NAME: Ruhi-Sabah Mirza
DEGREE: City University, London, BEng Computer Systems Engineering (included placement year in Paris)
WORK TITLE: Systems Engineer, Cisco Systems – joined on the graduate scheme
What do you actually do? I provide technical and sales support to the South East. I carry out consultations with customers in order to understand their needs, and I also deliver technical presentations. In addition, I am Head of Cisco’s schools’ project, which involves working with local schools to explain to pupils how to use technology safely.
Were you always interested in an IT career? Yes. I got my first taste of working in IT when I was chosen to take part in a scheme at the age of 16. My passion has always been for technology, because this is an ever-evolving discipline.
What do you most like about what you do? Cisco’s culture and innovative vision. I am part of a really supportive, united team. Thanks to the graduate programme, I now have friends and colleagues in 43 different countries! I have also been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to travel as part of my job – recent destinations included Amsterdam and Las Vegas. What’s more, Cisco does a great deal for inclusion and diversity.
What skills do you think you need to succeed at what you do? A passion for technology and the desire to learn more about IT. You need the ability to communicate complex concepts in an understandable way. It also helps to have self-awareness, and to have a proactive, can-do attitude.
What advice would you give graduates coming into this sector? What are you waiting for?! The graduate job market is clearly very competitive at the moment, so the key thing is to differentiate yourself from other candidates on personal merit. Hopefully more women are now applying for IT roles. Working in IT provides such a fun, fast-paced environment – irrespective of gender.