“When I first got here, the [intern] orientation was talking about all business stuff…supply chain..and I’m a computer science major, and I was thinking, uh-oh, I’m in the wrong place.” Kelley Duran said as we settled down to talk about her internship here at Cisco. Her classmate Samuel Sandoval had the same reaction: “Honestly, I thought I was in [the] wrong group… since I’m in IT [information technology]”
Internships are a great way for students to make the connection between their studies and the business world. Combining education with practical application through internships means an easier transition into the workforce after college. Even better is when education and personal expertise are both channeled into the right internship.
Kelley and Samuel are studying Computer Science and Information Technology respectively at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. I sat down with Kelley, Samuel and their Cisco mentor Shraddha Chaplot to get their thoughts on how to create a successful internship program for college students with hearing disabilities.
Samuel Sandoval, Shraddha Chaplot and Kelley Duran spell Cisco in American Sign Language at Cisco Headquarters
Samuel and Kelley interned for 11 weeks in Cisco’s Software Engineering Accessibility team. The Cisco Accessibility team is focused on ensuring Cisco products are accessible and usable by people with disabilities, whether by design or through compatible use with assistive technology.
Samuel worked as a lead developer for real time text chat on the Read More »
Tags: accessibility, ASL, Cisco, Cius, deaf, disability, diversity, hearingimpaired, inclusion, intern, interpreter, TelePresence, VRI
It seems like only a year ago when I stepped in the Cisco office as a new hire fresh out of college. Oh wait, it was just a year ago when all this happened. Time flies when work is never dull and learning seems never-ending. I can go on and on about all the lessons I learned, awesome projects I got to witness and work on, the supportive team I work with, etcetera etcetera. Instead of writing a 365-page book documenting my adventures at Cisco (a page a day is an underestimation by the way), I’ll summarize the top three things I learned at Cisco.
1. Don’t be afraid to make your ideas heard:
I don’t know about you, but when I first started, approaching a colleague, manager, or director with a new idea seemed more intimidating than jumping off an airplane 5,000 feet above the ground in a sky diving lesson. Mind you, I have a serious case of acrophobia (read: fear of heights). When you’re new, everyone else is more senior than you, has more experience under the belt, knows more about the ins and outs of Cisco, and need I say more? The idea of bringing a new idea to the table seems almost ridiculous.
“Someone must have come up with the idea before.”
“What if they say no?” Read More »
Tags: Cisco, college, new hire, thankful, thanks, work life balance, working at cisco
All I am asking
Is a little respect…
On Valentine’s Day 1967, as the Vietnam War was consuming news headlines worldwide, and the civil rights and women’s movements were mobilizing across the States, a young African-American woman entered Atlantic Records and opened a piano
What happened next forged its way into contemporary musical history, making a worldwide star of its protagonist.
Aretha Franklin was just 25 when she exploded onto the music scene. The song was Respect.
I’ll bet that, whatever your age, wherever you are from, within seconds of hearing the opening bars of this song, your feet will be tapping in recognition, your fingers drumming on your laptop.
Respect is one of those enduringly popular anthems: the potency of Franklin’s voice, the rhythm, melody, and the universality of a message that seem to withstand the march of time. Forty years later, this song still has the power to stir emotion wherever, whenever.
Read More »
Tags: baby boomers, diversity, Generation X, Generation Y, gernerations, inclusion, respect
Kimberly Marcelis, Vice President of Strategic Planning at Cisco
We’ve been pondering our collection of inclusion and diversity awards sitting in our San Jose office. Some are inspired and even practical, like the glass bowl with a plaque stating “fill with candy and share”. And then serendipitously, I came across an employee account from our recent participation at the NELI (National Eagle Leadership Institute) Awards that re-ignited the real stories behind the glass ornaments in our awards cabinet. Read More »
Tags: asian, award, Cisco, diversity, employee development, employee resource groups, inclusion, Inclusion and Diversity, leadership, women
The life story of Caroline Casey, social entrepreneur, will make your heart beat faster.
It really did mine. Here she is in a TED Talk telling it with such passion I recommend you watch the video at least twice.
There are so many incredible things to convey about Casey. The utter self-belief she has. Her conviction she can achieve anything she wants to achieve so long as she truly believes. Her extensive fundraising through The Aisling Foundation. And her dogged promotion of the capacity and capability of people with disabilities. Casey’s mission in life is to get people to look behind the label, something she attributes to her father’s love of the Jonny Cash song ‘A boy named Sue’ and her parents decision not to label her when she was a young girl. You’ll have to watch the video to learn what the potential label was. Like Casey, I suspect had she been given it, she wouldn’t have become the believer and go-getter she is today. Casey is obviously a one-of-a-kind remarkable woman. But she’s determined that everyone else realises their capacity for being remarkable too. To paraphrase her a little, each of us needs to focus on what we can do, not what we can’t, work hard at being the very best of ourselves and take advantage of the fact we’re all extraordinary, different, wonderful people. And stop with the labels that hinder us.
Take 10 minutes from your next lunch break to watch Caroline Casey tell it so much better than me. The experience might just change how you see yourself and others.
Tags: Aisling FOundation, caroline casey, disability, diversity, inclusion, Inclusion and Diversity, labels, tedx