When you’re an intern, you’re never quite sure where you’re going next. Yes, you have dreams and ambitions of where you career might take you, but life is full of unexpected twists and turns. So, you can imagine my surprise when I found out that I would be rejoining Cisco after my internship as a full time employee!

My education background was not even in Information Technology or Networking. Are you ready to hear what it was? I studied Golf Management for my Bachelor’s Degree! My postgraduate program was in Sociology and Psychology.

So how did I end up at Cisco?

The very first time I was introduced to Cisco was during the 2008 Beijing Olympics games, where I saw the logo on the television. It inspired me to want to work for a technology company to help change the world. Through my research I found that Cisco is the largest networking company in the world, with a focus on the Internet of Everything. I decided to apply for an internship at Cisco without hesitating.

I was worried that my academic background might not match up with the job description, but it did not hold me back. I decided that I would also try to connect with a friend of my college classmates who was also a Cisco employee, Stephanie Lai, to learn more about what it was like to work at Cisco, and maybe even ask them to be my mentor. Cisco was also Stephanie’s first job after graduation!

Based on her sharing, I obtained a general understanding of Cisco products and the responsibility of Cisco Supply Chain, the department in which Stephanie worked. When I asked why I should choose Cisco, she said the Cisco culture was definitely a top reason. She would continually devote herself to Cisco because there are plenty of learning opportunities here – even across different function teams!

Soon thereafter, I was recruited as an intern under Cisco’s Supply Chain Team and my three month internship journey began! It was the most meaningful and challenging internship I ever had, and only solidified how enamored I was with Cisco and what they brought to the world.

During the internship, my manager and mentor gave me solid support. They trusted me a lot and assigned me with some critical tasks. I was also very impressed with Cisco’s open and caring culture. 1:1 meetings with my manager and senior leadership were prioritized, and so long as they were available – they’d take the time to meet. I also was able to meet with colleagues from all over the world that provided me with valuable career advice while helping me to better understand Cisco.

Cisco also organized an intern case competition across APJC and EMEAR where we were required to form a group across regions. From here, we were responsible for communicating and cooperating through Telepresence or WebEx, which improved my teamwork skills and equipped me with international perspective! From that moment on, I became a loyal fan of Cisco collaboration products. It’s one thing to hear about how amazing Cisco tech is, it’s another all together to use it firsthand.

Due to my internship, I enhanced my self-awareness and professional skills. I could better understand my strengths and weaknesses, and I realized my interest in customer facing and multifunctional roles. I was hooked, and decided to apply for Cisco full-time job after graduation!

Are you looking to become a Cisco Intern and start your career? We’re hiring!

The Cisco Sales Associate Program (CSAP) stood out most to me. It perfectly matched with my preferences and interests. In order to be enrolled, I prepared comprehensively and consulted CSAP alumni for advice. After three rounds of competitive interviews, I was offered a role as an Associate Sales Representative (ASR) at Cisco!

I have been with Cisco as a full time employee for seven weeks now. I feel fulfilled and excited every day and am surrounded with amazing people and so much to learn from IT to growing my skills in selling. This is an excellent opportunity for me to grasp the whole picture of Cisco’s product portfolio and enhance the professional skills I started here as an intern.

I know challenges still wait for me in the future, but thanks to my persistence and Cisco’s dedication to my growth – I know I will go on to do great thing.  I am so proud that my career started here at Cisco, and that I am able to continue on that path.



Kelly Li

Associate Sales Representative

Cisco Sales Representative Program