In 2017, as I was heading into the last year of my bachelor’s program in computer systems engineering at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, I was given the opportunity to do a three-month summer internship with Palo Alto Networks. In my program, the curriculum actually focused on both hardware and software, providing graduates with a more well-rounded education.
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Entries by destrellatru
I was born in 1972 to Vietnamese parents. My mom, one of 12 kids, lived with her family in Nha Trang, a small beach town in South Vietnam. During the Vietnam War (1955-1975), her father would frequently rent out extra rooms in their house to soldiers.
As an executive sponsor for an ENG, I have a platform in which I can be part of the change I’m seeking. Palo Alto Networks is a leader in the cybersecurity industry, and there’s no reason we can’t be a leader in diversity efforts as well.
Part of an ENG’s charter is to address negative stereotypes, so someone in my shoes can play an important role in heading those off. Plus, if cross-cultural understanding is the goal, a great place to start is with an executive sponsor who is open to learning more and can act as an advocate and facilitator of important discussions and activities.
I’m so thankful to have worked with managers that were fully supportive of my desire to pursue my chosen career and willing to do whatever it took to help me get there, even if it meant leaving their teams. They weren’t going to let that stop me from being successful, and they never stopped encouraging my growth, wherever that happened to lead me. That openness on their part, combined with my openness to taking an unexpected detour on the road to my goal were what led me to a position I’m really happy in today.
A friend of mine was working for Palo Alto Networks and indicated to me that it might be a good fit for me. I gathered from what he had told me that decisions were made very quickly within the company. I liked that the values of speed and agility were emphasized here.
I’m notorious for taking on far too much. I can’t help myself, I love being busy and taking on new projects and responsibilities. So when I saw an opportunity to develop this new area of business for Palo Alto Networks, I naturally dove in head first.
The pace at which work takes place here is very exciting. In fact, the speed of new-feature and new-offering releases is much faster than any other company I’ve worked for. At Palo Alto Networks, I can work with a range of new security technologies, rather than being entirely focused on one product, and we are constantly innovating, so we are able to see our ideas brought to life rapidly.
At Palo Alto Networks, we know there are no human rights, no freedoms, and no peace without the equality and development of women. This Women’s History Month, we recognize those who have paved the way as well as those who are still fighting for and representing women today.
Employees are an integral part of this positive culture. In every interaction I have had, professional or other, I have encountered a willingness among others to help as much as possible. There is a very comfortable working environment with a healthy feedback culture that advances and lets us help each other to grow professionally.