Cisco Security - From Austin to Sydney: How to Work From Anywhere

  • Thread starter Mary Kate Schmermund
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Mary Kate Schmermund

SaaS Security Marketing Manager Laura O’Melia has always been interested in living and working internationally. After living in Austin, Texas for twenty years, O’Melia was ready for a new adventure and decided to move to Sydney, Australia with the support and encouragement of her manager and Cisco. The pandemic delayed her plans, but now that O’Melia’s settling into life and work in Australia, she shared how she made the move to work from anywhere and how you can, too.


Solving problems on a global scale in a flexible environment

What do you do?

I am on the Security Marketing team and focus on driving demand for our Zero Trust solution in the Asia-Pacific, Japan and China (APJC) region. I work closely with the Sales teams to do activities that will generate pipeline and educate prospects on our security solutions. I spend time finding new leads and trying new ways to engage with our top prospects while having fun along the way.

What do you like most about working at Cisco?

What I love most about working at Cisco is the amount of positive contributions we get to have on the world, from solving some of the world’s biggest problems around cybersecurity to giving money and resources to others in need. I also love the feeling of empowerment to create my own work/life balance as Cisco allows me the opportunity to have a flexible schedule.

What has been your career journey within Cisco?

I started at Duo Security in 2017. While working in Field Marketing, I was able to gain experience across many different teams. For example, I worked closely with a region in the U.S. as well as the Managed Service Provider team, which is a global team with a completely different business model. The needs differ greatly, from how we report and track metrics to the messaging and offers from one team to the next. I am now working in a very different market that is much larger and includes many more languages, so that brings a new level of understanding to how we show up in the market to achieve business goals.

Taking the leap to work anywhere


“Stepping outside of my comfort zone is one of my favorite things to do.”

– Laura O’Melia

What prompted you to relocate from Austin, Texas to Sydney, Australia?

Austin is great and was my home for 20 years, but I still wanted to gain international work experience to learn what it would be like somewhere else and compare it to what I know.

Stepping outside of my comfort zone is one of my favorite things to do, so when I heard Duo was expanding internationally and there was an opportunity in Australia, I was immediately interested. Everyone I know that has visited Australia always has absolutely wonderful things to say, so without ever having visited I agreed to take a long-term international two-year assignment.

How has Cisco supported your relocation?

I worked closely with my manager on the process from start to finish. We had the support of Cisco’s Mobility Services team, a group of Cisco employees that help with relocation services. We worked with immigration to obtain my work visa. I was planning to relocate in March 2020 but as we know, the borders were closed and visas were not being processed for nearly two years. I was already in-role, so continued to support the APJC team from Austin.

When the time came, Cisco had a team of experts that I worked with to pack and ship my belongings and help get set up with an overseas bank. I also worked with a realtor to help me find a place to live, and the team even assists with my U.S. and Australian tax returns while I am away.

How has your work changed since relocating?

My role has expanded from doing lead-gen events for Duo in Australia and New Zealand to now being responsible for driving demand across the APJC region through digital campaigns and other marketing channels. I still strive to provide qualified leads to Sales and educate the market on our offerings. My goal is to help get Cisco Secure solutions into more doors to ultimately give users a better experience and stop the bad actors from doing harm.

What advice do you have for others who want to work from anywhere?

If you get the opportunity, take it. Everyone has their own path, but if you feel your career could benefit, even slightly, from the experience you will gain moving to another country and figuring things out far from what you know today, why not give it a try? You can learn so much from meeting and working with people that have a very different experience than you might know.

Ready for an adventure? If you want to solve global challenges through cybersecurity with the potential to work anywhere, check out our open roles.

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