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4 Reasons to Intern In College

Cisco Interns

Cisco Interns compete to build a remote-control fish.

The graduate job market is incredibly competitive these days and a qualification just isn’t enough to secure a position. If you think about it, every graduate applicant will have a degree and when you’re competing with hundreds or even thousands of graduates for a limited number of jobs, it is important that you stand out from the crowd.

One of the best ways to make yourself more marketable and to increase your chances of securing a full-time position upon graduation is to gain experience working in an organization while studying at university – an internship!

Here are 4 reasons to Intern while at University.

  1. Gain Industry Knowledge

For many students, university can be quite theoretical and an internship is a great way to be able to learn by being hands-on and apply what has been learnt in class to the real world. You’ll gain first-hand industry experience from professionals you’re working with and develop the skills required to work in the industry.

  1. Career Exploration

Internships can provide you with the opportunity to sample your chosen career field early in your studies. This will allow you to observe the workplace and decide if a particular career matches expectations. Even if the internship experience was not what you expected, at the very least you will know that a particular field isn’t for you and you can try something else.

  1. Develop Interpersonal Skills

Internships will not only help you to develop the skills needed to work in a particular industry but will also provide interpersonal skills that are generally required to work effectively with others including:

  • Communication (Verbal, Written and Presentation)
  • Listening Skills
  • Negotiation
  • Problem Solving
  • Decision Making
  1. Make Professional Contacts

Most internships will enable to you work closely and develop professional working relationships with many people within the organization. Building your professional network is important and can potentially lead to referrals and recommendations that might land you a full-time position in the organization.  At the very least you could receive a great reference. References and referees will be invaluable when you are looking for a full-time job.

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Don’t just leave an internship until your final year of study; the more internships you complete, the fuller your résumé will become and the more attractive you will look to future employers!

Be sure to check out all of Cisco’s University Programs.

 

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Key Considerations for Investing in Collaboration

key considerations before investing in a collab solution infographic -halved 8_15

Click to view full infographic

Are you about to make a collaboration investment?

Planning to purchase a set of collaboration tools to facilitate communication between your employees?

Evaluating tools that make it easier for a distributed team to meet, to stay in synch, and be more productive?

That’s great news.

But what to buy?  A lot of companies sell collaboration solutions. But not all solutions are created equal.  Some meet very specific needs, but offer little flexibility.  For instance, video conferencing systems that can be used only by people in rooms with specific endpoints.

How to choose a solution that not only meets your immediate needs, but also the needs, scenarios, devices, and work styles of other teams and users?  Today and moving forward?  In other words, how do you avoid purchasing a solution that has limited value?

To help outline what to consider at this critical stage – before making a purchase – we created a simple infographic.

Check out the top considerations. Review your needs. Then you can make a more informed decision about a collaboration solution. Get the right foundation to support growth, accommodate user needs across functions, work with a diverse set of devices, and be easy for IT to manage.

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IoE Innovation Hinges on Hyper Collaboration

Once upon a time, the world’s greatest inventions always seemed to come from individual geniuses locked in a room day and night on their own.  We often think of Alexander Graham Bell inventing the telephone by himself, Thomas Edison inventing the light bulb solo or Johannes Gutenberg working mostly alone to develop a mold that led to the first printing press.

Alex G Blog Pic 1Solo inventors will always play pivotal roles in developing “the next big thing” even as we we’re half way through the second decade of the 21st century.  Think Mark Zuckerberg masterminding Facebook  on his own in his dorm room at Harvard.

More and more, however, we’re discovering that in today’s Internet of Everything world, where complex technologies increasingly connect and converge, innovation hinges on all types of hyper collaborations.  Today, innovation requires open interaction among businesses, universities, startups, incubators, developers and others.  Now, collaboration makes innovation happen! Read More »

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Cisco Receives Frost & Sullivan’s Market Leadership Award for IP Endpoint Communications

John Chambers has often commented publicly about how Cisco’s innovation engine is on “fire.” Within Cisco’s Collaboration and Endpoint Technology Group (CETG), we certainly feel that way.

I just got word that independent industry analyst firm Frost & Sullivan has awarded Cisco its 2015 Market Leadership Award for IP Endpoint Communications. The award encompasses our desktop IP phones and DX Series, and our Cisco Jabber soft-client offerings. Coming on the heels of Red Dot design awards we received for our room systems, it’s another validation of our progress.

Frost & Sullivan recognized us for our relentless pursuit of technology excellence, and for our ability to maintain leadership positions in a fast-paced, rapidly evolving market.

I thought it would be worthwhile to share some comments from Frost & Sullivan to add insight.

Highlights noted in the report include: Read More »

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Inbound Marketing: What Comes After the Tipping Point?

“Inbound marketing is more effective than outbound marketing.”  

Sound like a quote from a recent marketing article? It’s actually a key takeaway from my doctoral thesis, published back in 2008 and entitled, “How Companies Use Customer Insight to Drive Customer Acquisition, Development, and Retention.”

No, I’m not Nostradamus, nor do I have a crystal ball. But, for a long time, I have been watching the signs that B2B buyers’ needs and patterns are changing.

Today, buyers – not sellers – are firmly in the driver’s seat. In fact, according to a recent DemandGen Buyer Behaviour report, almost half of buyers create a short-list of potential vendors and a third conduct initial research on solution options before the first communication with a sales rep. (For more on the evolution of buyer behaviour, see my blog post: Smarketing: A Sales and Marketing Love Story)

How are buyers conducting this research? Through search engines, vendor websites, and social media sites.

Hence the tipping point for inbound marketing. But what comes next? Here’s how I see the marketing landscape changing over the next 12 – 18 months:

1. Social media will gain traction in new ways

Social media is playing an increased role in marketing and buyers are now connecting to sellers via social channels rather than just browsing. DemandGen reports that 72% of respondents said they used social media to research the solution purchase.

This total is unchanged since 2013. What HAS changed is that there is a 57% increase in buyers connecting directly with potential solution providers via social networking channels. So they’re no longer just browsing social channels to do research, they’re using social channels to connect directly with sellers.

2. Marketers will adjust their budgets accordingly 

In reaction to buyer behaviour, marketers will continue to adjust their spend on inbound marketing. Sirius Decisions predicted back in 2013 that there would be a slight increase from 51% to 53% spent on inbound marketing by 2015. But what’s really interesting is the portion spent on social media: a big bump up from 36% to 44%.

3. Traditional sales and marketing roles will be turned on their heads   

We used to say, “Marketing opens the door and sales charges through it to close the deal.” Today, social media is driving role reversals within sales and marketing functions.

Increasingly, marketers are learning more about customers through their digital footprint and social media usage. We’re using real-time, behavioural data and analytics to complete a 360 view of the customer. And we’re leveraging this deep customer insight to close deals – because we’re able to make the right offer through the right channel at the right time.

Conversely, salespeople are now using social selling techniques to open doors with clients and prospects. They’re using social channels to connect, start conversations, and share knowledge and content. These nurturing techniques are paying off. According to a recent Social Media and Sales Quota Survey, more than 40% of salespeople say they have closed between two and five deals as a result of social media.

4. Revenue Marketing will become Profit Marketing  

Using Revenue Marketing principles, sales and marketing have begun to ensure that marketing strategies align with sales and business objectives to generate a measurable return to the bottom line.

But that’s just step one. As marketing shifts from a cost centre to a revenue centre, there is a deeper realization of the fact that not all customers are created equal. Inbound marketing tends to generate more new customer logos than outbound marketing. Based on lifetime customer value, new customers could be more desirable to a company which could translate into more importance placed on inbound techniques.

5. Employee advocacy will fuel marketing  

Although traditional advertising techniques (like TV advertising) are on the decline, social media makes it possible for employees to be a company’s best brand champions. Employee advocacy programs empower a company’s employees to support the goals of the brand using content and employee-owned social channels. This approach can have a huge impact on marketing and sales. According to Dynamic Signal, a digital marketing company, “Your employees are already on social all the time. And since people trust their social connections more than marketing messages, you can increase brand awareness by 14x and sales leads by 25%.” (Stay tuned for more on this topic in an upcoming blog post).

When will these 5 trends reach their tipping points? Last time my crystal ball looked 7 years ahead so let’s set it at 5 years this time – 2020! Watch this space….

Are you seeing sales and marketing changes in your markets and geographies? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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