From Vietnamese Refugee to Inventor


Tiffany and her mom.

It’s taken me a lifetime of inventing and reinventing myself to change into a patent-pending inventor at Cisco. A lifetime of beginning over, of making an attempt new issues, of failing ahead.

I used to be born in Vietnam. My father was a particular intelligence officer for the Republic of Vietnam Navy, a department of the South Vietnamese army. My mom was a nurse.

Like many who had been pressured to flee to different elements of the world after the Fall of Saigon, my twin id as a Vietnamese American is a long-lasting reminder of what my mother and father gave up for me to not solely survive but additionally thrive.

I grew up in a small two-bedroom duplex house after our household reunited. My father immigrated to California individually out of worry of being persecuted or killed for his involvement with the American troops throughout the Vietnam battle. As a child, I used to be humbled by the kindness of others, their hand-me-downs, and our month-to-month allocation of meals stamps.

My mother and father ultimately bought a single-family dwelling once I was a sophomore in highschool, however that no-frills duplex, our first ‘dwelling’ collectively, is the place my story actually started. It’s the place I first discovered to dream massive and developed my inventor/creator mindset.

There have been no shortages of artwork and science initiatives, dance lessons, or piano classes. I did all of them, and typically, I even received a number of ribbons and trophies. My mother and father, significantly my mom, fostered robust work ethics in me even at a really younger age. They noticed schooling as a path ahead to a greater life. I noticed it as my ticket to monetary independence and a solution to change into whoever I needed to be most in life.

Quick ahead to October 2020. In the course of a world pandemic, the patent crew kicked off the first-ever Ladies’s Inventor Community (WIN++) program to shut the gaps in patent filings by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, Individuals of Colour) and feminine inventors.

This one-of-a-kind mentorship program was sponsored by Liz Centoni, EVP, Chief Technique Officer, and Common Supervisor for Purposes, and Dan Lang, VP of Authorized & Deputy Common Counsel. Members had been matched with three fellow mentees and one mentor and had been requested to analysis, develop, and submit a patent software via Cisco’s Patent On-line (CPOL) portal.

Over a two-month interval, 140 mentees (62 of which had been first-time ladies inventors) labored to establish and clear up a number of person issues, whereas concurrently studying the fundamentals about patents and the way to write an efficient one. All of us dedicated at the very least 2 hours per week to our initiatives and submitted our progress bi-weekly. This system, which runs quarterly, concluded with a 5-minute Shark Tank-styled presentation to the patent committee.

three women pose in front of balloons and Cisco logoMy fellow inventors included Sofia Karygianni, a Knowledge Scientist for the Enterprise Networking and Cloud (ENC) crew; Vaishnavi Rao, a Software program Engineer for the Mass Infrastructure Group (MIG) Routing XR crew; Eloisa Guevara, a Safety Consulting Engineer for CX Facilities Americas; and David White, a Distinguished Engineer for CPX and our mentor throughout this system.

After a number of design pondering periods, our crew determined to deal with the gaps in digital and distant studying experiences for primary-aged college students. We efficiently submitted two patent concepts that might make digital studying 10X higher than in-person studying. One in all these concepts resulted in a proper patent submitting in July 2021, whereas the opposite resulted in a small money reward for a well-written CPOL submission.

I couldn’t be prouder of the outcomes we achieved collectively or extra grateful for the chance that Cisco has supplied me via variety and inclusion packages reminiscent of this one and others like Ladies of Cisco’s annual Government Shadow Program, Ladies in Science & Engineering (WiSE) month-to-month Tech Talks, and Cisco Ladies in Cyber Safety (CWiCS) Lunch & Be taught meetups. These packages inside Cisco’s Inclusive Communities have reworked my expertise as a girl in tech and my viewpoint as a design strategist and inventor. It has additionally empowered me to embrace the artwork of potential in my present position with the Expertise Design & Incubation (XDi) crew.

With my first patent submitting underway, I hope to contribute many extra to Cisco’s patent portfolio as I proceed to assist the XDi and CPX crew discover new design methods, person experiences, and knowledge architectures for CX Cloud and PX Cloud. I additionally plan to leverage my prior product administration experiences to establish new enterprise alternatives, product options, and capabilities that may simply be built-in into different digital platforms and interfaces to ship much more interconnected buyer and associate experiences.

My first tenure at Cisco was short-lived. My second, nevertheless, has been one hell of a experience to date. I’ve been gifted with the chance to shadow three superb executives and to co-lead the chief recruiting for Ladies of Cisco’s Government Shadow Program; to journey to Shanghai on a world give again journey for Cisco’s Linked Asian Affinity Community (CAAN), and to change into a first-time inventor with the WIN++ mentorship program.

The alternatives right here at Cisco are boundless in case you have the braveness, ardour, and tenacity to pursue the whole lot in your bucket listing. To dream massive and change into whoever you wish to be most in life, all it takes is a leap of religion … in your self and people round you.


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