Growing up in the Dominican Republic, Cisco was the only company I saw for home internet routers, switches, and phones. As I made my way through life their familiar logo was always there, and it began to really catch my attention as I noticed it was attached to networking trainings and career paths as well!

As children, my friends and I would gather almost every day to hang out and talk about different topics. Cisco always came up in the conversation as we’d imagine ourselves building routers and switches. I’d often wonder if I’d grow up to become a Hardware or Network Engineer, those who built the equipment and handled complex integrations and implementations for big customers. We were always lost in thought as we wondered what a career with Cisco would be like.

I’m proud to say that I now know what a career at Cisco is like.

In college I studied computer science, and started my career as a computer technician so that I could pay for my tuition. During my time at that job, I saw senior employees working with Cisco technology and I felt hungry to move to that team and learn Cisco technology. One year later an opening on that team popped up, and after applying – I got the job and started learning Cisco technology!

From there, I investigated the best Cisco NetAcademy in the country and enrolled with a University close to my home to take the four modules of the CCNA curriculum. After passing the 4 modules, I passed the exam and was officially CCNA certified. But I didn’t stop there! I then started to prepare for my CCNP by taking the same trainings and exams – the rest is history.

Some may think I quickly became a passionate Cisco geek, but it’s been a lifelong dream of mine coming true!

I never stopped learning, either. I continued to gain experience with the technology, and after a few years moved to other networking roles with multiple service providers. Getting to know more about different solutions and architectures helped me consolidate my knowledge and open doors to other markets. But this wasn’t my end goal – working for Cisco was. And so it was time for me to start applying for jobs outside of the Dominican Republic. I applied to a Networking job in the United States that was aligned with what I was looking for, and after going through the interview process – I was offered the position as a contractor for Cisco Systems!

I threw a party with my childhood friends to celebrate.

This company brought me from the Dominican Republic to the United States and took care of the entire immigration process. Another year of experience was gained in this position, and then – it happened. Cisco offered me a full-time position! Since I was a young boy in the Dominican Republic, I had dreamed of this day – and now, here it was!

It took a lot of hard work and dedication to get here, and it wasn’t always easy. But I believe my story is one of how perseverance pays off. You can make your dreams come true!

I am proud to be a Cisco employee, and my family is very proud to be a Cisco family too! My wife makes the most delicious coffee, and always loves putting it in my Cisco mug – and my oldest son loves rocking his Cisco apparel all the time! It is moments like these that make me realize how amazing it is to work for this great company.


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Rafael Ceara

Systems Engineer