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A New Career as a Pre-Sales SE at Palo Alto Networks

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Author: Nanase Akamine, Specialist Systems Engineer

I am currently employed at Palo Alto Networks as a product pre-sales systems engineer (SE) in the SASE product team. I accompany high-touch sales, conducting activities such as explaining features, demonstrations, technical Q&A sessions, webinars and seminars to customers considering our products. Here’s how I got here:

As a new graduate, I worked as a network engineer involved in the construction and design of wired and wireless network equipment for customers in the finance and life insurance industries. Later, I developed an interest in the security domain, particularly in ensuring the security of organizational information, while proposing various products in the pre-sales department. This led me to transition to a position at a security vendor specializing in solutions in this field, where I took on the role of a pre-sales SE proposing network security and cloud security solutions to customers. As an engineer close to the customers, I realized the importance of clarifying requirements and felt the urge to enhance my skills and take on challenges. A former colleague introduced me to Palo Alto Networks, and I was hired.

At Palo Alto Networks, we handle a wide range of security solutions. I work daily in the SASE domain as a product-focused SE, but I also deal with various security solutions such as network, endpoint, cloud and IoT. Therefore, there is a high level of information exchange and speed, requiring me to quickly acquire new features, technologies, and sales skills to understand customer issues and needs. I feel fortunate to have diverse learning opportunities that I have not experienced in my career before. There are also opportunities to communicate with engineers overseas to provide feedback and improve products. Looking back on my career, I feel that I have experienced a variety of things (and I am continuously studying English).

Moreover, the actual atmosphere within the company is excellent. What surprised me most when I joined were the skills and cooperative attitudes of each employee. With everyone having various backgrounds, when someone faces a challenge, we collaborate to find a solution. I feel that this unity in aiming to protect customers' information assets as a global leader in cybersecurity is essential. Additionally, while the IT industry faces the challenge of low representation of female employees, at Palo Alto Networks, there are many female employees who successfully balance childcare and careers, with adequate support systems in place. If I find myself in that position, I also hope to actively utilize such systems.

With an environment that supports my growth in terms of skills, people and culture, I am truly glad I chose this company when considering my career advancement. This company is perfect for those who want to challenge themselves in a new career. I am one of those individuals, and I believe the experience gained here will be highly valuable. I would be delighted if my career journey is helpful in shaping your career path. I sincerely look forward to the opportunity for us to work together!

Find out more about open roles on our careers website.














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