We all seek opportunities that fill us with enough excitement to carry us through our days. The highs are remarkable, ground-breaking highs – and even when there’s an off day (because we all have those) these opportunities are the kind that you know only come around once in a lifetime. The passion and enthusiasm for what you do, and what you’re a part of, always have you waking up eager to start the day.

That’s what being a Cisco Marketing Specialist Intern has been for me. Although I came from Virginia Tech and only knew a handful of people in the Raleigh/Durham area, I knew that Cisco was the right company for me.

So what has me waking up so excited every morning? For starters, in the first few weeks of my internship, I had already gained a plethora of real world experience and met lifelong friends. But it gets better from there, too!

Here are the 5 reasons that add a pep to my step each day at Cisco:

1.The People – The people at Cisco are one of a kind. Cisco hires diverse individuals who are hardworking, outgoing, positive, and responsible. I feel I can approach any co-worker with questions and they are more than willing to answer them and assist me. Additionally, I feel just reaching out to any employee will result in a meaningful relationship, which goes a long way. Everyone here truly has your back and wants to help you succeed!

2.Real World Projects – With any internship, it is crucial to work on projects that accurately represent what you can bring to a company as a full-time employee. Sometimes, interns are asked to complete tedious busy work, but at Cisco, that is not the case!

Each marketing intern is assigned a different team and works on various projects with team members throughout the 12 weeks. A major project I worked on was a customer audience journey for two new Cisco initiatives, Automation and 5G. These launches are the future of our society! It’s been impactful to work on a project of this scale, and has led to me become a better communicator, as well as learn how to work with various types of people around the world.

These skills are critical for the workforce and I feel I improved on my skills in this area in such a short amount of time. Also, with the majority of my team not being in the RTP office with me, I am given a lot of trust and autonomy to finish my work on time.

3.The Culture – Prior to my internship, I had heard about the amazing company culture Cisco has, but it has surpassed my expectations.

While working, it is vital to have a positive work/life balance and Cisco embodies this lifestyle. The main positive aspect I enjoy about Cisco’s culture is the flexibility it provides. With Cisco being a global technology company, everything needed for work can be accessed anytime and anywhere. Employees have the autonomy to work from anywhere they wish as well as attend other programs throughout the work day that interest them.

Additionally, the open desk work culture is phenomenal. There are three sections of the office here at the Raleigh campus: Collaboration, Homebase, and Focus. In the collaboration section, I am able to collaborate with my coworkers as well as speak with other coworkers on a daily basis. There are no assigned desks; however, this has provided me the opportunity to sit with different interns and employees daily and expand my network.

4.Free Food – This may sound silly, but the free food at Cisco is extremely motivating. Every Tuesday there is breakfast and every Thursday alternates a themed lunch or a “snack attack” which consists of a snack bar with a delicious snack. Not only are there meals, but there are plenty of snacks that are replenished throughout the week to keep us full and focused. Knowing I will not get hungry in the office is a daily motivator!

5.Constant Opportunities – As an intern, we are provided identical opportunities that full-time employee is offered, and I have fully taken advantage of all the opportunities Cisco has to offer.

Every week, I feel I have a new opportunity to participate in something that is unique to my internship. From an escape room experience with other marketing interns to professional development speaker calls, and the many give back activities for both our local and global communities – I’ve been excited to participate in everything that I possibly can.

I also traveled with my fellow Marketing interns to San Jose, California at the end of June to explore the global Cisco headquarters and adventure through the west coast! These opportunities are truly unique to Cisco!

This has been one of the best summers yet and I know I will continue to reflect on my experiences as I head into my last fall semester at Virginia Tech and use the skills I acquired at Cisco in my Marketing and Management classes. I am looking forward to (hopefully) continuing my career journey at Cisco after graduation too!

Want to become a Cisco Intern? You can! Apply now.


Dana Cohen

Marketing Specialist Intern - Service Provider

Marketing and Communications