Co-authored by Mitch McCaffrey and Alisha Ghosh
Cisco interns aren’t your average interns – and that rings especially true in 2020. Every year, Cisco hosts interns from around the world. It works two-fold in that we all learn from each other, while the interns bring in a fresh new perspective. Interns not only work on projects and solve real business issues, but they also meet leaders, build relationships with colleagues, and, yes, play virtual Pictionary. Even as the world shifted in 2020, Cisco’s university teams came together to provide a unique – and entirely virtual – experience.
For the Customer Experience (CX) organization (where we work) we run a cross-functional internship program that strives to help interns build their professional network, learn to operate in a corporate world, and, ultimately, lay the foundation for a successful career. And that goal remained for 2020.
We both loved the people and culture so much during our internships that we came back full-time and have started our professional journeys at Cisco! Our CX Internship Program is one of the main ways we bring in early-in-career talent to the organization. As previous interns, it’s also part of our role to help our current interns develop into the best possible versions of themselves.
Meet a few of our interns with us this summer!
Name: Juliette Ulaga
Role: Business Analyst Intern, CX Solutions Marketing & Acceleration
School: University of California, Berkeley
Why did you choose to intern at Cisco? I am originally from France and have lived most of my life in Europe. When I came to the United States, I wanted to work for an international company that drives innovation in the technology industry – not just in the US, but across the globe. Cisco’s global impact is so large and there are so many opportunities within this organization to find your place and your people.
What has your internship experience been like so far? Cisco has provided me with the ability to push myself and discover new professional areas. As a result, I have been able to network with professionals from different organizations to learn more about what they do and discover new areas of interest. Although I was not recruited as a technical intern, I have been able to focus on technical projects & discover new passions. Cisco offers such a diverse breadth of professional opportunities that everyone can pursue their passion or find news ones.
Name: Azhia Harris
Role: Software Engineering Intern, CX Engineering & Product Incubation
School: Stanford University
What advice would you give to those looking to intern at Cisco in the future? Prospective interns should explore areas they might be passionate about, both in and outside of class. Doing this will help them learn what excites and interests them, which will guide them when they apply for an internship. And when the interview comes, showing passion and a desire to learn will reflect positively. It helps interviewers see your intellectual curiosity and can lead to placement in a team where you can explore and further your interests.
What Cisco “perks”, outside of the normal benefits and such, do you enjoy? Cisco’s commitment is to giving back to local communities and making a meaningful difference in the world. Cisco partners with non-profit organizations and gives employees 5 days of paid time off to volunteer and matches hours volunteered and donations. Last week I participated in an intern volunteer event, which Cisco also matched. In this time of social justice, it is important to me to work for a company that is committed to actively positively impacting its community and the world, and at Cisco I feel that is true.
Name: Drew Ritzel
Role: Business Analyst Intern, Cisco Managed Services
School: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Why come to, or stay at, Cisco? I believe you come to Cisco for the learning and advancement opportunities and you stay for the people and culture. Everyone that I have met is professional, hardworking, and genuinely invested in helping me. I love how Cisco’s people see individual differences as assets that can be leveraged to achieve better results. I enjoy the company of my co-workers, and I feel that I have been able to make real, meaningful connections with them.
What has been your favorite aspect of your Cisco internship? My favorite aspect of this internship has been getting to work with people from all over the globe. It amazes me that people working in the United States, Krakow, and Bangalore are all working toward one shared outcome. No matter what part of the world we are from, we are one team.
Our internship program embodies Cisco’s purpose to power an inclusive future for all, and we’re excited to continue to grow our early-in-career talent in the workplace.
What’s even more exciting is that, eventually, we’ll also transition the internship program over to our interns from this summer, all while developing them into future leaders at Cisco – coming full circle from where we started.
Ready to become a Cisco Intern? Apply now.
You are both AMAZING ???? Alisha and Mitch – Great job leading the way by example, as our summer intern program co-leads this year. Kudos also ?? for how you both innovated and worked cross-functionally to pivot the program to all virtual format whilst keeping all sessions engaging and are providing an impactful learning experience and exposure for the interns. We are lucky to have you both in Cisco CX Engineering & Product Incubation team.
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