Cisco Blogs

Cisco Blog > Life At Cisco

A Year Abroad – An Intern’s Transition


How does a culture-shocked, jet-lagged intern from England transform in a year’s time? Just by arriving in Silicon Valley Digital Marketing Intern Alice Mo was able to check off a bucket list item. But starting at Cisco earned another check.

Her first day, she was filled with nerves. Wanting to make a good impression, she donned her suit and came in extra early, but noticed right away that the casual atmosphere at Cisco – jeans and t-shirts – put her right at ease.

One of Alice’s biggest realizations was that the culture at Cisco was a staple in what made us so different as she noted that the workplace in England is much more formal and requires employees to address their superiors as “Mr.” or “Mrs.” – a bit different from the first name basis here at Cisco!  She loved the openness throughout her internship and was inspired by the consistent efforts made in innovation and attempting new processes.

The other thing that Alice noticed is that Cisco employees love a good celebration, “My team had a launch recently that needed to be rolled back, so we had a Roll Back Party,” she explained.  “This isn’t something you’d typically find in the UK as a roll back would be viewed as a reason to be upset, but here it was seen in a positive light and something we could continue to work towards and improve upon. I will definitely carry this positive outlook with me in to the future, and it made my entire experience with Cisco that much more enjoyable.”

Another celebration that Alice enjoyed was the Superhero Friday parties that were held on the first Friday of every month.  This is where everyone would show up to work in their favorite superhero t-shirts – what’s not to love about a company that knows how to have fun and save the day at the same time?

soloAlice’s yearlong internship also provided a more solid direction for her career, “On my first day at Cisco I had no idea what direction I wanted to go in.  I knew I wanted to be in tech, but beyond that I wasn’t quite sure. About six months ago, I joined a big data project that I really enjoyed and have since informed my professors back in the UK that I’d like to take more data science master courses.”

Amidst everything she was learning throughout her internship, Alice also loves that this opportunity allowed her to grow personally.  From learning how to drive in the U.S. to learning more about herself as an individual she is so thankful for her time at Cisco.  The advice she would pass along to future interns is to not fear taking initiative and to take the time to be proactive and always think one step ahead.

“Earlier in my time here at Cisco, I asked my manager what I could help with that may have a more technical aspect to it.  I wound up finding things that I could assist with and enrolled in some of the free Cisco courses that opened me up to even further opportunities here.  It enabled me to participate more, with more confidence,” expanding upon her second piece of advice, Alice offers, “Listen and tune into what others are saying, especially your superiors.  I had a manager who mentioned on a whim that he would like to learn more about the Asian Mobile at Market.  I happened to know quite a bit about this, so I took some time in my day to compile some notes for him.  When I mentioned that I had this documentation, he said, ‘Fantastic!’ and the next day I was presenting the information to his team!”

Alice continued, “The connections I have made here at Cisco have been invaluable; absolutely breathtaking. I never would’ve thought that I would’ve made so many connections from all walks of life – from Software Engineers and Hardware Engineers to Marketing, Sales, and Administration.  I wouldn’t hesitate at all to send these connections a message when I need advice in the future.”

Tags: , , , , ,

Loving Employee Culture at Cisco

linked in 1 In August of 2010 my journey with Cisco began as I started my career on the Engineering Talent Acquisition Team.  Five years later, I can tell you that it is still just as fantastic as that first day because Cisco invests in me and wants me to grow.

When looking for work I knew I wanted to be part of a world-class recruitment function with awe -inspiring leaders, and Cisco fit this bill. Cisco innovates throughout every function within the company.

A typical day for me involves managing the recruitment of Software Development positions across Europe, Middle East and Africa. TA Advisors within Cisco recruit for 15-20 positions at one time, with certain peaks in demand. When these peaks happen our leadership looks at every solution to try and help the situation and we work together as a team to ensure those demands are met. I also enjoy that my position allows me to work in branding, social media, market intelligence, and diversity!

One of the things I love most about Cisco is our culture.  There is a true environment here for me to grow from within. Cisco employees are given a lot of developmental training. In my time here, I have worked within Project Management and Sourcing Training as well as Talent Advisory Sessions on Communication and Persuasion. Our teams also benefit from numerous in-house training sessions that explore topics such as Branding and Social Media to Immigration Protocols. The environment that I work in is very organic and all Cisco employees are empowered to work on initiatives to help us develop.

Another thing I’d like to mention is the care and attention that Cisco gives back to its employees and the communities around us.  My global team recently completed a Give Back Day where over 200 Talent Acquisition employees volunteered to help various charities around the globe.

I also know that Cisco also cares about me as an individual. They have helped me gently integrate back into the team after just coming back from maternity leave, and they have also supported me through a very difficult time with my father being ill.

Cisco is a great place to work and to grow, both personally and professionally. Our philosophy of “people first” cascades through every aspect of how we work, play, and live.



Tags: , ,

Collaboration: On the Field & In the Office

Collaboration is great. But it’s not a Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, if-you-build-it-they-will-come Field of Dreams scenario. Alas, if all it took was plowing under a corn field and putting down some chalk stripes, I might be out of a job. And out of corn flakes.

We talk a lot about technology and process, but sometimes omit the human aspect. All the technology in the world won’t do much without people using it — unless you’re watching the Terminator machines attempt their takeover. And then there’s always HAL 9000. But those guys are a lot more interested in domination than collaboration anyway.

An organization’s culture is a critical component to successful collaboration. Make all the technology announcements and managerial pronouncements you want – you need an environment that supports collaboration. Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Collaborative Buzz of Bees

Rooftop hives at CiscoSometimes we forget that collaboration isn’t just something people do at work. In fact, it’s not unique to people at all. And some of the best collaborators out there in the world just ain’t people.

Bees, for instance. They don’t have fancy hardware, software, networks, and mobile devices, yet they’re amazing collaborators. I take that back, they do have networks – just not the kind with Cisco routers and switches behind them.

People are studying bees to figure out how you and I can improve our collaboration. By its own definition, The Biomimicry Institute “promotes learning from and then emulating natural forms, processes, and ecosystems to create more sustainable and healthier human technologies and designs.” A pretty neat idea if you ask me. Read More »

Tags: , , , , ,

Who is the Ultimate Cisco Live Attendee?

Who is the Ultimate Cisco Live Attendee?

That is what we want to know! Every year tens of thousands IT and communications professionals attend Cisco Live events held around the world as well as virtually. Each attendee is imperative to the success of Cisco Live, and we want to hear why you think you are the ultimate and most loyal Cisco Live attendee! The winner will be highlighted across the Cisco corporate social channels including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and on our corporate newsroom, The Network.

How do you show us? It’s simple!

Submit a short paragraph, video, photos (or all three) showcasing why you are the ultimate Cisco Live attendee. It could be related to the number of years you have attended the conference, the content of blogs you’ve written about Cisco Live, specific events you participated in and much more! Read below for all of the guidelines.

  • Keep paragraph submissions under 300 words and include your name and location.
  • Limit one submission per person.

By sending your submission you allow Cisco to use your submission across our social channels and The Network. Adherence to the following guidelines will be confirmed prior to the selected submission being featured as the ultimate Cisco Live attendee.

Why are you the ultimate Cisco Live attendee? Let us know today!

Tags: , , , ,