I think we can all agree (especially now) that change is inevitable, and often it comes as a surprise. Working at such a large company like Cisco, has taught me how to expect the unexpected and realize that no two individuals are alike and likewise, no two internship experiences are ever the same either.

Whether in our personal lives or our professional ones, we are constantly having to hurdle new obstacles that come our way. It’s in these moments, however, I’ve found I can expand my knowledge and experience as every interaction I have enables me to grow – both inside and outside of life at Cisco.

One piece of advice I have is to network – and find mentors who have traveled this path (or similar) before you. As a Cisco Marketing Intern in the Amplify Program, I was able to connect with Cisco Intern Alumni who shared their insights and experiences on what to expect when things don’t necessarily align to how you saw them working out – but perhaps that’s for the better.

Here is the advice Chloe, Jenine and Teddy shared.

Chloe sits at a computer.

Chloe Crago

Global Paid Media Marketing Specialist, Raleigh, North Carolina

Put your pride aside. Ask questions. You are not expected to know everything right off the bat. Everyone starts somewhere. 

When I started as a Cisco intern, I found myself navigating an intricate company structure and segmentation while also learning about being on the Global Paid Media team. Part of that transition meant indulging in a new-to-me field of marketing – one that was far more analytical than that I had been used to. Having been very creative focused and artistically innovative in a previous internship, this new role pushed me out of my comfort zone and beyond anything I had worked with before.

It taught me a lot about a new area I hadn’t previously explored, but it also required me to ask a lot of questions (once I, of course, put my pride aside). I had to learn that it was okay not to know everything and to not be entirely certain you know what you are doing. Everyone starts somewhere, and everyone has been at the beginning of a journey. Once I navigated this mental hurdle, my internship was an upward slope.

At the conclusion of my time as an intern, I had successfully evaluated top performing ad copies in order to create an ad copy library, map out a Search Engine Marketing Activation Process from beginning to activation, and work across a large scope of global media projects within my team.

Now, I have the foundation to ask these questions, connect the dots, and seek out guidance – because wherever you turn at Cisco there is someone willing to offer it.

Jennie sits at a computer.

Jenine Black

Enterprise Networking and Cloud GTM Events Marketing Specialist, Raleigh, North Carolina

Look at changes as opportunities to learn. You can view an unexpected change as something negative, or you can see it as an opportunity for growth. 

Last summer, I interned with the Global Industries Team in a cross-industry group that worked with the many different areas Cisco serves, such as healthcare, education, manufacturing, etc. Through this role, I analyzed fiscal year data to give industry-specific recommendations, generated SEO keywords for industry webpages, and updated presentations. When I accepted my full-time offer, I assumed that I would be returning to the same team and was looking forward to being in a familiar role where I didn’t have to re-learn everything.

Instead, I was surprised to learn that my placement would be on the Enterprise Networking and Cloud Go-to-Market Programs and Awareness team. The news that I would have a new manager, new team members, and new responsibilities made me very nervous, but I went into my first day with an open mind, determined to make the best out of having a different experience.

Now that I am a few months into the role, I’m glad that I didn’t let this change throw me off course. I see it now as an opportunity to become a more well-rounded marketer, and I am taking advantage of every opportunity to develop my skills in areas that I am unfamiliar with.

Teddy sits at a computer with a Cisco coffee mug next to her.

Teddy Wiersma

EMEAR Brand Manager, Amsterdam, the Netherlands   

Try to be flexible and stay open for new experiences. Nothing is set in stone. In a big global organization, there is always change. 

Like Jenine, I interned on one team (the Dutch marketing team), and when I accepted my full-time offer, I was surprised to find that I would be on another team, focusing on a completely different role. When I read my new role description, I was excited, the role sounded amazing! Still, I was nervous to start this new role and join a new team. Based on my internship experience, however, I knew how open the Cisco culture is and that the people around you want you to succeed.

When I started, I was welcomed with open arms to the team. My manager included me in projects from the beginning, and I am learning a lot. I also quickly learned about the unique support the Amplify Program offers. Everyone that joins the Amplify Program has access to trainings, not only about Cisco as an organization, but also those specific to marketing. Based on your role, you can shape your training program to gain the best knowledge for your job.

So, you see, change is never easy. It often shows up completely unexpected. But what I’ve learned through these intern alumni stories and my time at Cisco, is that change can (often) be for the better.

Here’s to all the change ahead of us this year, may it help us experience more, grow in ways we never imagined, and take our careers on journeys waiting to be uncovered.


Ready to join our teams? Check out our careers now.

Subscribe to the We Are Cisco Blog


Chloe Crago

Marketing Specialist

Global Marketing and Branding