Seven years ago, I was invited to a party. Ordinarily a very social guy, I had to decline. I was studying for the CCNA, and my sixth re-watch of the same episode of CBT nuggets (an online technical training) – specifically the one on the routing protocol, OSPF (Open Shortest Path First) – called my name instead.
To say I was frustrated on that night is an understatement – but if that same guy could see the guy writing this blog post from our incredible Sydney, Australia offices – well, he likely wouldn’t believe you. There’s no way that guy would’ve believed that HE would someday be traveling internationally with THE network company of his dreams – but, here I am.
My journey to Cisco is an unusual one, as I didn’t apply directly, but a year ago, I woke up at 6am to over 50 texts from people I hadn’t spoken to in years, all with this same message: “Congratulations!”
Not having had my coffee yet, I had no idea what they were talking about – but as I opened one of the news articles I had been sent – I saw the headline: “Cisco intends to acquire Michigan based Unicorn Duo Security.” I was in shock. The company that literally started my technical career when I obtained my CCNA (Cisco) was now acquiring the best company I had ever worked for (Duo Security).
It was a moment I will remember for the rest of my life.
I was excited to see some of the same values and core beliefs that had made Duo such an amazing place to work shared across the larger Cisco team.
Our mission was still the same, we now just had a greater vision, with much greater reach and potential. This became more apparent, when I made my first trip to Australia to visit our Duo customers in the region. It was a huge success, and because of that I was asked to give a presentation on Duo at Cisco Live: Melbourne.
As someone who had always attended Cisco Live as an engineer to consume content and learn – the opportunity for me to contribute my expertise and passion with others on a scale as large as Cisco Live was amazing.
With all these incredible things happening, you may think the excitement has worn off – but you’d be wrong.
The size and scale of Cisco allowed me and Brian Biggs, my sales rep (who is also one of my best friends and DJ partner) to take Duo international to the Australia region. When I was asked if I would be willing to temporarily locate to Australia to help drive our vision and support our customers, I was in the airport getting ready to board for a trip from Perth to Sydney.
Imagine the gate agents looking over at this big guy on his phone – literally dancing with excitement and happiness while trying to scan his boarding pass – it must have been quite a sight to behold!
So here I am today, someone that didn’t come from much but has been given the adventure of a lifetime thanks to Duo Security and Cisco.
Those late nights, struggling to study, and devoting hours and hours of my life to networking – paid off. And Cisco has been there from day one.
To say that Cisco has had an impact on my life would be an understatement.
Through Cisco I was given an opportunity to better my career through certifications. Through Cisco, they acquired the best company I had ever worked for that led me to working for the #1 World’s Best Workplace. And through Cisco, I’ve been sent to tackle the challenges of international expansion.
Cisco has repeatedly made huge impacts on my life and the lives of so many people. I am honored to wear my Cisco badge and can’t wait to see what we accomplish next.
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Love this Carl! I can relate to the feeling of joining this amazing company, and am often reminded by how lucky we are. 🙂
Congratulations on seeing the results of your hard work coming to fruition!
Love your story & passion! I am smiling a BIG CISCO smile right now! #1 GPTW in the world indeed!
Great job Karl!
Hi Karl – Thanks for sharing your personal insights and journey. I’ve always felt the same way about the industry in general – high tech was always interesting.
After working with – or for – some of the other largest tech firms, I’ve found that working at Cisco is the best place to be! Congratulations!!
Carl your story makes my heart sing. After 25 years with this amazing company, I never tire of hearing how it has positively impacted the lives of our employees and customers. We are so fortunate to have you and your Duo peers here. You are all making us an even better place to work, live, play and learn. Thank you for being the best part of Cisco.
Very inspirational, thanks for sharing!
Thanks for sharing Karl!
Thanks for sharing your journey Karl. A wonderful read.
Thanks Karl for sharing! We are lucky to have you and Brian as part of Cisco ANZ team!
That is an awesome story Karl, but in retrospect, I would bet that Cisco and Duo Security are equally honored to have employees like yourself. That being stated, I am happy to ditto everything Karl said and am equally honored to work for Cisco/Duo Security and be colleagues with people like Karl, and there are many throughout Cisco/Duo Security.
Love this story! Great feature. Cisco is a big Company and enjoy hearing the stories of all of us who are blessed to work here.
Thank you for sharing Karl! Your enthusiasm is contagious. Although I have been at Cisco for a while I share your passion for working with customers and traveling.
Wishing you continued success in all aspects of your life!
What a great story. Good luck in your role at Cisco.
I thought I’ve heard it all… Thank you for sharing your travels. I think I’ve just found some inspiration at the end of a long day Karl. Please continue to share and spread your experience outside of Cisco for those who couldn’t even imagine working in such a place. You’ve made a few folks re-commit.. I’m sure of it! 🙂
All the best bud… all the best. To you, and to yours!
Thank you for sharing your story Karl!
Great story Karl, one I needed as I’m currently studying for CCNA cert having been laid off by Cisco, hoping to get back in with more skills. A good reminder that hard work pays off..
Wow Karl !! what an inspiring story and of course we are so fortunate to work for Cisco #lovewhereyouwork
Awesome story straight, from the heart, real and inspiring!
I applied at Duo many times. Never got any where
Gracias por compartir tu experiencia,
Bravo Karl! I continue to be amazed and humbled by the family of Cisco super stars such as yourself and learning how we came to Cisco. But not only that, I truly love how you are diving into the plethora of learning and career growth opportunities Cisco serves to you on a golden platter. BRAVO to you Karl!
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