, my story exemplifies the fact that when you really work hard at something with good intentions, you can indeed achieve what you strive for. So, take that chance and never give up. You never know what amazing things are in store for you.   

 Ready to join our team? Apply now. 

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Aishwarya Pasupunatla

Program Manager

Customer Experience