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Scripps Career Pathways Series: Michael Cady, BSC ’01, senior account manager for Cisco Systems

Oct 24, 2013

Michael Cady, BSC ’01, senior account manager for Cisco Systems

Michael Cady graduated from Scripps College of Communication in 2001 with a bachelor of science in communication and a minor in business. As the senior account manager for Cisco Systems, Cady has owned and managed account responsibilities for four of Cisco’s top retail and financial services vertical accounts.

Cady has made time to stay connected with Ohio University by participating in numerous mentoring, coaching and speaking engagements in alignment with the Alumni Association, The Sales Centre and the College of Business. Cady is the founding chair of the Ralph and Luci Schey Sales Centre Alumni Society for three years followed by a term as the fundraising director for the Sales Centre Alumni Society. He is currently the executive board member of the Ohio University Professional Sales Advisory Board. Cady received the Charles J. and Claire O. Ping Recent Graduate Award on Friday, October 11, for his outstanding accomplishments and active interest at Ohio University.

How do you feel your Scripps College of Communication degree has helped you in your career thus far?
There is a huge component around interpersonal communication.  All of the public speaking and persuasion courses I took along with the group work, the practicum we took and engagement with the local community were an academic foundation and play a key role in what I do today. If I can’t connect with a customer, my message is not conveyed, and I do not move sales forward. It is all about the art of understanding what’s important to the person while knowing the person has an agenda and understanding you have to persuade them to make a path that pleases everyone. If I didn’t have communication skills from a group perspective, I would be unable to manage large groups. It is absolutely relevant because without communication, I would not be doing what I am doing as well as I am.

How did your extracurricular activities or internship(s) help you with your career?
You can be the type of person that watches thing happen or makes things happen. I was involved in so many organizations and leadership roles, and I think those experiences helped me understand my potential. Ohio University gave a nice platform to be engaged in multiple extracurricular activities and internships on campus and off campus that all played a major role in how I was molded into a young professional.  

What is the most important thing you believe has helped you secure your current position?
First, if you want something bad enough, go get it. Second, you really have to understand what the gaps are in an organization and understand how to tie your experience and skillset together to fill those gaps. That’s your value proposition. When I made the transition to Cisco, I was able to clearly articulate my value. I didn’t have industry expertise, but I brought skillset expertise.

What is the single most important piece of advice you’d like to give to Scripps students?
My gut tells me to say, enjoy your time because it goes quick. Leverage your college years to gain as much knowledge as you can. Get involved, take an active leadership role and always have a plan that you are executing. I am a big fan of “work hard, play hard.” You have to work hard and go have fun, but remember why you are at school.

How do you actively stay involved and maintain your connection with Ohio University throughout your busy life?
Ohio University is a part of my internal fabric. My experience has really opened my eyes and shaped who I was as a young adult. I have a lot of passion for being a Bobcat and I know what that means. I genuinely value my time, degree and experience. I have been really lucky to stay involved as an alumni early on. I just love Ohio University. Whether I am driving to Ohio University as a student or alumni, when I come back to Athens, I’m home.  

- Katie Quinn, social media intern