This summer, Sophia Danvers-Aarons will have worked for Cisco Systems for a decade, marking 16 years as a technology marketing professional. Her career’s journey started in the Communications program at Florida State, a formative time that she says helped her to develop the skills and the mindset to reinvent herself and innovate in her current role.
Danvers-Aarons completed two undergraduate degrees in less than four years and was a six time All-American on the track team. After graduating in 1996, she started her graduate degree in Marketing/Sports Administration. While in graduate school she was selected as one of two ACC Futures scholars. ACC Futures scholars are selected from over 200 applicants from all nine ACC schools at the time and afforded Danvers-Aarons a one-year marketing role with the Atlantic Coast Athletic Conference office and Fox Sports.
Her time at ACC Futures allowed her to apply her experiences from the College of Communications to drive public relations campaigns, marketing programs, work closely with university, NCAA executives and coaches; and build a professional network. After, she was offered a job with Fox Sports before graduating from FSU in the spring of 1999.
In 2000, Danvers-Aarons had an opportunity to use join a tech startup, Pathfire, a news data aggregation company. During the exciting tech boom, Danvers-Aarons jumped at the chance to explore the mix of technology, marketing and journalism in one place. Her experiences at Pathfire created a strong foundation as a marketer in the telecom industry, which led to her next career move.
Fast forward to June 2005, when Danvers-Aarons joined Scientific Atlanta. Her tenure at Scientific Atlanta involved work on some of the company’s most innovative and successful products, including DVRs and IP set-top boxes. Those technologies allow people today the ability to pause and playback live TV and stream high quality video to different devices.
Scientific Atlanta would go on to be acquired by Cisco, starting the current chapter of her professional journey. In her current role as Global Integrated Marketing Communications Manager for Cisco, she is responsible for developing strategy and implementing programs to drive market awareness and increase market share for Cisco’s Cloud Computing business.
Similar to the way iPhone users back up their data to the Cloud, Cisco helps businesses find new ways to manage data in-house or outsource to trusted cloud service providers. Ultimately allowing large enterprise organizations to become more competitive and responsive to changing markets and business trends, while lowering costs and risks. In this role, Danvers-Aarons manages global marketing strategy and execution across Cisco’s entire cloud product and services portfolio.
All technology aside, Danvers-Aarons describes her role at Cisco as a storyteller. She stresses the importance of building compelling narratives in marketing, in order to connect and create relevance with your target audience. An apt description for someone who grew up thinking she would be a journalist. While at FSU, she developed a passion for writing and marketing that went on to fuel her career, which started her career at Fox Sports South in marketing communications.
Today, Danvers-Aarons lives in Atlanta with her husband and daughter and enjoys traveling, working out and the occasional fitness challenge to see how close she is to retaining any portion of her FSU track glory days.
Sixteen years in technology. Ten years with Cisco. Six years at Florida State. Two Bachelor’s degrees. One Master’s degree. All pieces of a puzzle that make up Sophia Danvers-Aarons’ career.
For more on the School of Communication programs that Sophia studied, click here.