Three months after joining Cisco as a Cyber Security Specialist in South Africa a friend asked how my new job was going, and how it felt to work for such a large, global company.

Corein stands with a peer in front of a Cisco sign.

The answer was easy – my new job was going fantastic, and I told her any time I have a question I was always met with the following response, “Yes, how can we help you?” Which is a true testament to how amazing the Cisco culture is.  Not only are the people extremely helpful in my day-to-day tasks, but the company empowers me to do what I love, to the full extent of my abilities.

Rarely are you met with a “No” at Cisco – if anything, it is a “Let’s try it and see how it goes!”  Either way, we’re going to learn something new.

When I joined Cisco, I was concerned that my new career might take away from my other passions, in particular, a Cyberbullying and Digital privacy campaign I have run for three years now where we educate children as young as 8-years-old how to ensure digital privacy and inform them of the dangers of social media. Through this initiative, children pledge not to bully others and to be the change they want to see in the world.

But, in my first week, I was met with the most amazing support from my management and team so that I could take a few hours one morning to educate a group of school children during an assembly.  Over the last few years, I have trained over 40,000 children and this number will now keep growing because I work for a company that has placed a support machine behind me.

It is powerful to know that I am not only encouraged to do what I love, but to also continue pursuing my passions of educating children.  Cisco doesn’t want to stop me, they want to enable me – and they have!  My team has become a fantastic support of this campaign as well, and the engineers that work with me have been instrumental in helping me to carry out a live hacking demonstration to physically show these children how vulnerable we are.

Together, we’ve been able to drive this point home even further for these kids.

When I talk about the machine that Cisco is, people sometimes have no idea what I mean.  But inside this big multinational company is a pulsating heart and a global citizen with social impact that connects everything.

Through Cisco, I have also been able to join internal initiatives like Women in Cybersecurity where, again, I have had the opportunity to help create a positive future as we inspire and empower girls to take on subjects in technology and join projects driven by Cisco.  I was also selected to virtually attend our Security Summit in Dubai, which was such a powerful moment for me that I left with goosebumps.  I was humbled to be part of a team that truly believes we are creators and working towards building a better global future through both big and small initiatives.

These are all projects, amongst many others, that I get to be a part of while working for the number one Cyber Security company globally.

Corien and a friend smile at an event.

I have heard, “Yes, how can I help?” so many times at Cisco that this has now become a way of life for me as it is part of the ethos that I know Cisco to be.  We are all looking for ways to help, and through Cisco I know it’s only a matter of time before the next opportunity presents itself.

We, at Cisco, really connect people to what is possible in the future through inspiring our own moments that matter first.  I have been so motivated and empowered to be part of this company that is a part of something very, very big – that I cannot wait to get up in morning and go to work.

Want to #LoveWhereYouWork?  Join us!  Apply now.


Corien Vermaak

Cyber Security Specialist

Global Security Sales