This post was written by Cisco Sales Intern Mabel Liang.

Give anyone in Gen Z some time and a computer, and we can “Google” our way to being experts in anything.  That is exactly what I did prior to my interviews for my current role as a Global Strategy, Planning, and Operations summer intern at Cisco.

Simply Googling “Cisco” or “Cisco Products” will yield Cisco’s extensive portfolio, many acquisitions, and large organization structure that can be overwhelming.  So, I took a different route and searched up key terms like “Cisco Intern” and “Cisco Life”, which led me to the @WeAreCisco social channels and the Life at Cisco blog!

Mabel sits proudly in front of screens displaying the Cisco logo.

I started with reading real employee stories on the Life at Cisco blog which introduced me to sound bytes of Cisco that detailed the company and its employees.  Life at Cisco is a good window for an outsider to peer in from to understand what Cisco does, how the work culture is, and all the amazing initiatives the company is a part of.

After the blog, the @WeAreCisco Instagram and Twitter channels followed suit, and I added all Cisco social media channels, as well as all Cisco ELT.  My new morning routine consisted of reading a few Life at Cisco blog posts and scanning for announcements from Gerri Elliott and Chuck Robbins!  These digestible amounts of information integrated into my day-to-day soon made me LOVE the company and ultimately prepared me for my interviews.

During my interviews, I was able to pull interesting stories from the blog to explain why I wanted to be part of Cisco.  I might not have been able to explain what the specific capabilities of the Catalyst 9000 are or the difference between LAN/WAN at that time (but ask me now!) – but I showcased my knowledge in the company’s global initiatives such as “Connected Conservation” and asked my interviewers how they spend their volunteer hours allotted by the company!

This knowledge not only introduced me to Cisco and allowed me to get to know what real life is like here, but also supplied me with great tools for my interviews – and, of course, land my internship here this summer!

Here are 5 blog posts that stood out to me most:

1. Got a Cisco Intern Interview? Here’s How to Nail It!

This one is a no brainer!  Giacomo gave me some words of wisdom prior to my interview like how not to be nervous – easier said than done?  What makes it possible is that Cisco wants to REAL, authentic you.  That helped to take the edge off my nerves!

2. Conservation at Cisco: Saving the Rhino

“The Bridge to Possible” is so much more than just a campaign – it’s something we really live every day at Cisco as we connect the unconnected.  I loved reading about Cisco’s conservation efforts in Africa and how Cayla is helping to save the rhinos with our technology.  And, to think – this is just one of the countless examples Cisco has of giving back to the world.

Mabel smiling as she assembles hygiene care packages for local food pantries.

3. Leaving the World a Better Place with Cisco’s Time2Give

At Cisco, employees receive five paid days off to volunteer at organizations of their choice.  And that’s on top of paid vacation days!  I loved reading about all the ways Cisco employees give back and the creative ways they’ve found to make our world a better place.  And, I even had a chance to give back this summer where we assembled hygiene care packages for local food pantries.

4. A Webex Wedding

We are a global company built on teamwork and through Cisco Collaboration tools like Webex we’re able to innovate no matter the time zone!  I loved reading blogs on how Cisconians use our technology not only throughout the work day, but also to stay connected for big moments like baby showers and even for a team mates wedding!

It gave me a great look at how powerful these tools are, and how a day-to-day usage of them might be. For me, one of my project managers, Beth, is based out of Raleigh, NC (RTP) and we sync up weekly. I also got a chance to work on a marketing project with other interns in RTP and Paris.

5. At Cisco, Opportunities are Everywhere!

At Cisco, the opportunity is out there — all you have to do is ask.  I saw this come to life when I started talking about my love for social media and Cisco.  This led to my teammate, Hannah, connecting me with Casie on the Talent Brand team, and that is exactly how I went from dreaming about writing a Cisco blog to writing the piece you’re reading right now!

A Webex screengrab of Mabel meeting virtually with Hannah Wilson and Casie Shimansky.

Learning never stops at Cisco; I still make sure to set aside time each week to catch up on Cisco news, learn about new products being rolled out, and engage through social media.  Who knows, maybe you will even see me on an @WeAreCisco feed one day!

It’s been really rewarding to see the Cisco life that I once read about come to life.  Cisco is an unprecedented company brimming with creativity and welcoming people.  As an intern, I’ve felt included and a part of the team since day one and my managers have ensured that I receive the entire experience and honed in on my interests and skills.

If you are thinking about applying to Cisco – I encourage you!  Go!  Go!  Go!

Want to be a Cisco Intern?  We’re hiring!  Apply now.