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Freddie Timmins (pictured)

Product Manager, Cisco Webex Teams

Engineering is all about solving problems. Freddie Timmins explains why putting the customer at the centre is great for everyone.

Freddie Timmins has a confession to make. When she considered engineering as a teenager, she says: “I thought it was about being in a dull office building with grey walls.” Four years into her career, it’s safe to say she has been proved wrong.

Timmins joined Cisco as an intern while studying for a postgraduate degree in software engineering. Since then, she’s progressed through a number of roles and is now able to combine her passion for technology, design, and customer relations in her current role as Product Manager for Cisco’s Webex Team.

It’s amazing talking to some of the students. They’ll say, ‘I can’t do IT if I’m interested in art’, but so many of our designers came from art backgrounds.

Customer experience is essential to my role

Within the Webex team, Timmins is developing technology that has really come into its own over the past few months. As much of the world adapts to working from home, she’s found herself supporting clients from industries as diverse as commerce, education and healthcare with their shift to remote operations

While the work requires a high level of technical knowhow, at its heart, it’s about helping customers solve problems. “The real thing is getting down to the bones of what the problem is and then being able to articulate that back to engineering and designers to determine a solution,” Timmins explains.

I am constantly innovating and learning from others in the company

Learning is naturally an integral part of this innovative industry. While online tools, training courses and study materials have been helpful, Timmins believes one of the most effective ways to learn is by connecting with more experienced colleagues.

“Some of the people I’ve worked with have such a breadth of knowledge, and a willingness to share, so I had all the support I could possibly need,” she says. Timmins has been particularly inspired by the senior women within her company.

“We have connected women’s groups, a Women of Impact day and there’s also the Dare and Jump programmes specifically around career development,” she explains. “For someone early in their career like me, it’s great to have these types of resources and see what’s achievable.”

Sharing the passion

Every year, Cisco open their doors to secondary school girls as part of their Girl Power Tech initiative. Timmins is passionate about using these events to share her experiences with others.

“It’s amazing talking to some of the students. They’ll say, ‘I can’t do IT if I’m interested in art’, but so many of our designers came from art backgrounds,” she explains. “It’s great to show them what’s possible.”

Like many of the young women who participate in Girl Power Tech, Timmins had no idea what she wanted to do as a career. Her advice to anyone in that position is very simple: “Think about what you like doing and pursue that. There are so many opportunities.”

As technology becomes more important in our lives, those opportunities are only going to increase. So, watch this space to see what Freddie Timmins does next.  

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