Recently after his experience as a Cisco Intern, Naman Bhatt shared with his LinkedIn audience what it was like to work for “one of the best companies in the world.” We loved his story so much we thought our readers on the Life at Cisco Blog would too!
Before my summer internship at Cisco, I had no clue what I wanted to do with my career. I went to the Engineering career fair at NC State University in my junior year where I met my internship program manager and was introduced to Cisco internship opportunities.
At first glance I was already excited as I read the description, “Now Hiring: World Changers!” I knew that I wanted to be a part of a company that made the Internet what it is today, and having an opportunity in front of me where I could contribute to the way the world works, lives, plays, and learns by connecting the unconnected was really thrilling.
After several video interviews, I was able to successfully land a Network Consulting Engineer internship at Cisco. Here are a few key take-aways I experienced in my time with Cisco:
- Cisco Values Its People: I knew I wanted to be involved with a company who had a great culture. Company culture attracts great talent which tends to create great success. This is one of the biggest reasons I find Cisco to be so successful as their “People Deal” defines the story of who Cisco is, what they do, and where they’re heading. From the internet of computers to the internet of people and now to the internet of everything, Cisco technologies change the world. But the edge doesn’t just come from technology, it comes from the people too!
- Giving Back is a Priority: I wanted to work at a place where people believe in giving back to the community, and I discovered that Cisco RTP employees volunteer on regular basis at the Durham Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. Volunteering with other employees, managers, and even the director himself helped me to feel that Cisco really put an emphasis on giving back and was somewhere I was proud to invest my time in.
- Interns are Encouraged to Lead: Even though I was only an Intern, I was given responsibilities that had a direct impact on Cisco’s customers and business. This may sound scary, but it’s actually really exciting! This is where the real life work experience comes from, and having the opportunity to work in a fast paced, high impact environment where I could directly contribute to the success of Cisco’s customers was something I am very thankful for.
- New and Prospective Ideas are Always Welcome: During my internship, I was expected to continue learning new technologies, while studying and passing Cisco certification exams. With enough resources provided, everyone is there to help you out, but it depends on you and how you utilize those resources to gain the full experience out of your internship.
- You Can and Will Learn from the Best: I worked closely with Cisco’s brightest engineers to provide high quality service to customers and to solve network problems that cross a broad range of technologies. While working with these engineers, I received in-depth training that built my technical and soft skills. I had the opportunity to participate in global leadership discussions with various executives across the business, and even had the opportunity to present an end of year project to Cisco leaders.
- These are Exciting Times: During my internship I was present for some of Cisco’s historic events such as the Cisco RTP 20 Years Celebration, the new CEO announcement, and Cisco Rocks where we celebrated John Chamber’s 20 years of leadership and welcomed our new CEO Chuck Robbins. The interns also got a chance to talk to both John and Chuck where they welcomed us, discussed the company’s vision & strategy, and answered all the questions we had. Interns having access to Executive Leadership isn’t something most companies offer, but then again Cisco is not most companies.
Looking back on my internship, I knew I wanted to work for Cisco, but I didn’t know why. Initially, I was scared because I was the only one in my team with no networking background. I would encourage young talent to apply for a job or internship that you might not have previously considered – take risks and try new things! The only way to grow and learn is to step outside of your comfort zone.