Across Cisco, hundreds of teams host interns in every function of the business. Internships help attract early-in-career talent that bring new skills and diversity to the workforce. Cisco has a dedicated group – the Early Talent Recruiting team – that serves as a global recruiting engine to help managers find and hire interns. The team drives best practices across the company, leads intern onboarding, and hosts professional growth events. With a strong track record for converting interns to full-time roles, Cisco is a destination for interns across the globe.

To celebrate National Intern Day, we talked to some people who went through Cisco’s internship program and are on the path to very bright futures. Here’s Charlie’s story:

Charlie Wenig is studying Magazine Journalism at Syracuse University

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: One Summer Intern’s Journey

Charlie Wenig spent the summer as the only intern on the CX Americas Communications team. She was excited about the opportunity but wasn’t sure what to expect or what corporate communications entailed. As a rising senior from Syracuse University majoring in Magazine Journalism and Information Technology, the opportunity to work with communications professionals seemed like a good one.

“[I] didn’t know tons about corporate communications and especially internal communications,” said Charlie. “Joining a team with broad outreach in such a large company has been eye-opening to see how that work carries across all the channels, and that has been great.”

Over the course of the internship, she discovered that the team’s work spanned many areas, and she jumped right in. She began writing, became familiar with how large-scale meetings are run on WebEx, and worked to make content compelling, engaging, and even fun. Charlie contributed to employee engagement events by creating an online quiz for team members to celebrate Asian American, Pacific Islander, Haitian, and Jewish Heritage Month and recommended a virtual parade as a part of a Pride Month celebration.

“I found this to be more interesting than the ‘boots-on-the-ground’ interviewing people in the rain I was imagining,” said Charlie.

The CX Americas Communications team Charlie interned with helps keep the organization informed about business priorities and strategy, provides executive communications support for leadership, and drives employee engagement.

She was also surprised at how tightly knit her team was and how closely everyone worked together. An example she shared was being able to lean on other teammates who were more experienced with using Photoshop for design and learn from that in the process. Through the summer, she shadowed team members working on customer stories, learned about podcast production, and how to host events. She learned each team member’s strengths and where to go for help with specific questions.

Charlie, above at Buckingham Palace, has already developed a passion for travel and took advantage of her study-abroad semester in Italy to tour Europe.

“In school with COVID, there wasn’t a lot of collaborative work, and these past three years in school [there] was a lot of independent work, [so I] loved working with this team that was creative, supportive, and warm.”

She considers learning how to communicate and work as a team to raise visibility for CX Americas for internal and external audiences to be the greatest takeaway from her internship experience.

After 12 weeks with CX Americas, Charlie’s decided that corporate communications is a path she wants to continue. “At school, I really found this interesting balance between tech and writing,” said Charlie. “This opportunity created a first stepping stone.”

While she was the only intern in her group, Charlie discovered she was one of 1,700 interns across Cisco this summer. She was immersed with an extensive network of interns via WebEx and attended group sessions with the cohort. It’s a program designed to nurture young talent, whether they come to Cisco or go elsewhere for their first job out of school. Cisco often hires interns at the end of summer, and those returning to school sometimes return for a second summer role.

When she returns to Syracuse University this fall, she will take on the role of Editor-in-chief of University Girl magazine, which will involve lots of writing and creativity – both things that Charlie loves.

“At the beginning of college my dream job was to work in publishing, but after this program I find myself leaning towards communications and technology,” said Charlie.

Charlie encourages those seeking internships to give all potential internship opportunities a chance – even those you might not be entirely sure about – since it isn’t possible to know all of what an internship will involve beforehand.

“There are opportunities to learn about yourself and the field you are stepping into, even if initially you initially wanted something different,” Charlie said, noting that location, remote or virtual, and other aspects of the role are not always the most important considerations.

Charlie’s advice for interns:

Consider all opportunities

Focus on the role over the location or work arrangement

Take a chance on something new




Dena Konkel

Strategic Communications Lead

CX Americas