Travel has always been a big source of fulfillment in my life. Not just summer vacations or long weekends away from the office but I have spent most of my adult life traveling internationally. Now, as the world has shifted, and travel has paused in many ways – I see the beauty in how I am able to continue ‘traveling’ virtually at Cisco because of our global community.
Throughout my career, I have been fortunate to have jobs that provided me with the ability to travel. Whether it was working as an event planner for cruise ships or as a program coordinator for resorts or even as a nanny in Switzerland – if there was travel involved, I was always onboard.
Choosing to work at Cisco was an easy decision in this case, because I knew that working for a global company meant that there would be opportunities to work with different teams and people from all over the world – both in person and virtually. Now, after 5 years in technology, I am proud to have friends on nearly every continent in the world.
I have always valued multiculturalism and love that Cisco cultivates an inclusive culture. Being a part of an innovative and diverse team that uses technology to help the greater good and build a brighter future for all leaves me feeling inspired.
Growing up in a small town, educating myself in different ways of life and living, learning different languages, and immersing myself into different cultures was a big priority for me. I believe it has made me a more compassionate human with a greater, more open-minded understanding of the world we live in. I know that travel has definitely opened doors to new opportunities, ideas, and creativity that I likely would not have been exposed to without it.
So, when the opportunity came about in March 2018 to work with another engineering team for 18 months in Prague, I jumped at the chance!
I began working for Cisco in 2015 with the AMP engineering team (a Cisco acquisition) in Calgary, Alberta. The team had a ‘start-up’ vibe that fostered open communication, strong teamwork, and an inclusive culture. I was sad to say goodbye to them, even though I knew this was an opportunity I could not pass up and prepared myself for a totally different office culture in Prague.
To my surprise, the longer I spent with the Cognitive team in Prague, the more I realized that even though Czech and Canadian cultures have their differences, the Cisco inclusive culture remained!
While in Prague, not only did I feel welcomed in the office, but so many of my Czech colleagues wanted to invite me to lunch to enjoy a traditional Czech meal, or to go out to their favourite local “pivovar” for a beverage after work or even into their homes to meet their lovely families. The friendships I made in Prague are something that I will always cherish. Those connections go far beyond just the 9-5 workday.
Even now that I am back in my home country in Canada, and with travel limited, I still feel like I am part of a global community. Through remote work, and Cisco technology, I still feel the connection to both my Canadian and Czech teams – even with an ocean and thousands of miles between us.
My love of travel has always shown me that when we are exposed to different cultures, we can become more flexible in our thinking, build stronger connections, and replace fear of the unknown with trust in humanity.
Cisco fosters this conscious culture and I am very proud to say that I work for a company that makes this value front and center by providing opportunities to work cross-functionally with different teams, cultures and locations around the globe.
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