If a picture is worth a thousand words, this one team photo shows why Cisco is such a great company to work for. Yes, it’s all about people – working with super bright minds who come from all over the world is a great honor and privilege. But if you look closely, you will see that just around this one dinner table we had eight people from eight different countries – what a diversity of thoughts, conversations, and ideas!
One of the things I love about Cisco, and this picture, is that diversity isn’t just a metric. It’s not just a word – at Cisco, it’s real! You feel it when you walk through the hallways or join a Webex meeting – we’re a global company with a worldwide heart.
I came from the Ukraine to the United States for my doctoral program in Engineering. Coming from a different country, from a different continent, definitely brought a lot of surprises and learnings. Meeting people from different cultures, who think differently, and approach problems differently – was a mind blowing experience. It helped me to “stretch” my brain, and I learned a lot of new things and expanded my horizons during this time.
It is one of the reasons I think diversity is so important, and it is a key reason for why I love working at Cisco. Here are my top 4 collective reasons:
1. Diversity. We are all different. And those differences give us the ability to see and approach problems and the solutions to those problems in a unique way. The more diverse a team, the more viewpoints you have. Some people might be challenged by a different point of view than their own, but challenges almost always lead to growth! With more viewpoints, come more ideas. And with more ideas, come more innovations. The benefits just keep layering and layering until you’ve created a culture that is an ingrained part of the company.
2. Creativity. My education is in Engineering, Science and Business Management. When many people hear those words, they might think, “boring!” Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s true, I do love analytics! I not only use them in my work life, but in my personal life –conducting numerous studies on myself, from sleep improvement to glucose monitoring to slouched vs. upright posture (really, you’d be surprised how much you’re slouched during the day). The great thing about analytics, however, is that they bring data to the table – data that can be tracked, and creative solutions that can be applied and measured for improvements. The same is true for my team and many others at Cisco. The data, curation and analytics we collect lead to creativity – conceiving and offering new commercial offers and growing the business!
3. Sharpness. Cisco is dedicated to creating a culture that attracts and retains the best talent, and helps their employees grow and learn – again, that’s not just talk, either! This leads to attracting employees who continually invest in themselves, which in turn, means the company is continually improving as well. I started at Cisco right after graduating from Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Sloan School of Management in 2007. The day after commencement, I flew cross country to start my career here – and then left the company for a few years. During this time, all I heard about was the great things that were happening at Cisco – that the company was becoming faster, more dynamic, more nimble and attracting new, great talent. That was a great selling point for me, so I explored opportunities at Cisco and came back. That has been the best decision.
4. Team Spirit. How would you like to wake up every day and go into the office (or log into work remotely), knowing that your team has your back and that you have theirs? That even the toughest work challenges are greeted with enthusiasm and a “we” and “us” mentality. I get to do that every single day! People want to feel that they are doing meaningful work in a great, positive environment, and Cisco brings that to life. From the work that we do to help our customers solve their business problems to the workplaces we inhabit to the coworkers we interact with every day, Cisco has created a “one team” environment that is like no other.
I believe that strong teams with these values can solve any problems. People aren’t attracted to companies – they’re attracted to cultures, and I believe that is just one of the many reasons that Cisco was voted #1 World’s Best Workplace.
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