1) Where did you start with Cisco, and where did it lead you?
When I graduated, I always knew that I would enjoy running my own business but I had never considered doing it in IT or sales. However I ended up in the Virtual Sales team in Sydney looking after Telstra as an account. I wanted to see if I would like it and if the industry was one that I wanted to pursue. It turned out to be very rewarding so I ended up taking on the graduate program to embark on proper training hence I applied for the Cisco Sales Associate Program.
2) As a graduate at Cisco, what is the most valuable skill you gained?
The most valuable skill I gained was around the importance of networking and how to network. This has a direct impact to your personal development and success in your career.
3) What type of work did you do during the graduate program?
The graduate program that spanned over 2 years, where, in my first year I looked after education accounts managing customers directly. In my second year, I rotated and looked after key partners, helping them sell more Cisco solutions to their customers.
4) Why would you encourage a student to apply for a role at Cisco?
If you want a job where you get to do 'real work' very soon after starting but have the right level of support behind you, this is the job! You get financially rewarded very well for a graduate and most importantly, Cisco provides you with a fantastic experience and amazing career development which makes you very marketable in the industry. If you are a go-getter and want to take control of your job and run your own territory then this would be a very attractive career choice.
5) What is the best part about working at CISCO?
The flexibility that you have to run your territory wherever you are and how you deem best, the culture is amazing and everyone is highly intelligent and willing to help. You are well rewarded for your efforts and valued as an employee. Cisco also focuses a lot on giving back to the society and there are plenty of opportunities to be a part of those initiatives.
6) How did the graduate program prepare you for the next stage in your career?
It is almost like having training wheels available when and if you need them. You have enough room to make mistakes and get valuable feedback. You also get territories where you will be aligned to more senior account managers who can mentor you and help build your skills so that you are ready to take on your own territory one day.
7) Why should today's graduates join the program?
A lot of students don't ever consider a career in IT or sales let alone IT SALES but once you actually do it, you might be in for a pleasant surprise. It is more than what I ever expected it to be and I encourage graduates not to see it as IT or Sales but to think of it as an opportunity to change the way the world works, lives and plays. The work you do at Cisco results in a very tangible change in those that you sell to and can make some big changes in the world that we live in. An example is that I look after Education accounts like schools, TAFEs and universities. I am actively trying to change the way that students learn and how teachers teach. This means that we will help foster our younger generations and provide them with new ways of learning and new skills which will make them successful in our future economies.