What’s an average day as a Cisco Intern? Well, there’s lots of adjectives you could use – exciting, rewarding, jam packed – take your pick! There’s not a moment that goes by where I’m not doing my best to enjoy this entire ride.

Here’s what my days tend to look like! 

7:00am: The alarm starts blaring. The joke is on the alarm though – I’m excited to start my day! After I get ready, I pack up my bag and take the 10 minute walk to Building I on Cisco’s campus. The weather is always nice here in San Jose, CA so walking to the office is a great way to start my day on the right foot.

8:30: I arrive to the office and go straight to my manager’s room. We touch base and talk about how I’m doing with my current projects, and we catch up with everything Cisco and Non-Cisco related. I’m grateful to have a manager who is very receptive to all of my inquiries, and invested in my personal development. He answers all of the questions I have and always reminds me to have fun!

9:00: By now I usually meet with the other intern I work with, Kahan, and we catch up on what we have planned for our work day and how our personal lives are going too. We love to recommend different music to each other, fun things to do in the area, and also engage in deeper dialogue about economic and political matters.

Speaking of fun things to do, I really enjoyed my visit to Alviso Marina County Park, which is only a few miles north of Cisco’s campus. It makes for a perfect spontaneous nature walk!

10:00: Now that I’ve been hashing through my own work for an hour, it’s time for a coffee break! My building has its own personal coffee machine, capable of making mochas, lattes, cappuccinos, or anything else you can imagine! I can always meet more employees at this hot spot to network too!

My personal favorite is the latte macchiato; it’s the perfect mid-morning pick me up to help me stay focused for a few more hours.

10:15: Back to my work! So what exactly is my work? From day one, my manager took time to ask me what I’d like to accomplish during my internship. I told him I wanted to work with data, work with people, and solve problems. He assigned me to take “full ownership” of the SKU mapping project.

On the first day, this was slightly intimidating, but I really felt as though my manager was showing his support of me and my ability to produce quality work. At a high level view, most of my work has been centered on optimizing and mapping older SKUs to the new platform in Cisco’s Business Critical Services. This requires me to do my own research of the SKUs life, and also reach out to other employees in Advanced Services for their assistance.

12:30: Every other Thursday this summer, Cisco holds a “Party on the Patio.” This is an afternoon event that brings employees from all across campus together for a festival. This Thursday’s theme was Carnival, and included games, food, and music. It was fun to get outside for a bit and hang out with some other interns! Mid-day recharge? Consider it done!

 1:30: Back to work! I usually touch base with my manager again, and keep chugging along with my tasks. In the afternoons, three interns on my floor and I like to meet up in our favorite room called “Tahiti”. We found this room a few weeks into our internship and have been obsessed ever since.

What’s to love about this room? It might be better to ask what we don’t love! It’s a corner room, so two of its sides are windows, allowing for a well-lit work space. The room also has no traditional desks, but has a large couch and several comfy chairs. It’s the best place to go to collaborate and maybe even take a quick power nap to help with those brainstorming sessions.

3:30: Snack time – innovation doesn’t exist without it! A perk at Cisco is the plethora of snacks in the office. We have two drawers filled with candy, granola bars, and trail mixes. When the afternoon slump hits, taking a walk over to the snack drawers is the best solution to get those ideas flowing!

5:00: It didn’t take long for some employees to take advantage of the fact that I’m a certified yoga instructor – and I don’t mind! Usually an employee or two will come seek me out towards the end of the day for a quick yoga session. Years of corporate work can take its toll on the body, so I spend a few minutes working with them, providing them movement and breathing exercises to help their minds and bodies.

5:30: It’s time to go home! If needed, I can access everything from my laptop at the apartment with a VPN – Cisco’s tech allows for the ultimate work/life balance, and I’m a fan of being able to quickly check in when I need to from anywhere in the world.

What is your day like at Cisco? Have any suggestions on fun places I need to check out? Leave them in the comments below!


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Alli Esker

Product Management Intern

Advanced Services