Not all tech jobs involve coding, the tech sector is so diverse

Hope Cunningham studied International Business at university but she never really considered a career in tech until she was introduced to Cisco through her university. After completing her studies Hope joined Cisco as a Media Account Manager and works with tech every day. She’s now working in an IT-focused sales role and learning lots about tech trends.

What is your current role?
I’m a commercial account manager in the global virtual sales organisation. In a nutshell, I deal with a set of accounts assigned to me, and I sell technology. We sell hardware and software, but most importantly we sell technological benefits. We look at how new technology can impact a customers’ business, so for example, ease of management, energy reduction, cost saving. My job is to communicate these benefits to companies and show what the technology actually does, and in a certain sense how it does it, but the engineers focus on that more”.

What do you enjoy about your current role?
The thing I like the most about my current role is that it’s very diverse. You don’t just come in and do the same thing every day. Cisco are always releasing a new pilot or a new tool that they want us to start using. So I really enjoy that.

It’s also a very social role. You’re speaking to different people from all over the world and all over the country on many different forms of media. I’m a social person so I wouldn’t like to be tucked away behind a book”.

What inspired you to enter the tech industry?
I studied international business at university and I was interested in the way that companies interact with each other on a global scale. I didn’t think for a second that I’d enter IT. I knew that I liked working with people, I knew I liked business, and I knew that I liked the global aspect of how businesses are run, but I sort of fell into tech. I’m very thankful about that.

Obviously Cisco a multinational company so it does fit in very well with my degree choice. I actually found out about Cisco through my university careers fair. I went over to the stall and they gave me a background on Cisco, explained the programme, and explained the role. I started doing more research into it and I was like, wow they’re actually doing cool stuff. That’s how I got into it.

What opportunities have you come across at cisco so far?
So many. I’ve been so lucky that I’ve had incredible training. My team’s had trainers flown in from all around the world to help us on presentation skills, research and development, sales and technology. We also got the opportunity to travel. We got to go to Las Vegas for the global sales conference, which is incredible. The people I’ve met and the training I’ve received has been incredible”.

What advice would you give to young girls?
Go for it! I think that people’s perception of IT can be so different, and I think that’s so interesting. It’s the way the world works now. We need women to represent tech because they bring different ideas to the team.

Where do you see yourself in the future?
Oh I don’t know. I am gaining as much experience as I possibly can and I’m speaking to as many people as I possibly can. I do want to stay in tech, I know that. I think it’s such a vibrant industry. It’s constantly changing and that makes it a really exciting industry