Woman with glasses smiling Amal Karboubi (pictured left), a Network Solutions Architect, always knew she wanted a career working in STEM. From an early age, she enjoyed learning about science and was very curious about the nature of things. But it wasn’t until she started her undergraduate studies that she found her love for engineering. This led her to pursue a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Ottawa.

“At university, I enjoyed abstract concepts in math and physics, and I wanted to translate that into real-world solutions,” said Amal. “One of the perks of being an engineer, especially in our field, is the transferrable skills that we acquire and the continuous learning opportunities as this field is perpetually evolving.”

After Amal earned her Master’s degree, she joined Nortel as an Intermediate Software Designer, where she made her mark doing design on various network applications. When Ciena acquired Nortel in 2010, Amal continued her work in design but now focused on photonic and ethernet-based applications and standards.

“At that point in my career, I realized that curiosity can be a powerful ally as it opens the door to exploring new ideas and possibilities that can move us beyond our comfort zone,” said Amal.

Since being a part of the Ciena team, Amal has worked on numerous projects within Network Management and has taken on various roles from a modeler, designer, and subject matter expert. Within these roles, she has championed countless modeling, feature specification, and design activities to create forward-looking and holistic network management solutions. Seeing the real-life applications of our products and solutions inspires Amal to keep innovating.

“There are so many things that make me proud about our industry field,” said Amal. “Our technology and solutions are being used in schools and hospitals, enabling countless interactions across the globe. It’s good to know that you’re making an impact in different industries and areas of life, no matter how big or small.”'

Family on top of mountain smiling

Amal and her family 

As Amal progressed in her career, she knew she wanted to work more with people and find a role that combined her product knowledge with her desire to help find solutions to our customers’ needs. That led her to speak with her manager, who encouraged her to pursue a role that allowed her to work more directly with our customers.

“I get tremendous satisfaction from seeing ideas and solutions implemented and deployed in practice," said Amal. "It’s real applications in everyday life from helping customers build and troubleshoot their network infrastructure to savings on OPEX and acting as an enabler of everyday services. From TV Broadcast to connecting cities, cell towers, and more, this brings me the most satisfaction.”

Encouraging people to have ongoing growth and career discussions and explore new opportunities is a part of our development cycle here at Ciena. We also offer a suite of programs and tools to all employees to aid in their learning, including a mentorship program, professional coaching, development programs, and online learnings, to name a few. Amal was able to make this career change through her curiosity and openness to new opportunities, as well as through the support of her peers and leadership.

“Be willing to expand your horizons,” said Amal. “Don’t let your comfort zone deter you from growing. If something piques your interest, see what you can do to learn in this space.”

Learn more about our benefits and career opportunities at our careers page here.