16 years ago, as a recent college graduate, my life changed the day I was accepted into the Cisco Sales Associate Program (CSAP).
Now, 17 “week 52s” later, I can tell you that I’ve not only grown up at Cisco – I’ve grown a career I’m proud of at Cisco. And every 52 weeks, when we end another fiscal year, I’m excited to see how far we’ve come.
As a people leader responsible for a nine-figure business with 13 solution specialists across the southeast, I know I’ve found exactly what I was looking for all those years ago at Cisco. While my peers hopped around from company to company, I remained steadfast because I found a family here.
Cisco’s culture spoke to me early on and is at the core of what I focus on as a leader in my current role. I work with some of the very best people in the industry who are all here to help each other (and Cisco) succeed. Being in this environment pushes me to give my best and be my best self each day – it’s infectious!
When I started at Cisco, being able to work for John Chambers, one of the most Iconic CEO’s of our time in the tech industry, was my initial draw to the company. It became very clear to me, however, that Cisco is special because of the people that work here; its why I’m here, it’s why I stay.
On day one, I showed up with excitement and butterflies as I entered a large town hall space in one of the 15 buildings Cisco occupied on the sprawling tech campus in Raleigh, North Carolina – I didn’t know a soul. It was overwhelming and humbling, but thanks to the people and the leadership – it also felt like home, too.
A year later my CSAP cohort would be spread all over the United States, and I would make my way to the field sales office in hot, humid Atlanta, Georgia. Again, I found myself filled with nervous excitement, in an unfamiliar place – not knowing a soul. But, at Cisco, you always find a home.
Everybody I interacted with always wanted me to be successful, and the team pulled me right into their fold. They perhaps didn’t have to do that, with all the experience they had they could have easily found ways out of it – but that’s just not how we do things here at Cisco. I always knew that these were my people.
In my 16 years with the company, I have been a part of some incredible teams and held many different sales roles. From small business to midsize enterprise to the Fortune 500 across many different verticals, I can’t think of another company that affords such a unique opportunity to keep growing. Whether it was exposure to different business models, learning how to collaborate across times zones or harnessing the strength in our diverse teams to make game changing impacts for our customers, partner, and communities we support – there was always the ability to grow here.
As a people leader, I have come full circle as I now have the added responsibility to help continue growing our culture, draw out the best in our people while giving them a safe space to fail forward, and recruit top talent who will carry Cisco forward.
I found a family here; I found a home – it’s where I belong. I hope one day you’ll join us and be celebrating your first end of fiscal year with us soon!
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