Meet Maite Cardenas Sanchez, Top Contributor
How did you get your start in networking?
I have a bachelor’s degree networking and a master’s degree in telecommunications, both from Enginyeria i Arquitectura LaSalle in Barcelona. While I was in school I also received my CCNA through my university’s Cisco Networking Academy.
Tell us about your career with Cisco
I joined Cisco eight years ago, fresh from university. When Cisco TAC came to campus to recruit support engineers for the Brussels office, I thought, why not? I was looking for an adventure! Joining Cisco in Brussels was a good move. I worked on the TAC security team for seven years, earning my CCIE in Security along the way. In July 2013 I moved to the Cloud Web Security deployment team as a service deployment manager. I hear directly from customers what they want. Then I work closely with sales teams and the product management team to provide technical help and make sure the customer is happy. My customers range from small businesses to enterprises.
How did you get involved with Cisco Support Community?
When I joined the Cloud Web Security team, a colleague in TAC suggested that I lead an Ask the Expert session on integrating Cisco Cloud Web Security with Adaptive Security Appliance. I thought I’d give it a try because I’m interested in everything that will help me learn. People rated the session very highly, and several months later I was invited to be part of a webcast on Cisco Cloud Web Security on ASA. Soon after that, Jennifer Halim and I followed up on the webcast with another Ask the Expert session.
You mentioned that participating had helped you learn more. How so?
To prepare slides and a demo lab for the webcast, I had to research ASA, the Identity Firewall feature, and Cisco Cloud Web Security. I learned a lot in the process. In contrast, hosting the Ask the Expert sessions didn’t require preparation. Even so, they deepened my learning because I sometimes had to research details to make sure I gave accurate answers.
What would you say to encourage your peers to participate more?
The community is a platform to share your knowledge. In addition, you get exposed to topics that you don’t encounter in your day-to-day work. You’re helping people at the same time you learn, and that’s very gratifying.
Any special messages for your female colleagues?
I strongly encourage women to give the community a try. In my experience, women are less likely to feel qualified as experts than men who have the same level of knowledge. To them I’d say, keep in mind that you don’t have to know every single thing to be an expert. Participating in the community will quickly show you how much you already do know, and also give you a chance to learn more.