One of my favorite quotes goes something like this: Live life, not by the moments you have to breathe, but by the moments that take your breath away.

It’s fitting for my team at Cisco (I work in HR for the Talent Brand Team. If you’ve read this blog or seen the @WeAreCisco social channels, that’s us!) because we work really hard, but we also take the time out to hear the latest life story.

On my team in the last year, we had a team member get engaged, we’ve watched one build a new relationship, we’ve consoled losses, laughed at fur kids and clapped as a few moved into new homes.

And we celebrate all these things a little differently, because Cisco is a global company. That means on most days, I don’t see any of my colleagues in person (I see their faces on a Webex!) We span the globe – Seattle, San Jose, Florida, Raleigh, Israel, Bangalore, Ireland, and China – where next?

When the time came for the latest bit of news, that meant we had to get a little creative.

A teammate announced she was going to be a new mom! It’s tradition to have a baby shower on such occasions, but how was that going to happen with all of us in a different world corner?

Three words. Virtual. Baby. Shower.

First, we had to arrange a time where she wouldn’t expect anything so we had an element of surprise. Then, I went in search of baby shower games that would be suitable for a Webex environment.


We played “Guess the Baby” – where each team member sent in a picture of them as a baby and we guessed who the cutie pie was. Then, we played a game where each person had four stickers on their shirt, and if you said the word “baby” you had to remove a sticker, and the person with the most stickers won at the end. And then we had to hold a notebook on our forehead and draw a baby while only looking at the Webex camera – the artwork was hilarious, as you can see, below.


After the larger team celebrated, our smaller social media team had a little surprise of our own. No need to explain when you can just watch.

But you’ll say: “You’re the Talent Brand team, your team is fun anyway. No other teams at Cisco do this.”

And I’d answer “Oh no we’re not the only team that would!” And I’d also say, we don’t have baby showers, virtual or otherwise, for just the moms to be!

Just take Jason Potter for example. He’s a Hardware Engineer and Technical Leader at Cisco, and he and his wife just had a new baby boy! (Congrats!)


His team in Austin, TX couldn’t let that just go by without any fanfare. Oh, no. They went on a group outing to celebrate and got him a “New Dad Survival Kit.” It was actually an apron that they filled with all sorts of things a first-time dad would need. Things like:

  • Rain poncho & Safety Glasses – you know, for diaper-changing purposes
  • Tongs – to carry the diaper to the trash
  • Mask – babies can sometimes not smell so good
  • Plastic Gloves – again for the diaper changing
  • Bubbles – to entertain the baby
  • Clip on flashlight for a hat – better to see when cleaning the baby
  • Diaper cream
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Tide wipes – so he doesn’t have any spit up on his work shirts
  • Lysol spray
  • Baby rattle – for Daddy/Son time

So you see, we’re more than just co-workers. And we’re more than just work. I can tell you that my team (and many others I see) work their tails off, but at Cisco, the people matter just as much as the results do.

Want to join us? You should check out our awesome new Careers site!



Carmen Shirkey Collins

Social Media Manager

Talent Brand and Enablement Team, HR