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Internal Mobility Empowered Me to Reach a Dream
Sandeep Chandu, Solutions Architect, Prisma Cloud
I joined Palo Alto Networks as a Senior Staff Engineer in 2016, and then I was part of the teams that bootstrapped Prisma Access and Cloud Integrations.
Following that, I managed a team within the software firewall products organization. The growth I have had at Palo Alto Networks has been amazing and I learnt a lot from the great leaders here and have an amazing team to work with.
At the start of my engineering career, I worked in network security and then moved to infrastructure and cloud related roles. While I was working at a renowned financial institution helping build their cloud platform for developers, I used to hear a lot of good things about Palo Alto Networks firewalls from our network and security teams and I also witnessed the great features of the product while integrating.
Also after talking with ex-colleagues who had joined Palo Alto Networks, I felt good about making the change. I applied for a role and landed the job. It happened more than six years ago but still feels like yesterday.
I had first heard about the Internal Mobility program when I was in my leadership role. I had people who moved into my team via Internal Mobility. I also heard great things from colleagues who found new careers through IM. When people reach out to me for career mentorship, I’ve been keen on advising them to consider IM first.
When I was interviewing here, I had mentioned to leadership that I wanted to explore non-engineering opportunities in a couple of years. This was to align my career goals with my long-term aspirations. I have been postponing my plans as I've been working on some exciting projects. In 2020, during the pandemic, I had a chance to reassess the situation and started exploring options internally.
The main reasons I looked inside the company were the culture and the new product groups, thanks to the change in company focus from firewall to complete security vendor.
For me, IM was a catalyst that helped me to chase my dream of moving to a sales organization.
I want to thank Liane Hornsey for being an amazing leader and for walking the talk. Our employees should be proud to have her as Chief People Officer. Her job here is critical in shaping many careers and the IM stats speaks for the success rate.
And of course we have a rock star CEO and executive team. The internal mobility process was transparent and didn’t make employees feel they were being interviewed for statistical purposes ( like some companies do).
The final thing I want to mention is the unique culture I enjoy every day at Palo Alto Networks. I have observed the same qualities in many leaders across the company as they encourage the career aspirations of people in their organizations. Mahesh Geereddy, Ankur Shah and Satyam Sinha were great mentors and helped me to be successful.
I see the same quality in my current leader, Correine Wiechec. She encourages me and other team members to have discussions regarding long term career goals, aspirations and provides guidance/career coaching in that context.
At Palo Alto Networks, I am part of a great team and organization. I am enjoying my new role and adding value for customers every day.
One of the things I really like about this company is that there’s a strong emphasis on individual development plans to help employees determine where they want to be and what steps they ought to take to get there.
Through the guidance of all my incredible mentors, I was able to change my outlook on my career path and decided to seek opportunities based on a new goal of learning new skills.