Webex was the reason I decided to join Cisco.
The idea of transforming the workplace and re-imagining what it means to collaborate with others is what initially excited me about the product. As I watched a demo of Webex during a recruiting event at Cisco’s headquarters, I gazed up at the big Webex boards – fitted with all this new technology – and was in awe of how forward-thinking it was. I felt like I had just gotten a glimpse of the future – and Cisco was leading that vision.
When I joined Cisco as a new grad in 2019, life was very, very different. My mornings consisted of driving 20 minutes to our headquarters in San Jose, California, grabbing cereal from the office kitchen, and preparing to meet with my team in the conference room for our daily standup meeting. I had just completed my master’s degree at nearby Stanford University, and I was excited to be working on the latest features for Cisco Webex.
Little did I know, however, that within a few months, the future of MY workplace would change. Working from home was not how I expected to spend the majority of my first year out of college. I had spent months getting used to office life only to have to abandon it shortly after. It was a bit stressful at first, but Cisco played a big role in helping ease that transition, too.
The executive leadership team began doing weekly (now bi-weekly) company-wide Check-Ins to speak directly to employees and answer questions we had. They even gave us a few days off – now known as “A Day for Me” – to focus on ourselves! It may not have been how I planned to spend my first year at Cisco, but it gave me a whole new perspective of how a company is run, and provided a sense of comfort that Cisco’s leadership supported us during these trying times.
For my team, the transition to working from home was relatively seamless; we had already been using Webex daily to collaborate with teams across the globe, and as developers, we knew the product inside and out. The challenge came, however, when millions of our customers started working from home as well.
As Webex traffic spiked, my team had to reevaluate our priorities and renew our focus. New customers brought with them new challenges and new requirements, and it felt like every day there was a different mountain to climb.
As challenging as it was, it was also incredibly rewarding. To see the product I had been working so hard on used by millions of people around the world was amazing. How many new grads could say they had this experience?
When our CEO Chuck Robbins shared a video of how Webex was being used to connect hospital patients with their families during a Check-In, I could not have been prouder.
“Wow,” I thought to myself, “I played a role in this!”
True, the video did not highlight the exact features I had worked on, but I am, of course, part of a team and one of the many talented engineers working on the Webex platform. It left me incredibly proud of being a small part of that and the success we’ve shared.
When my 1st Ciscoversary rolled around, I took some time to reflect. On my computer, I keep an updated list of accomplished tasks every day. I do this in part because it makes my weekly status emails to my manager easier to write, but also, I find that amidst all the chaos of 2020, it’s easy to forget what we have achieved.
As I looked through my list of accomplishments – I couldn’t help but feel grateful that I started my career here.
Most new grads never get to work on something so impactful straight out of college, and there’s no doubt in my mind that my experience could have only happened at Cisco.
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