Career Journey of Zoey Cigar-Hodge, Customer Success Enablement Lead
'I wasn't traditionally inspired to get into tech, I just stumbled into it.'Learn More
What inspired you to get into the tech industry?
Almost 20 years ago, in a small city in India, when I was accepted in to the Engineering college of my choice, I was the happiest girl on the earth. Not because I loved circuits, microcontrollers and embedded systems, but because I wanted to be the first female Engineer in the family and to make my parents proud.
Where and what did you study, and what did you do after graduating?
I loved computers and coding but sadly, my scores were not good enough for Computer Engineering, but I studied hard for four long years and became an Engineer. My next mission was to get into a “big” company with a “good” salary so I could be financially independent.
What has your career path looked like before joining Mimecast?
I was on cloud nine when I got placement in one of the top Indian Multinational Companies with thousands of employees in offices across the globe. The only catch, it was in the BPO division (you may want to google about BPOs) of the company. As an engineer, it was not a great way to kickstart the career however my young and impatient self did not want to miss a single opportunity to accomplish my mission. In those times, as a fresher, it was the quickest way to earn good money and voila, I enter this world of “Voice and Accent Trainings”, “Desktop/Laptop Troubleshooting”, “Graveyard shifts” and much more. As one can imagine, it was not a sustainable plan to build a “great career”. I switched from one company to another, for better salary, better position, better work, so much so that I even earned a post graduate degree in MBA and many other certifications, while working. So here I was, constantly running a blind race to nowhere, from a Technical Support Engineer to an ITIL Consultant to a Project Manager to a Technical Services Manager that I had no time to pause and reflect what I really wanted or what was my dream job. Was I happy with my work? Never dared to ask the lost engineer within me as I had no courage to step down and start it all over for something that was “unknown”.
What has been your experience of working at Mimecast?
I have found my dream job in Cybersecurity that I had never even dreamt of, and I cannot thank Mimecast enough for providing the platform I had always, subconsciously, desired for. When I started in the year 2019, I had no idea about DMARC, DKIM, SPF but it was exciting to know that those servers, that I dealt with in my past experience, had so much to do behind the scenes, had so many protocols to adhere to. After spending almost 3 years at Mimecast, ask me not just about DMARC, SPF, DKIM but also email security, SMTP, ARC, SAML, cybersquatting, credential harvesting, spoofing, impersonation, fuzzy hashing, hash jacking, tracking pixels, device fingerprints and various other cybersecurity terms, the list continues to build up. Although it sounds cool, undoubtedly it has been my most challenging transition on various levels however the only driving factor was my appetite for learning and resilience.
Today, I realize how Mimecast’s strong values, great leaders, global presence, diversity and wonderful people have not only played an important role in boosting my knowledge but also my confidence and personality overall. It is only after working at Mimecast, I found that the real accomplishment was not just about getting that job with a good salary or a higher position but to be able to develop an organic relationship with my work.
The small and big learnings every single day is building and improving my very own knowledgebase which is a great tool when it comes to delivering the best experience to the Customers. No wonder why I relate to each Mimecast value so much and so easily. At forty, I am finally happy to be a techie and the state I am in, is no less than meditation, where all I care about is doing something with “purpose” and keeping that learning spark alive. Ohh and “purpose” reminds me how proud I feel every time I say, “We stop bad things from happening to good organizations”. As they say the more you know, the more you realize how much you don’t know. This, definitely, is just the tip of the iceberg, to build the knowledge so deep, have miles to go before I sleep.