Cisco’s Early in Career Network – helping our new hires to feel included

March 30, 2011 - 0 Comments

It’s an interesting activity:

Ask a diverse group of people if they remember their first day at work…you probably get a mix of reactions right? Some people are able to recall the experience quite vividly (particularly if it wasn’t that long ago) and are able to give you precise details – their start date, their first task, perhaps even what they wore. Others may only be able to recall a vague memory…

Then ask the same group of people if they remember how they felt after week 1 and I bet most, if not all of them, will be able to give you a definite answer: “I knew I had made the right choice”; “I felt overwhelmed”; “I was excited at the opportunities that lay ahead”.

 Cisco is committed to creating and maintaining a diverse and inclusive environment. We believe that such an environment will help drive innovation and talent in the workforce and that this will help us better serve our customers and engage with our partners in the worldwide marketplace with the strength of working together. To help foster such an environment, Cisco has a number of Employee Resource Groups and one of these groups is Early in Career Network (ECN for short); a global resource group which is part of the I&D Ambassador Network focussed on Cisco’s new hires and people who are early in their career at Cisco.

To help smooth the on-boarding process and guide everyone who is in their first 3 years of Cisco, ECN aims to help people:

  •  understand Cisco’s culture, procedures and functions
  • network with colleagues inside/outside of their functions and geographies
  • expand their knowledge and skills through trainings and events, and
  • be part of a buddy and/or mentorship program for guidance and career development

I am fortunate enough to be part of a great team who is helping to drive this initiative in Europe and Emerging Markets starting with a pilot in the UK and Ireland. So far, we have hosted two coffee mornings at our offices in Bedfont Lakes and a tour of one of our Executive Briefing Centre where we can have interactive demonstrations and discussions with prospective customers for them to gain a better understanding of how an intelligent network can transform their business. Our next coffee morning is on the 19th of April and we are also planning a new hire lunch in a couple of weeks time.

Feedback from our new hires has been extremely positive with regards to the programme. Specifically ECN has helped them to extend their network, learn from each other’s experiences and access useful information and programs in a fully collaborative manner:

 “The ECN and Coffee Mornings are part of a friendly initiative to help bring new Employees of all levels and roles together.  Probably the best value outside of making new friends is comparing challenges and solutions with others in a similar situation, which can save you a lot of time figuring it all out on your own.” Stephen Davids, New Hire at Cisco

 I feel privileged to be working in such a diverse and committed team to help drive Early in Career Network. Stay tuned for more updates on ECN!

How are you helping new hires at your company to feel included? Share your stories by emailing

In an effort to keep conversations fresh, Cisco Blogs closes comments after 60 days. Please visit the Cisco Blogs hub page for the latest content.