This post was written by Cisco Intern Michele Day before she completed her internship with us and returned back to school for the fall semester. 


Even before my very first day at Cisco, I knew this was the place for me. How? I was hooked on reading THIS Life at Cisco BLOG!

Throughout the recruiting process, I heard from a lot of companies, most of which seem to all say the same thing, “We have great culture and great people!” but, I needed to know if the culture and people were really as good as everyone said!

As I researched these companies further, I found the Life at Cisco Blog. I thought it captured the genuine stories of Cisco employees and their experiences working here. Some posts made me laugh. Some posts brought me to tears (in a good way). Every post drove me further and further into loving this company and the people behind it. In no time I was determined to land my summer internship at Cisco!

A collage of images from Michele's intern experience at Cisco.

Here are the 3 blog posts that spoke to me most, and what I learned:

1. How I Found My Cisco Family by Monica Castillo – This was the first blog post I ever read on Life at Cisco. Monica shares how she was orphaned as a teenager by her addict mother, and takes us to hearing the devastating news of her mother passing away, and how she came to find her family here at Cisco. Her story was one of heartache, but also of triumph. I clung to every word and felt inspired knowing that she had found a true family through work.

My Experience: I agree! I found a “family” at Cisco, as well. Over the course of my internship, my Office of Inclusion and Collaboration team has shown me an incredible amount of support and guidance. I even had the opportunity, as an intern, to attend Cisco Live in Las Vegas – which speaks volumes to the confidence and trust my team has in me. They’ve ensured that I have all the tools to succeed and flourish, and have been there every step of the way allowing me to learn and grow. To me, that is a family.

2. A “Blessing” Comes to Life Thanks to Cisco by Kali Pike – Something you hear a lot of is that giving back is in Cisco’s DNA. That’s not just marketing jargon, that’s truly what exists here at Cisco. The story by Kali was another that struck me to my core. Kali has been sponsoring a child in Kenya for almost a decade, and thanks to Cisco – she was actually able to travel there and meet this young girl for the first time!

My Experience: I got a taste of Cisco’s give-back vibes on my very first day here! This is where I found a local nonprofit onsite whose mission is to provide crayons to sick children in the hospital as a way to support imagination and creativity during such a rough moment in their lives. We sorted the crayons by color so they could be repackaged and sent to hospitals all over the country. My first day and Cisco was already providing opportunities to give back to our community – I can’t even imagine how awesome it feels to have FIVE days of giving back alongside these opportunities on campus!

3. Virtual Coffee through Cisco Tech by Mitja Rakar – One of the biggest concerns I had coming into Cisco was how I’d handle virtual meetings through technology. As someone who thrives on in-person communication, I was worried that virtual communication would diminish any chance of developing meaningful relationships. When I read Mitja’s blog, I learned a lot more about Cisco’s collaboration tools, such as WebEx, Jabber, and Spark, and how they help us to collaborate no matter where we are in the world! I have to admit, I thought this was really cool and it helped me with some of my initial apprehensions, but I still had to experience this for myself first!

My experience: On my second day on the job, I had my first WebEx call – and you know what? It actually felt like we were all in the same room together! I always thought technology hindered communication and relationships, but during my time here at Cisco, I found the exact opposite to be true and feel I see my co-workers’ authentic selves shine through WebEx consistently. From their home and decorations to their pets and even getting to meet their children – these are aspects of my co-workers I may never have known if it weren’t for our virtual meetings!  It also gives me an idea of what they are truly like and find most important.

Companies can always talk the talk, but Cisco truly walks the walk in everything they say and do. I could not be more grateful to work for this company and to be a part of the Cisco family.

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