I heart Cisco sign outdoors at Cisco Spring FestAs a computer science student in my senior year at Ben-Gurion University, I felt ready to take on an internship in the tech industry and contribute to their code. I wanted to maximize all the learning opportunities just before graduating and plunging into the world as a professional software engineer.

I had long debated whether I wanted to gain experience within a startup or a large, established corporation. I even wrote about it briefly on my own personal LinkedIn. On the one hand, it was vital for me to join a company with a rich resume where I could learn from the greatest experts in the world. On the other hand, I wanted to jump into the deep end and develop something that thousands of users would enjoy as early as tomorrow.

So when I received a call from Cisco and heard about an opportunity to be a part of Cisco Defense Orchestrator (CDO)a cloud-based app that manages policies across Cisco firewalls and public cloud infrastructure, I was pleased because it combined everything I was looking for.

Finally, after a series of technical interviews and a home assignment, while I was on a ski vacation between the semesters, I received the following exciting email:

Internship at Cisco email screenshot

It definitely made the vacation sweeter. 🙂

After weeks of anticipation, I began my internship as a software engineer at Cisco Tel Aviv as part of Cisco Defense Orchestrator. I joined an international team based in Boston, London, and Tel Aviv, and it was my first exposure to real-world software engineering.

The six-month internship seemed to fly by as I learned and applied agile development practices. I delved into different programming languages, frameworks, and data management with the latest technologies, striving to gain a deep knowledge of everything I talked about and touched. I saw the importance of effective, consistent code structure and styles, and an impressive overall management structure that genuinely cares about each employee.

Tal standing against a wall with mountainous city seascape view behind him.

Personally, one of the best moments I like as a programmer is the feeling when you try to solve a problem for several hours and rack your brain. Suddenly in one cosmic moment, the penny drops, everything connects, and the code works smoothly. Even as interns, we were encouraged to take on as many tasks as possible, get our hands dirty, and be given the freedom to problem-solve.

An internship at Cisco is the best school you could ask for. I couldn’t have imagined learning as much as I did and getting to put so much of it into practice. Seeing excellent company culture motivates you to work hard, reach your full potential, and have fun along the way.

Beyond the excellent reputation that Cisco has—the culture, company events, delicious food, and awesome giveaways—I’m delighted to feel that I managed to contribute to our product, meet and learn from brilliant people, and be part of a team that you can consult with, grow with, laugh with, and basically feels like a group of good friends.

I hugely appreciated my manager, Tom Hollander, for constantly pushing me to delve into the aspects of being an awesome software engineer and leading the team to success in an inspiring manner.

And now that I’ve graduated, I’m privileged to be one of the pioneers of the team that is taking shape in Israel as a full-time, permanent employee, and I look forward to continuing my career journey at Cisco!

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Tal Hazi

Software Engineer

Cloud and Network Security (CNS)