From Classmates to Colleagues: Interning at Cisco with your BFF
This post was co-authored by Lauren Brommer & Rachel Plocharsky.
When you think of it, it’s funny how many times a simple “hello” can turn into a lifelong friendship. For Rachel Plocharsky and me, our “hello” happened in a math class of over 300 freshman at NC State. Immediately, we clicked.
During our sophomore year, we both joined the executive board for the American Marketing Association (AMA), and our professional relationship took root. During our junior and senior years we became roommates, and through the AMA we became connected with Cisco.
Now, here we are! And this summer we’re both working as Cisco marketing interns, with Rachel working in Americas Field Marketing and myself in Enterprise.
Working with my best friend has proven to be one of the greatest benefits of joining a company as it ensured that I had at least one connection before my first day of work.
I love Cisco because it recruits great talent, and gives me the freedom to utilize my talents for the betterment of the company. I am a huge people person, so getting the chance to work with Cisco’s Partners through their cloud services is really exciting to me.
I get to come into work everyday doing what I love, all while working with my best friend! It’s great to have someone that can share the journey with me, and who is along for every step as we celebrate each mini success that we have.
Rachel adds, “The fact that I’m interning at Cisco is still surreal to me. There was a time before I got my offer letter when I didn’t think I’d get it! It was Lauren, actually, who was pulling for me that whole time and refused to let me believe I didn’t deserve it. And that’s what’s so great about our relationship — we’ve encouraged each other to become the young professionals we are today!
“Cisco values the same qualities in people and knows that the potential of people is our greatest asset. I feel so valued here, even as an intern and I know everyone I work with feels the same way. You can feel it in the air. Furthermore, my involvement with the amazing talent on the Americas Field Marketing team grants me exposure to some cutting edge topics. I get to work with security marketing campaigns and marketing analytics, both of which are huge growth centers right now.”
However, working with your best friend is not without its challenges. So here is some advice we recommend:
- Be sure to step out of your comfort zone and branch out during your internship! It’s always a good idea to find ways to create your own experiences apart from each other. This could mean getting involved in different company cohorts, working in different teams, or even grabbing lunch with different people. Interning with your BFF is a lot of fun but at the end of the day, it’s all about personal growth and your own career path too. Be sure to open your horizons during this time – you never know what opportunity is out there!
- Avoid wearing the same outfits to work. “It’s a lot harder than you think, especially when we go shopping for work clothes together! There have been several occasions where we are wearing the same colors from head to toe, and one of us has to go change before we head out the door,” Rachel commented.
- Do not be afraid to reach for your goals. Dare to believe that you deserve your dreams. Keep people close who support you and can believe in them with you! Most importantly, make sure you value them in return. At Cisco, it’s obvious that this system of mutual support and value is engrained in our culture. Find someone that understands your passions and life goals, someone you can count on to point you in the right direction when an opportunity arises.
Do you have a best friend at work? Tell us how working with them has enhanced your own career!
Want to join a company of BFFs? We’re hiring!