A black and white photo of Karl wearing a DUO branded jacket stands overlooking a bridge in Australia.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 phoneliterally 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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