Becoming a Cisco expat: from Mexico City to Lisbon


When I recently accepted a new role at Cisco as Software consulting engineer for Service provider in our Lisbon, Portugal Customer Experience Center (CX) – I knew my life was going to change. The deal has been finalized and transition dates have been agreed. I was about to become an expat, or someone living outside of their home country.

This change not only meant a new role, in a new area of ​​focus, but it also meant a move to a whole new country. I would move from Mexico City to sunny Lisbon. I was about to swap tequila for wine, my “bolillo” bread for “pastéis” pastries, and the “Hola” greeting for “Olá.”

My career would also shift gears. As a former Consulting Engineer CollaborationI was going to refocus my career at Cisco to fulfill my deepest interests in DevNet and network automation and orchestration.

Big life changes like these always test you, and this change for me was no different as my brain conjured up questions like, “Will my transition process go as planned? “, “Will I adapt easily to the city and be there myself? and “To what extent will I adopt these new technologies?”.

Fortunately, in the midst of all this uncertainty, Cisco has always had my back.

From locating relocation (immigration, legal, etc.) to supporting my team in Lisbon, I couldn’t have been luckier. This luck was extended when – during the same week as my arrival in Portugal – my team organized a volunteer activity at a local farm and we were able to meet, safely, in person. It was actually the first time many of us had met in person, and it was such a treat at that time.

My team is made up of talented engineers and amazing people from many different places, and with a wide variety of cultures and languages ​​- Portugal, Spain, Italy, Morocco and of course, Mexico – all in one place, in a single team! CX Lisbon also has a vibrant expat community of over 40 different nationalities. It’s the power of Cisco, our technology, and our mission to power an inclusive future for all.

If I have a question about life in Lisbon, there is always a fellow Ciscoian prepared with the best advice in hand. (Kudos to my Mexican friends who arrived before me and helped me with vital information throughout the process.) And my mentor, colleagues and manager also helped me adapt, while embracing the new technologies through hands-on training and observation, as well as the ramp-up of projects with customers. It’s a great feeling to know that you are so supported.

In no time, I was able to collaborate directly with the inclusive Conexión Latinx community here in Portugal and throughout the EMEAR region. My first contribution was, of course, the A Day of the Dead event! I was invited to organize and co-host a session showcasing this noble tradition and inviting others to get involved. What a wonderful opportunity to promote my Mexican culture in Europe!

Ultimately, making those big life changes is never easy. Uncertainty and unease are always difficult to face. However, Cisco and the team here in Lisbon have made the transition as smooth as possible. I’m sure it will be an amazing journey, and we’re just getting started!

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