Blog post written by Cisco intern Riley Nickels.

Even during the last week of my internship, the idea of being at Cisco still excites me! Sure, I’m well settled into my daily role and the company’s culture – with the offices now feeling like a second home. So why the continued excitement – even as we pack up our bags and say our goodbyes for the summer?

Well to put it simply, Cisco is the greatest company in the world. It is consistently listed as one of the best companies to work for and will continue to be for years to come.

If you’re someone that’s anxious about getting a great internship, I completely understand – I was in your shoes not too long ago. You want to gain experience and learn as much as possible about the industry and full-time positions, but you’re not sure what will happen. We’ve all heard the rumors about disappointing internships. Well, worry no more!

Below are my top reasons for doing your internship with Cisco:

1.Meaningful Work – The experience you will gain during an internship at Cisco is tough to beat. As an intern, you will never feel like the guy (or gal) that’s only there to grab coffee. Cisco gives their interns important projects and responsibilities that make a large impact on the company and its customers right off the bat.

This allows you to gain a ton of useful, real work experience at a high pace. Even though this might sound scary, everyone is extremely supportive of the interns, and it’s awesome to be able to watch your work directly contribute to Cisco’s success.

2.Philanthropy – I wanted to work at a place where people believe strongly in giving back to the community, and I discovered that Cisco employees volunteer on a regular basis. Volunteering with other employees has helped bring us closer together and really allowed me to see that Cisco puts a large emphasis on giving back.

It makes me extremely proud to be a part of Cisco, and makes me feel great about investing my time into the company. Cisco even gives employees five days off to volunteer at any organization of their choice every year outside of their regularly given paid time off!

3.Constant Learning – You will never stop learning at Cisco. From how to improve your personal brand to increasing your technical knowledge of the company’s products, you will constantly be exposed to different people, different divisions, and different technologies. You’ll learn what a product manager does versus a sales engineer versus someone in marketing. Cisco will give you the opportunity to sharpen your skills and learn completely new things.

Although the amount of new information can be intimidating at first, everyone is extremely understanding and willing to take time to better explain anything you’re having trouble with. There is never a “stupid question” at Cisco.

4.Growth – The things you will learn throughout the internship will be extremely beneficial for your career and your personal development as a whole. Plus, you’ll have mentors that will help you navigate through everything.

When you’re just starting out, feedback can be hard. But at Cisco, you’ll learn how to accept it and grow. You’ll see how important it is to implement the advice you’re given, and how you’ll become a better worker and person because of it. The people at Cisco want to see you grow and succeed, and will do everything in their power to make that happen.

5.Networking – Networking is one of the most important parts of almost any career these days, especially for those first starting out. At Cisco, there is no shortage of networking opportunities. Due to Cisco’s open door culture, interns find themselves constantly mingling with different managers, directors, and occasionally even high-level executives of the company. And there’s no need to be nervous about this – everyone I have ever met from Cisco has welcomed me with open arms, given invaluable advice, and treated me as an equal.

My advice would be to seek out as many people from as many areas of Cisco as possible and talk to them about what they do and, most importantly, make yourself known! The more connections you make the better, and you never know who could help you down the road.

6.It’s Paid! – Don’t take this as me saying that you should turn down a potentially good internship just because it isn’t paid – you can’t put a price on experience – but being paid while being here is a huge plus. Cisco is very generous to interns and it’s a brilliant strategy. You can tell Cisco does not see an intern’s salary as a cost but rather as an investment in the company’s future.

The main purpose of an internship program is to attract new talent for the company, and that process involves Cisco trying to make a good impression on you just as much as you’re working toward giving the company a good impression of yourself. Being paid while interning here with access to many of the employee perks really does demonstrate how much Cisco looks after all of their employees.

They make sure to be the WE in WeAreCisco. 🙂

My Cisco internship has been one of the best experiences of my life – every day is different and exciting here. I was motivated and inspired to work hard, reach my full potential, and have fun along the way.

I love working here so much that it feels more like a passion than a job and I truly hope that, if you do end up interning at Cisco, you have the same feelings and experience as I have.

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