How much do you #LoveWhereYouWork?  For me, I could share story upon story of why Cisco has my heart.  I am so immensely proud to see our children running around in Cisco t-shirts and love watching my daughter save book reports to her Cisco UBS drive.  There have been many moments that mattered to me at Cisco over the course of the past 15 years – but perhaps none show how much I love working at Cisco more than the fact that now my husband, and yes, my mother also work with me at Cisco!

Shawnita stands with her husband, son, and daughter wearing Cisco shirts in front of a Cisco sign.

You often hear we’re a family at Cisco – well, my family took that literally.

After starting at Cisco on my birthday in 2004 in a contracted role, it didn’t take me long to realize how much I loved this company – and its people.  Everyone on the sales team was so friendly and helpful.  The working environment and culture was upbeat and positive, not to mention I could tell everyone (and Cisco as a whole) was very family orientated.  I knew I wanted to stay at Cisco long term and make my temporary position a full-time career.

Four months later, I would share with my team that I was pregnant with our first child and they were all so excited – no one missed a beat to celebrate here.  But the good times just kept on coming as my husband Vanis was also captivated by the Cisco culture.  He was always asking if there were any openings available, and around this very time, a network engineering role opened up at the same office.  After applying and interviewing, he was hired!

Now here we were, both working for Cisco, with a baby on the way!  And, unbeknownst to me, the sales team had been hard at work on making me a full-time offer.

During a weekly forecast meeting, the managers asked me to attend the meeting for note-taking.  When they began the presentation, I was surprised to find a, “You’re Hired!” sign on the screen.  I screamed and cried, I was so happy – my dream was coming true!  And that’s when I noticed the gifts in the room – this was also a surprise baby shower!

Shawnita and her husband Vanis smile under a Cisco logo.

Talk about a moment that mattered – I told you, Cisco really knows how to celebrate! 😊

Our first child was born a few months later, and all throughout my maternity leave I received supportive emails and texts from the team.  Returning to work was an easy transition, and that’s because Cisco makes it an easy process.  The Cisco culture allows for work-life balance, but not only do we preach it – the company makes sure that you obtain the balance that works best for you and your family!

We often get asked if working with our spouse is difficult or if we “spend too much time together” – but Vanis and I really have found that not to be the case.  In fact, we think it helps us as we both speak the same work language and understand each other’s busy schedules and/or travel requirements.  While as a network engineer Vanis fields all my technical questions or helps to translate SKU #s I’m researching – I (being on the Operations sides of Sales) help him regarding tools that may help him or his customers best.

It’s a perfect marriage in many ways!

And, of course, our Cisco family doesn’t stop there.  😊 After hearing about how amazing Cisco was for two years, my mom decided that she wanted to update her resume and find a job within the company.  She’s been working with us full-time since 2011.  The timing was perfect as we had just become pregnant with our second child, and I was able to train her to be my backup while I was out on maternity leave!

She did a FANTASTIC job, and I’m certain folks love her even more than they love me – and I’m totally okay with that.  It’s a great feeling when co-workers find out that Lovey Stocks is my mom and I get to hear, “No way! Lovey is your mom? We love her, she is the best.”

Shawnita, her husband Vanis, and her Mom Lovey all smile in their Cisco shirts in front of a Cisco advertisement.

Working together has been an amazing experience, and I wouldn’t change it for the world – but it’s not like we are tripping over one another every day.

Cisco is a LARGE Company and it takes many people to make it successful – my mom, husband, and I are just three individuals helping to support Cisco customers and do our part to make the world a better place through Cisco technology.

And we’re doing it in our own unique, individual ways as Vanis is in engineering as a Network Engineer, my mom is on the customer side as a Representative, and I am in operations as a Business Analyst.

Our paths do not cross throughout the day, but we all have the same Cisco vision at heart.  We all love the culture our company encourages, and we work hard for the work-life balance Cisco embraces as well.  Because of this, I’m proud to have my immediate family also be a part of my Cisco family.

That’s how you know what kind of heart is behind the logo, and how much we truly love working at Cisco.  If I didn’t love where I work, would I have my husband and mother join me?  Probably not.  But now, as a family, we are truly living the Cisco life and that has only strengthened our bond.

Want to join the Cisco family?  We’re hiring.  Apply now.


Shawnita Marshall

Business Analyst

World Wide Data Center & Virtualization