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University of Sydney
Matthew studied a Masters of Project Management, major in Strategic Project Management Implementation at the University of Sydney
1) Where did you start with Cisco, and where did it lead you?
I started out as a Project Coordinator, supporting a team of Project Managers. As I gained experience and knowledge, I was given opportunities to take on more responsibility and increasingly challenging initiatives.
Three years later, I’m now a Project Manager and I’m leading teams to deliver key initiatives for the business.
2) Why did you join Cisco’s graduate program? As a graduate at Cisco, what is the most valuable skill you gained?
I was initially attracted to Cisco as they are a leader in their industry and I had seen that it was always in Fortune Magazine’s ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ list. I think the most valuable skill I have learned is to be transparent and straightforward in my approach to work. Don’t make things seem more complex than they need to be.
3) Why would you encourage a student to apply for a role at Cisco?
When I first started with Cisco, what impressed me the most was the company culture. A person’s performance is based on the quality of the work they deliver – not if they spent ungodly hours in the office. There are virtually unlimited opportunities for training and development and so many different teams and roles throughout the organisation—so really it’s up to you on where you want to steer your career.
4) What are the highlights of your time at Cisco so far?
Some of the charitable work I have been involved in at Cisco really stands out as a highlight, as well as some of the mentoring and coaching I have been able to provide to some of the new graduates.
5) Describe a typical day at the office
At any given time, I’ll be managing between 2-5 different projects which gives me a massive variety in the type of work I’m doing and the people I’m working with. There almost isn’t a typical day which is one if the best aspects of my job. My role also gives me exposure to different areas of the business, which I enjoy.
6) How did the graduate program prepare you for the next stage in your career?
Hands on experience running meetings, building out project plans and presenting project updates to management gave me the skills I needed in order to become a successful Project Manager. I have also been fortunate to have been offered a number of different training and development opportunities which allowed me to gain industry-recognised certifications and further my knowledge in the field.