This post was authored by Tanishq Maheshwari, a recent technical intern on our Service Provider TAC Team.
I started my six-month internship journey at Cisco in January 2023, joining the Service Provider TAC team. Having grown up in a quaint little town, the transition to the bustling city was nothing short of daunting. However, the welcoming atmosphere at Cisco, the unwavering support of my fellow interns, and the sheer ease with which I could approach anyone at the company, even the senior-level employees, were remarkable. It played a pivotal role in shaping my journey from a wide-eyed newcomer to a confident and capable member of the team.
Over the course of my internship, I expected to have a lot of career-focused learning, but Cisco’s culture made a lasting impact and empowered my growth in even more significant ways.
Two months into my internship, I had a conversation with a senior employee, expressing my concerns about my limited experience and feeling intimidated by the talented colleagues around me.
She shared her journey, including her mistakes and how she learned from them, emphasizing the importance of self-belief, embracing learning opportunities, and setting achievable goals. She reminded me that feeling overwhelmed is natural when starting something new, and many people go through it.
That heart-to-heart conversation was one of the most impactful moments for me, knowing that many, including her, also initially experienced overwhelm when starting their journeys. It reassured me that if she could overcome challenges and succeed, I could do the same. Her insights not only helped me overcome my fears but also instilled in me a growth mindset, enabling me to approach challenges with confidence and resilience.
Well-being goes hand in hand with personal and professional growth, and Cisco strongly emphasizes overall wellness, which I had the privilege of experiencing first-hand. For instance, we had a “Wellness Week” in February dedicated to wellness practices, where we could explore a diverse range of activities, including yoga and meditation sessions, health check-up camps, and even a marathon. I participated in the marathon — my second marathon ever — and, to my delight, won 3rd place in the race!
Additionally, June was an exciting time designated as Emerging Talent @Cisco Sports Month, where employees competed in various tournaments, from badminton to volleyball. I didn’t win anything this time, but it was a fun way to meet people and try something new.
By Building Personal Connections
Although my internship was in-person, I discovered many supportive communities through Webex groups. These groups cater to various interests such as running, book clubs, gaming clubs, and more. It was a wonderful way to connect with like-minded individuals and expand my network of friends and co-workers. There is even a general Webex group where people help each other with their queries, which helped me finally find good accommodations when mine initially fell through.
The Service Provider Bash event, hosted quarterly, where interns, technical leads, and managers come together for lunch and fun activities, was a great way to build camaraderie and help me feel at home with the interns on the larger team.
There was always a culture of teamwork and collaboration in my work environment. Whenever I encountered challenges understanding complex concepts, delivering project tasks, or navigating internal systems, the collaborative atmosphere at Cisco provided invaluable support. Colleagues and mentors were always there to offer guidance and feedback. Engaging in brainstorming sessions, sharing ideas, and receiving constructive input from them improved the quality of my work and deepened my understanding of my role and responsibilities.
Through Personal and Professional Development Opportunities
Emerging Talent @Cisco provides a mentorship program exclusively for interns, and through that, I was paired with an experienced employee. Throughout my internship, my ETC mentor guided me through workplace challenges, offering valuable advice passed down from their mentor, personal experience, industry insights, and constructive feedback that will help me navigate professional life now and in the future.
I also participated in the optional weekly and bi-weekly workshops focused on personal and professional growth. Expert speakers shared their knowledge and insights on subjects such as personal finance and personal branding, equipping me with practical skills that I will use daily.
As I reflect on my journey, I feel immense gratitude for all the growth I experienced during my time at Cisco and for the numerous development opportunities that were made available to me.
My Cisco internship enriched my skill set and provided me with a valuable network of connections and friendships that will endure long beyond this experience. I am excited to take the next step in my career as a full-time employee on Cisco’s Service Provider TAC team, carrying with me the valuable lessons and experiences gained during my internship. I’m excited to contribute to the organization’s goals and am confident this new chapter will bring even more growth and success!
Are you ready to grow with us? See how through opportunities with Emerging Talent!