London Day 2 – Cisco HQ at Bedfont Lakes

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Day 2 – Cisco HQ

After a great first day, we set off to Cisco HQ for what turned out to be an awesome day. We were collected from terminal 4 at Heathrow Airport by the Cisco Shuttle.

We were greated by Heidi at the main entrance of Building 9 – all girls were very excited. The building was amazing – glass structure and fountains in the entrance.

We made our way to the Cisco Restaurant from a lovely breakfast and then a quick tour of the site.

We met Matt Wollacott (Sales) and Raffaello Martini (Engineer) and discussed their jobs and careers at Cisco – both were great and were happy to answers any questions. They had such an amazing stories to tell about their Cisco journey.

Our next meeting was via TelePresence (which if you haven’t used or seen it before – you are missing an extraordinary piece of kit!)

TelePresence with Kasia and Petra from Switzerland

TelePresence with Kasia and Petra

We meet with Kasia Mowaczky (Enterprise Social Lead) and Petra Gnirk (Services Account Manager) from Switzerland – it was like we were all in the room together – we were amazed by the technology and their career stories. They were very inspiring for all of us!

Next we had lunch and time to reflect on the day so far. We were introduced to Christopher Jen (Marketing) at lunch who was full of interesting stories and ideas for the girls (and of course had lots of great feedback about our app idea for the girls :))

Next we looked at the ‘Circle of Confidence’ with Panos Askitis (Engineer) and Heidi – where the girls wrote down in a circle what makes them feel confident. They then stood on the paper (in the circle) and thought positive thoughts about the video recording in the afternoon.

We had a Meet and Greet with Simon and Alex. The girls had a tour of the studio was next – another remarkable experience for them all.

The girls had the incredible experience of viewing the live studio and the green screen studio where they recorded their video pitch. Although nerves were starting to come through, all the girls were great and really stepped up to the mark – ‘Feel the Fear and do it anyway’ as Miss Birkinshaw would say.

Alex Heare in the studio was so patient with the girls and guided them through the video process with Heidi’s direction. They worked for 2 hours on the recording and were exhausted by the end of the sessions. I am sure the video will be outstanding – everybody has worked so hard on this project – their time and effort is very much appreciated!

Afterwards we had a telepresence meeting – this time with Chris Palermo (Advanced Services Delivery Manger and Heidi’s Boss in New York) who was kind enough to share some of his time with us – he discussed his job at Cisco and was again open to questions from ‘the panel’. We very much appreciate his time and supporting Heidi in supporting us!

Our final meeting was with our other mentor Silvia from San Jose – feedback from the day and great to catch up!

Silvia shared her thoughts with the girls and she gave them all a massive boost in confidence.

We shared some great cakes and the girls were given Cisco goodies as mementos of the day – one they will never forget.

Thank you once again to Cisco for making this day possible.

Fingers crossed for the competition entry – we would love to visit Cisco HQ in Silicon Valley and meet Silvia in person.

Submission date is the 13th April 2013 – potential final 2nd May 2013 at Twitter HQ – Wish us luck!

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15 responses to “London Day 2 – Cisco HQ at Bedfont Lakes

  1. It was a pleasure meeting the girls and the teachers. Rock on ladies – the future is yours and literally in your hands. Kasia

  2. It was such an amazing experience for them – a day for them to remember – thanks for all of your support!

  3. keep us posted but also if there is anything else we can do – feel free to reach out anytime. Would be a pleasure to stay in touch and see how they progress in life

  4. It was great being a part of this day – even if our time was cut short! I love seeing students get exposed to the “real world” and the different paths they can take after their schooling – especially in this case and helping the girls better understand what the world of IT is (and more importantly, what it isn’t).

    • Many thanks for your time Chris – it is very much appreciated. The time both Heidi and Silvia has spent with the girls has been invaluable. It has also given me a real working example to talk to my Year 11 GCSE pupils for teleworking and show them the marvel that is telepresence!
      Thank you for your time and for Cisco’s generosity with its staff’s time and resources.

      • Heidi is one of my favorite colleagues at Cisco and Kasia is amazing. I think this program is great and as an IT professional I am 100% in support of you and your efforts! Good luck in the competition.

  5. Thanks Shannon – they are all great. Heidi has been an inspiration to the girls and has worked tirelessly to support us. Silvia has been there at all hours to support and give feedback. It has been a great experience for us all – if you would like to donate ;) sponsor page open for any donation – no amount too small http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/technovation-challenge-final-in-usa/x/2953510 (you can view the video pitch here too!)
    We had a great day at Cisco HQ in London and having the experience of meeting staff such as Kasia was just awesome.

  6. Pingback: 5 girls, 1 inspirational idea and 5,300 miles to go! | heidirhodes·

  7. Pingback: Theresa Russell – English Teacher building an empire | Días de sol·

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