Life is like a 4,000-piece jigsaw puzzle; always challenging, sometimes fun, other times frustrating, but always rewarding when the pieces just fall into place.  When I was a young girl, I used to love putting together puzzles – the more difficult, the better!

Roxana with former Cisco CEO John Chambers.

In high school, I discovered technology and was able to develop a program in C – well, that was a lot like a puzzle for me – just on a computer where I had to put the right instruction in to obtain a specific output.  This sparked my love of Computer Science, and it became the first piece to my career puzzle as that’s what I went onto study so that I could help to prevent attacks or incidents on the Internet.

The next piece that I added to my career journey was joining the Cisco Networking Academy.  Here I was able to work in the Cisco Lab and further my knowledge on all there was to know about Cisco.  I truly fell in love with their technology and saw the impact Cisco had on the lives of people around the world.  I knew I wanted to work for Cisco and help change the world with my passions in security and networking.  So, it was on to get my CCIE, CCNA, and CCNP!

But, of course, sometimes you just have that one piece that doesn’t seem to fit anywhere!  I applied for a few Cisco internships, but nothing seemed to be happening on those fronts.  The day I nearly signed with another company, I received the call from Cisco – I was through to the next round!

Roxana and her peers with current Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins.It is now 14 years later, and I am still loving Cisco – and all the career “puzzle pieces” I’ve picked up along the way.  I traveled all over the globe.  I was the first woman security CCIE in LATAM and received one of the most important recognitions – the Chairman Club Recognition for my work in developing a prison architecture that was replicated in 20 other prisons.

Even then, I realized I was in my comfort zone and that it was time for a change.  It was time to pursue my CSE!  This is something many didn’t understand, but Cisco, of course, embraced.  We are always challenged to get out of our comfort zones to reinvent ourselves and our careers here with our leadership’s support.  In 2012, I became a CSE.

Here are a few other “pieces” to my Cisco career puzzle:

  1. The Cisco Culture: No matter what country you live in, you are part of a global team.  Your Cisco ID works in any of our offices, and those doors are open to welcome you home.
  2. The Work: Yes, it’s true! I love my work, and I believe in the vision of Cisco.  From hackathons to Cisco Live LATAM, I have been excited to share my knowledge with others and help them to see the impact Cisco is having worldwide.
  3. The Balance: When it came time to grow our family, some thought I might leave my work or that they would see me less.  But just like at work, you need to have a strong network around you to succeed in raising children – and Cisco is the strongest network!

Roxana traveling for work with her baby and posing in front of computer gear.Cisco’s encouragement of work-life balance and family first helped me on this path of having a family and ensuring our son’s needs were met.  I had the opportunity to travel with him his first year of life, and all my colleagues LOVED seeing him and having him around.  It was amazing!  Cisco understands that you are a person first, and that each person has different roles within the life: engineer, friend, mother, sister, etc.

  1. The Mentorship: I always love being challenged and reinventing myself.  At Cisco, you have a framework to always be innovative and finding support.  Finding a mentor helped me with this and finding someone who believes in me was really encouraging.  But mentorship goes both ways, and I have been happy to help others on their journeys – this is just another extension of Cisco’s culture in giving back and paying it forward.
  2. The Challenges: I have held seven different positions at Cisco – that’s seven opportunities all within one company!  And recently, I moved to the United Kingdom to start my newest role in Tetration Analytics.  I’m embracing new challenges in this part of the world, with the first two months being very complicated.  I know, however, that through the Cisco culture, our people, and the support we all receive because WE ARE CISCO – this will all lead to great things as well!
  3. The Development: In this environment, you always need to be ready to change, progress, and continue your learning.  Cisco does not just train you for your technology endeavors though, but also helps to develop your softskills – those skills that make you a more well rounded employee – and your strengths.  There are many different programs to help you with your career development at Cisco.

Roxana posing in front of a backdrop for #MultiplyTechDiversity.

I’m already working on my next puzzle pieces to continue changing our world through Cisco technology!  What an incredible picture I’ve been able to create thanks to Cisco.

Want to join me?  We’re hiring.  Apply now!


Roxana Diaz

System Engineer

Intent Based Networking