This post was written by Chloe Josien, a Cisco Software Engineering Intern from the University of Utah.
From the Grace Hopper Conference (GHC) to virtual Cisco intern to going viral on TikTok during the #WeAreCisco TikTok pilot – I never saw this adventure coming!
In 2019, I decided I was finally going to go to the Grace Hopper Conference which is the largest conference for women in technology. I had wanted to go for the last two years but for one reason or another it just didn’t work out. But this time I was determined since it was going to be my last summer internship before graduation and I wanted an adventure.
And, oh boy, did I get my adventure!
I put my resume in to the GHC resume database and Cisco was the first company to reach out to me. I was so excited because it was my very first action on the database and after doing some research Cisco looked like a cool place to work! (#1 World’s Best Workplace? Yes, please!) So, I filled out the application, applied for the internship, filled out a questionnaire – and then: nothing.
It’s okay, I thought. Sometimes these things just take time.
So, I flew out to Orlando, Florida for GHC 2019 with the goal of embracing every moment and, of course, handing out my resume to some of the world’s top tech companies looking for the right opportunity. Oddly, I didn’t talk to a Cisco recruiter during the conference – I just stopped by to take a picture at their photo booth (who can pass up a great photo op, right?) and moved on.
I honestly thought Cisco just wasn’t interested in me.
After the conference, I had an offer extended to me from a different company, but I turned it down as I thought a company that I was more interested in might make me an offer. I wound up not getting that position, and my internship search started all over again just as school was picking back up.
Two days after finals ended, I received an email from Cisco asking if I might be interested in an interview. I was excited and super surprised because it had been a few months since I originally applied, but I went through the interview process and by the end of the week I was given an offer to be a Software Engineering intern for their Internet of Things team. Of course, I accepted! I was going to move from Salt Lake City, Utah to San Jose, California on my last summer internship adventure. It was everything I wanted.
Then 2020 and the year of unprecedented occurrences changed everything. Thankfully, it didn’t take away my internship as Cisco worked to transition our intern experience to an entirely virtual adventure.
It might not have been the journey I wanted, but I am so happy with how my experience went! Cisco really went above and beyond to ensure we interns felt looped in, a part of our teams and the overall Cisco culture, and there were plenty of opportunities to bond, network, and have a little fun.
Cisco is all about ‘work hard, play hard’ – and my team got straight to work. There were daily WebEx meetings that promoted consistent communication, and the ability to ask questions – honestly, it felt like a meeting you would have in person! I was constantly challenged and learned a list of new technologies during my internship too, while completing a project that I presented to all the other interns and leads in the IoT department. At Cisco, you’re encouraged to grow and supported every step of the way.
For fun, we met on Fridays where we participated in games and prizes, and even a photo contest with different themes like work from home, school pride, and Cisco pride. I was also invited to participate in the We Are Cisco Tik Tok pilot!
I didn’t even have a TikTok account prior to being invited to join, but as I thought about it I said, “Well, I’m down for trying something new and having a little fun on the internet.”
I can now confirm I have a TikTok addiction.
The weekly challenges were a lot of fun, and it was so great to see what the other participants created. Yes, Cisco employees are often tech geeks – but they are also creative and so funny! From showing how adults work hard to buy things of nostalgia from their childhood and sharing what I had learned as an intern (like how to use a Docker) to going viral with a collapsible cup I got from Cisco’s GHC 2019 booth – the TikTok pilot was a highlight of my summer!
I am so happy that the Cisco Intern experience was my last intern adventure before heading out in to the ‘real world’ – from Grace Hopper to TikTok’er I could not have asked for a better opportunity.
Ready to become a Cisco intern? Apply now.