Before I finished high school, I knew I wanted to join the Marines. I felt I needed more discipline, more guidance, and more importantly, I wanted to be part of something bigger and better. I did not realize that I would be part of the Marines for 21 years. It was an amazing experience that included lots of hard work, adventure, travel, camaraderie, meeting my wife and building my family. It was, easily, one of the best decisions that I ever made.
It was in the Marines, where I started using Cisco products – from troubleshooting network connectivity at the helpdesk to setting up a LAN for gaming parties! I supported operations from Okinawa, Australia, Thailand, South Korea, the Philippines and Iraq – everywhere we went we utilized Cisco products to help our forces be successful in their missions.
After my Marine Corps career, I landed a contractor position supporting Cisco. Not only did I meet all the prerequisites, the hiring manager had a son in the Marines, so we had an instant connection. I made it through the interviews and was on my way to supporting Cisco. A short while later, I transitioned to a full-time role within the company.
Now, I am a High Touch Operations Manager on a team that provides high-level service to customers that requires more efficiency and maximum uptime. It is an often challenging, sometimes stressful role, that enables us to deliver some of the best support from Cisco across the globe.
The camaraderie on my team is like one I’ve experienced before, too – and it’s just one of the many ways I see my roles between the Marine Corps and Cisco echo each other. My team wants everyone to be successful and is always ready to assist each other – we have each other’s backs, always.
We needed that more than ever this year.
As 2020 began to play out, we saw our customers adjust to an environment that now required an entirely remote workforce, while their systems were stress-tested. It was clear that during this rapid ramp-up, more resources had to be allocated and configurations had to be adjusted.
Our teams pulled together to help many of our customers solve each unique situation.
To ensure we built in some “down time” to our day, the team would come together and bond over Webex calls where some showcased their musical talents or where we’d unwind during virtual happy hours.
I was amazed to see how big Cisco as a company stepped-up during this time too. The donation of $225 million dollars to provide resources is astounding and makes me very proud to be part of this organization. Additional resources were also provided, like free use of WebEx, and delivering video-conferencing units to hospitals and healthcare providers. My team and I all discussed how great we felt of being part of this tremendous organization.
Cisco continually pushes its employees to give back to our communities, and they lead by examples. Now more than ever – I feel we need that. We all can do more. Building and strengthening our local and global communities is fantastic for everyone involved.
I also love that at Cisco, I’m able to be a remote worker. While I was in the Marines – we worked in remote areas, but often that would take me away from my family. Now with Cisco, I can be in my home office – or even setup my office at a beach rental if I have Internet access to conduct business – and spend additional time with my family.
It’s been over six years since I started my journey with Cisco, and I couldn’t be more grateful. I always wanted to be a part of something bigger and better – and at Cisco, I am!
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Great story John and thank you for sharing. Proud to have you on our team.
Thank you Jackie!!
Thank you for your service John! So good to know Cisco is everywhere. We are honored to have you on our team.
Thank you Poonam!!
love the story and I feel honored working with you John. All the best
Thank you Henry!!
Great story John. Thank you for your services. Proud to have you on the team!
Thanks for sharing your story! You’re an inspiration and part of what makes Cisco a Great Place to Work!!
Thank you Gena.
Motivational! Thank you for your service John.
Thank you Naveen.
Semper Fi Brother!
I have had the honor to serve and also a career at cisco. 22 years with cisco and along the way many of my fellow employee’s strove to ensure that our servicemembers and families have access to training and education. Continue the tradition. Semper Fidelis
John, you’ve always had an incredible amount of talent and ability to integrate complex systems. I am not surprise to see you working at CISCO and I am sure the know the asset they have with you on board. Thanks for teaching me a few things over the years too.
Blair, you are too kind. It was an honor serving with you. Congrats again on your retirement after 30 years!! Semper Fi!
Love the story John and of course your service. You know I love ya man. We fam <3
Awesome article, John. Thanks for sharing, i’m glad i took the time to read!
Thank you for your service. I’m glad you’re part of team Cisco.
One of the best down to earth leaders I’ve ever had!!! I need a mixtape!!!
Thank you Kevin! I appreciate your comments and enjoyed serving with you!
John is the best…
Provided flawless support to the 1st Marine Division in the field and led the effort to install secure wireless throughout the Division’s garrison CP. Professional, knowledgeable, and meticulous in his preparation John always set the standard for all Marines to emulate. I wish him continued success and happiness in his future endeavors. Cisco has landed the standard bearer in John Lewandowski!
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