This post was authored by Abhinav Talesra, a recent software engineering intern in our Enterprise Networking Engineering Group.
“Welcome to CISCO!” a powerful yet soothing voice sparked the virtual meeting room with zest and zeal.
Numerous thoughts within me SHOUTED, “Yessssss! I have seized, grabbed, and conquered this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become a part of Cisco with the best and the brightest intellectuals from around the world.”
Hurray! I did it!!! Maybe as an intern for now, but I AM A CISCONIAN!!!
Let me take you to the day it started. It was a bright sunny day at 10 AM when I logged onto my laptop and clicked ‘join’ on the Webex meeting button. Little did I know how my internship would kick-start.
“Please turn on your videos,” another voice requested, followed by greetings and smiles to welcome us all.
Then icons popped up, filling with interns, as they turned on their videos … cells 1, 2, 3, 4, and so on, all across my lappie’s window. The Cisco virtual office room was live, lit, and filled with aspiring fellow intellectual interns whose enthusiasm sparked a sense of achievement in me.
The series of introductions began with passion and pride. And just like that, when the host asked me to introduce myself and my hobby or area of interest, a long pause followed. Adrenaline rushed through the capillary walls inside my system. My heart pounded at first and almost skipped a beat. I tried to hide in the 1-inch by 1-inch cell of my laptop window. I was extremely shy, completely nervous, but totally excited and fully exhilarated.
“And here we have Abhinav Talesra,” she said again. Another long pause and suddenly I realized I had forgotten to switch on the lights in my room. I was sitting in the dark with the doors and windows shut to avoid any noise and voices from outside.
I gathered courage, paused for a bit, switched on the lights, and started my introduction, “Hello, everyone. I am Abhinav Talesra from Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani – Hyderabad. I am a geek and a wordsmith who loves storytelling with a flair for fiction. So far, my first and only hobby has been LEGO, the small, interlocking blocks with figurines that kick in my creative juices with a whirlpool of imagination and art. All I can think to do with my first salary is buy that huge LEGO Death Star box, build the model in record-breaking time, and put the Story on my Instagram.” My intro followed with a sigh because I felt I could say what I wanted. All thanks to the host for making it so easy and effortless right from the start.
I loved every bit of the onboarding intro session, especially because the host and the others on the call were so humble, compassionate, and kind. The most interesting part came with a formal presentation on Cisco: the company, the culture, the people, the vision, the mission, the values, and how the products, solutions, and services are a part of our daily lives. I couldn’t have asked for more. With a workforce of more than 70,000 worldwide and industry-leading innovative solutions helping connect the unconnected, Cisco is powering an inclusive future for all.
From that moment on, this internship has been a fulfilling experience for me in every way. Each day has been enriching and amazing for me as a Cisconian. I am learning the nuances of software development and applying my programming skills to contribute to building a better tomorrow. My mentor and buddy have been so thoughtful and kind in providing a platform for me to learn, grow, and transform myself as a techie with learnings around theory and practice. And not just in the workday, but beyond, in terms of employee engagement. We have engaging Fun Friday events that help refresh, rejoice, and rejuvenate with games and enjoyment. I understand how Cisco makes Fortune’s World’s Best Workplace list year after year.
The culture of Cisco is truly remarkable, with an open policy where you have the option to choose and learn the skills that entice you. They partner in your progression from day one and nurture you to explore your skills and competence brilliantly. Meeting people from other departments on a regular basis, learning from videos and webinars, and interacting with peers and seniors around Cisco’s virtual office have been exemplary in every way. I have already started joining Employee Resource Organizations and can’t wait to participate in the community events. This internship has been a wonderful experience for me, both professionally and personally, and I can’t wait to unfold what lies beneath and see how my learning shapes up now that I am a Cisconian.
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