Advice / Career Paths / Career Stories

After Losing Everything in Hurricane Ian, This Recruiter Needed Lots of Support. Her Company Delivered.

Maggie Angove, a senior talent acquisition specialist at Cisco Meraki
Maggie Angove, a senior talent acquisition specialist at Cisco Meraki.
| Courtesy of Maggie Angove

When Maggie Angove moved to Florida in September 2022, she never imagined a hurricane would destroy her home just weeks later. “We lost everything,” says Angove, a senior talent acquisition specialist at Cisco Meraki. “It was an extremely emotional time.”

Her employer wasted no time before having a case worker from its Disaster Recovery Services team—which supports employees affected by natural disasters or stressful situations—reach out to her.

“They made sure my family and I were safe and provided us assistance with finding housing,” she says. “They also helped me get approved for emergency time off (ETO) so I could step away to take time to recover. This support was extremely relieving.”

Months later, Angove still feels incredibly supported by Cisco and Meraki. Her managers were extremely flexible and took work off her plate while she resettled. Plus, she says, “Every week, my manager checks in to see if I need anything. My team and the company’s care for me has been incredible.”

Here, Angove shares more about how Cisco and Meraki stepped up in her time of need, why she loves working as a recruiter, and tips on how to ace an interview.

We were so sorry to hear that you lost your home in Hurricane Ian. How has Cisco and your team at Meraki continued to help you in the aftermath of the hurricane?

It has been gratifying to feel both my Cisco and Meraki community and team members look out for me and my family. They called and emailed me many times to make sure we were okay and had what we needed to get our lives back up and running. The company’s disaster relief team really cared for me, and it showed through their consistent communication.

I’m grateful to work for a company that puts their employees first and is willing to go above and beyond for them. Not all organizations respond to crises or life events like Cisco did. Some of my neighbors who also lost their homes due to the hurricane ended up losing their jobs as well because they had to take time off. My experience, on the other hand, was the opposite.

In addition to the Disaster Recovery Services, how else do Cisco and Meraki stand out when it comes to supporting employees?

Cisco offers amazing mental health benefits and ETO. They connected me with a counselor, and each quarter we have an extra day off called “A Day For Me,” where we can take a break. After Hurricane Ian, a lot of people on my team reached out to me, sent cards, well-wishes, and checked in. It has been amazing to receive this level of support while my family rebuilds our home after the devastation. It is also comforting to know that this support is available should I need it in the future.

Shifting to your career journey, what inspired you to pivot from working in sales to recruiting?

The aspect of sales that I enjoyed most was working with people, so when I switched to talent acquisition—which is 100% people-focused—it was a natural transition. I fell in love with helping others.

I recently worked with a candidate who had taken 10 years off to raise a family. Recruiters often hesitate to hire someone who’s had a large career gap, but she showed a lot of passion and determination to get back into a career. I think it’s really important that we hire folks who are outside of the box because it brings new perspectives into the workplace. Hiring this candidate speaks to the culture at Meraki, which is one that welcomes people from all walks of life. 

What led to your job at Meraki, and how did you know the company would be a good fit?

I learned about this job opportunity from a friend who worked at Meraki. They had great things to say about the culture, emphasizing the growth opportunities, autonomy, flexibility, and strong community. I found all these attributes very appealing. When I first stepped into the office, I noticed how folks were interacting with one another and could feel the magic in the air. People were passionate about the work they were doing, and that excitement was contagious. I was over the moon when I was offered a position.

You’ve been at Meraki for four years and have a role in a different department than when you joined. How does the company champion internal movement and growth like yours?

Meraki has strong internal movement policies, allowing employees to pursue opportunities that support their career goals. We are very focused on developing our internal talent, whether it’s across departments or through organic growth. The company provides internal training resources, supports upward mobility, and offers cross-training in different departments within the organization.

What is one highlight of your career thus far at Meraki?

It’s been gratifying to see how the talent acquisition team has impacted overall growth at Meraki. When I learn about folks who I’ve hired transitioning into leadership roles, it’s both humbling and fulfilling to have been a part of their journey. People can grow quickly at Meraki. I’ve watched several colleagues on our sales team grow from their original role to a mid-level position, then transition into a leadership role all within a few years.

What roles are you currently recruiting for, and why is now an especially exciting time to work at Meraki? What is the company working on that’s inspiring you?

We are currently recruiting for the Customer Escalations Engineering, Technical Leader role. This position is a top-tier, highly impactful leadership position. This person will engage directly with high-impact clients and in high-stakes situations, as well as become a mentor for other escalation engineering team members. We are looking for a technical expert who possesses external knowledge in SD-WAN and security.

Meraki is in an exciting phase; we are developing and enhancing product lines and this particular role will be involved with our newest technologies. This is an opportunity for someone who wants to make an impact and be at the forefront of the future of tech.

As a recruiter, what advice would you share with job seekers hoping to find their ideal role?

Practice interviewing and storytelling. Write down examples of situations you have been in that can help articulate your experience thoughtfully and thoroughly (the STAR interview format is very helpful when trying to tell your story or provide relevant examples). Google interview questions related to your field or the specific job you’re applying for and practice communicating clearly.

Also, don’t be afraid to jump in and try something new; career paths are not always linear. Sometimes you have to be willing to find another pathway to achieve your career goals. Part of that might mean taking the initiative and advocating for yourself—let your hiring manager know what your career goals are so they can help you attain them. Having a support system is everything. I am glad to be a part of a team that goes above and beyond to ensure candidates and employees receive the support they need.

Updated 1/12/2023