It’s six in the morning, and the alarm is blaring – it can only mean one thing. It’s my first day at Cisco!

Waking up that morning, I really didn’t know what to expect from a company like Cisco. I was curious to know if it’d be everything I dreamed it would be, would I enjoy my time at Cisco?

Would I fit it? The answer so far has been, “Yes!”

Cisco truly lives up to being one of the best places to work – “be you, with us” isn’t just a saying here. They really live and breathe that mantra. And I as wrap up my first week at Cisco, this is what I’ve learned:

Be yourself.

Cliché, right? But, I’ve experienced this first hand, and I can already see how true this holds at Cisco. This isn’t the type of company where you hide those quirky qualities about yourself. Why would you? At Cisco your unique personality is celebrated, encouraged, and maybe even utilized! This experience is truly so much better once you share with others and I am happy I can work in a place where I don’t have to hide who I am.

Fun fact: You can be taken seriously as a professional while having fun. Cisco knows this all too well.

Be inquisitive and curious.

There’s a lot you may not know about Cisco, or maybe a perception you’ve already formed – but being inquisitive and curious can open so many doors here! Inquisition and curiosity shows a will to learn, and there may be no better quality to have while we’re all doing our best to innovate the future.

My time here at Cisco will unfortunately come to a quick end in August, but that doesn’t mean I can’t learn and take away a whole lot in that time! For me, being inquisitive and curious means being unafraid to explore the unknown and working non-stop to get those answers. So I encourage you to never stop being curious.

Ask questions and communicate!

Just when you think you’re out of questions, three more pop up – ask them! Questions range from, “Where is the cafeteria,” “What does CDA mean,” and, “Is there anything else I can do?” These questions, although helpful in many different ways, show a willingness to communicate.

It helps you make the most out of your experience and really get to know the company you’re working for. Additionally, it leads to opportunity – the opportunity to try something new! After all, isn’t that what this internship is all about? You’ll never know unless you ask –  so ask!

Make meaningful relationships.

There is more to an internship than just sitting at a computer all day cranking out work or using WebEx for meetings. In my experience, not only does Cisco encourage you to talk to people, they foster the environment to make it easy to do so. You sit in the same room with all your peers, and if they are not right next to you, I can ensure you they are no more than a minute walk away from your desk – or a quick WebEx or Jabber ping away!

One thing I quickly realized is that everyone is very willing to help you. So put yourself out there! Say good morning to that random guy in the elevator, talk to everyone (even if they aren’t in your respective department) and dare to make those meaningful relationships! You never know who you’ll meet!

This is so much more than just a job.

Cisco is a company that many people have come to know as the worldwide leader in IT and networking. It is truly humbling to work at a company with such credentials, but it is much more humbling to work at a company that cares. Cisco cares about the environment, their employees, the world around them, and even me. Yes, just me.

Cisco is the type of company that pays attention to all the details so even when you might not see a place for yourself, they are always one step ahead. Although some people may think that this would make you feel small – I feel a greater purpose thanks to Cisco.

I for one, am proud to be a part of Cisco and can’t wait to see where this internship will take me. No matter where you go in life, I hope you open yourself to new opportunities and take pride in where you work. And, most of all, I hope you get the chance to work at Cisco – a company that encourages all I’ve mentioned and so much more. 

Open yourself up to new opportunities NOW! Apply to Intern at Cisco!



Danielle Villar

Marketing and Communications Intern 2017

Country Digitization Acceleration