Cisco Poland Blog

One Company, Many Careers – from TAC Customer Support Engineer in India to Incubation Labs Engineer in Poland

22 August 2023

Over the years, Cisco has practised #internalmobility promotion, encouraging employees to move and develop within the company. Cisco is all about retaining and supporting top talent to pursue their passion. Under the motto #OneCompanyManyCareers, we will be sharing the success stories of our employees throughout the whole year!

This week’s story is about Sowmya, Incubation Labs Engineer in Cisco Poland.


Tell us what your career journey at Cisco has been so far.

I started with Cisco five years ago in India, it was my first job after graduation. When I joined, it was a big challenge for me – I did not know much about networking, the corporate atmosphere was new to me. Within two years, I actively grew and learned about business and technologies.

At one point in time, our team was underwater with work, we were all working overtime. At the same time, we’ve had many new joiners who needed help adjusting. It was natural for me to take some of them under my wing because to me it was a win-win situation: the sooner they learn, the sooner I could ask for their help in sharing my responsibilities with them. Also, for me, the best way to learn something new was to do research and explain it to someone. My management saw the potential in me and gave me People Leader responsibilities to be able to delegate some of my work.

Then I decided it was time for a change and I started looking for new opportunities within Cisco. I applied for a few roles, but I lacked some skills. A colleague of mine from the office in Poland shared a new position opened in the Network Security team, I passed the recruitment process and moved to Poland in 2021. Here, I quickly adjusted to the new environment, and an interest in DevOps sparked in me. Within two years I moved into the Engineering role within Incubation Labs.



What or Who inspired you for the change?

I was very lucky to have amazing management. Back in India, my manager Rajesh, was one of the best managers I ever worked with. He taught me how to be brave, how to face challenges and supported me in my technical growth. He also encouraged me to participate in the Bug Hunt 3.0 ISE competition, where I got to work with developers on bug fixing. Winning this competition boosted my interest in software systems. In Poland, my manager Aneta has been incredibly supportive of my development. While I was back in India, I started my Master’s degree, so I needed more time to align my studying and work responsibilities. She encouraged me to take Kubernetes and Docker courses and helped me build my visibility. With her help I gave a presentation on API Orchestration on Women in Tech conference in Warsaw. The other thing was the Cisco Security Conference, where 45 teams across the globe participated in the Capture the Flag competition. My team won the 1st place.

All these experiences strengthened my choice – I knew I chose the right direction of development. Although my manager was sad I was leaving her team, to both of us it was the manifestation of support she gave me.         


What was your biggest learning through the transition?

I recognized the tech industry is developing in an extremely high-paced environment. You can never know it all, there will always be new skills for you to explore.

In my first role, I also learned to break down big problems into smaller steps and approach them gradually – this skill was incredibly helpful in my future development.

Overall, I learned to keep an open mind towards challenges and started seeing them as a way to learn and grow. I started believing in my abilities.



What advice would you give to those who are thinking about a change but are still hesitant?

Many of us, especially in the beginning of our careers, doubt we have what it takes to do the job. We want to ace everything, which often puts us in a trap of being afraid to fail. I encourage those people to trust themselves and be courageous, take risks.

You cannot have mountains without earthquakes.

Leave a comment


  1. Great journey Sowmya!
    Thank you for sharing
    Loved the advise