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Lubna Rasheed

A Conversation with Lubna

What is your current job? Please list the title and briefly describe what it involves

I am a Software Engineer at Cisco Systems, Canada at the engineering facility in Kanata, Ontario. I develop and deploy cross-platform, operating-system independent, automation software infrastructure and software tools that are used by Cisco engineers globally. My role also involves QA for validation of network protocols that are deployed on Cisco devices in Service Provider, Data Center and Enterprise customer networks.

What’s your favourite part of your job?

I get to work hands-on with various upcoming releases of Cisco operating systems and Cisco hardware for different platforms almost on a daily basis. I also get to liaise and work with talented engineers across the globe. Additionally, my current role allows me to experience the entire DevOps cycle both development and deployment, for each product our team delivers. Together, this provides for fantastic continuous improvement towards growing as an engineer.

What made you want to pursue a career in engineering?

I was always interested in my math, physics and computer science classes in both middle-school and high-school and so engineering seemed like a natural choice despite it being slightly unconventional for girls. I performed well in my computer science classes and Olympiads but was still intrigued by physics more and enrolled in Electrical Engineering to begin with. I later changed my field to Computer Systems Engineering after taking some excellent programming courses early on in my first and second year at university and found my true passion.

How do you celebrate National Engineering Month?

I’m celebrating National Engineering Month by getting more involved in helping out with STEM outreach events happening locally in Ottawa. Cisco participates in the Girls in ICT Day and I’m helping with organizing an outreach event called ‘Girls Power Tech (GPT)’ that will be held across multiple Cisco sites in Canada in April 2016. At this event, Cisco engineers, including myself, will mentor high-school students and encourage them to consider engineering as a career choice.In keeping with this theme of STEM mentoring, in February 2016, Cisco organized a Job-Shadow program for university students. As a part of this program, female engineering students in software/telecom/computer-systems engineering were invited to the Cisco Kanata site to ‘shadow’ an engineer and watch them go about their daily activities for the day. Each student was provided with a personalized mentoring session, in addition to group workshops and technical presentations. It was a successful event and the students truly valued the opportunity to see “A Day in the Life of an Engineer”.

What advice do you have for young women who hope to pursue a career in your field?

Learn voraciously and work hard. Bring your best self to the table. Be confident. Treat every failure as a learning opportunity and grow from it. Don’t allow negativity or setbacks to stop you from achieving your goals. Engineering is a diverse field, every day can be an exciting learning experience. Pursue your passions, the sky is the limit!

Lubna’s BiographyLubna Rasheed graduated from Carleton University in Ottawa in April 2012 with a Bachelor’s of Engineering degree in Computer Systems Engineering, with distinction. During her time as an undergraduate student, she was actively involved in several engineering clubs and societies. She was an executive at the IEEE Carleton Student Branch and helped plan local IEEE events like the IEEE SPAC conferences, the Battle Royale LAN gaming tournament etc. She also helped organize robotics competitions with the Carleton University Robotics Club (CURC). Additionally, she was an Editor for the ‘IronTimes’, the engineering student newspaper published monthly, by the Carleton Student Engineering Society (CSES).Right after completing her undergraduate degree, Lubna has worked at Cisco Systems, Canada as a Software Engineer since May 2012. In her role as a software engineer, she has worked with various Cisco operating systems and hardware platforms while developing automation infrastructure for Cisco engineers. She had also temporarily taken on the role of an Agile ScrumMaster, in addition to her daily engineering commitments, while her team was transitioning their projects to an Agile product development model.Lubna is actively involved with the Cisco WISE (Women in Science & Engineering) and the Cisco Connected Women chapter at the Cisco Kanata site. She is also one of the Editors for the Cisco Enterprise Networking Group business unit monthly newsletter. Lubna also volunteers with the IEEE Ottawa Section and the IEEE Young Professionals Ottawa Affinity Group. Outside of work, Lubna enjoys travelling, having recently returned from an outback adventure in Australia. She also enjoys reading fiction, fantasy and sci-fi; playing board games and foosball.

Through outreach and professional development activities, research, partnerships, thought leadership and online initiatives, we work with industry and academia to educate on the value of diversity for innovation, to inspire women to thrive and to celebrate the contributions of women in science and engineering.
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