Entries by destrellatru

Culture of Empowerment

I started learning right away, and it hasn’t stopped. The interns here are constantly getting new projects to work on, and you have to learn quickly — though I find I’ve really enjoyed that fast pace. I also had previous internship experience, so I was familiar with having challenges thrown at me and having to push through my uncertainty and address them.

Crafting a Communications Career

When I applied to be an intern on the Palo Alto Networks Corporate Communications team, I never imagined I’d be reporting to work from my bedroom for the summer.

A Virtual Internship with Real Benefits

The UR team creates valuable, real-world professional experience for interns. While, of course, interns can expect several weeks of onboarding and ramping up their knowledge about their jobs, the philosophy at Palo Alto Networks is that one learns by doing. After all, an internship is supposed to prepare you for the next phase of your career, so it’s important to gain true professional experience.

When Things Fall Into Place

It’s incredible how quickly the time has flown by since I joined the program, yet I also feel I’ve gotten the opportunity to do so much in just a short time. During my first year at Palo Alto Networks, I focussed on building a Telemetry platform that helps our customers maximize the benefits they enjoy from the products and services that Palo Alto Networks delivers.

Breaking the Mold

Unlike many of my colleagues, who knew early in life that they wanted to pursue careers in cybersecurity or computer science, my background includes a variety of different, seemingly unrelated experiences. I grew up in Taiwan and was interested in international affairs and communications, so I attended college at National Chengchi University and earned my bachelor’s degree in diplomacy. After graduating, I gave myself two years to explore any career that interested me. I worked for a short time as a set designer with a filmmaking team, and then I worked as an editor for a company that published a design magazine and did public relations.

Engineering the Sale

I was born and raised in Kyrgyzstan, a country that most people in the world haven’t heard of, and I speak both Russian and English. I lived in that country until I was about 24, after I earned my master’s degree in information systems. I never planned to get into sales at all. I set out to be a software developer, but I couldn’t code to save my life, so I went into systems administration, which basically meant I was in charge of everything that plugged into a socket and related to information technology.

From Cyber Defense to COVID-19 Defense

He credits the whole Palo Alto Networks IT Services team for its support while his time has been limited, especially as the unprecedented demands of getting the entire company transitioned to remote work were at their peak.


The Product Management Academy is a two-year, rotational PM program for new grads. The rotations provide breadth and depth of experiences and give exposure to different customer challenges we solve as a company. It also introduces you to the unique problem-solver style of product management here at Palo Alto Networks. It fosters a high degree of analytical and product rigor by virtue of being on high-impact projects where you will be constantly challenged to deliver different outcomes while learning by doing.

Inside the Big Data Team

For someone early in their career, this is a great opportunity to work with technology you’ve never used before. We use Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and a streaming engine called Dataflow, as well as the industry-standard Apache Beam, to stream data to our customers and internal apps in real-time. We use BigQuery in GCP to build indexes and handle complex SQL queries with fast response times.

The Art of Customer Success

Customer Success at Palo Alto Networks is the opposite of what my prior experiences were. It’s a very positive position in that we’re not selling, per se — we’re reminding customers of the continuous value of our products and helping them to successfully obtain that value. For example, rather than talking about ticket numbers or problem cases, we’re talking about adoption, new features, giving best practice guidance and— as the name suggests — how to achieve success with the product. Customer Success means always finding ways for customers to achieve value.