My father gave me many gifts over the years, but one of the greatest was sharing his passion for sales. Many times you hear that children don’t wish to follow in their parent’s footsteps, but for me – it was something I knew would always happen as I discovered at the age of 16 that I was passionate about this industry too.

My studies took me to Business Administration, where I applied to become a Cisco sales intern. A few weeks later I received a letter in the mail that welcomed me to the program – ME! The girl who worked in cosmetics, and never would have believed that she’d have the chance to complete her first sales internship at the largest IT company in the world – was going to be an intern for Cisco!

My wildest dreams and expectations for this experience have been far surpassed. As soon as I arrived in the Montreal offices and joined Jean-Claude Ouellet’s team, I already felt at home. For many students, the first day of an internship at a company as impressive as Cisco can be very stressful, but behind this great company hide motivating and inspiring people that are always ready to help.

From mentors who provided incredible advice, and encouraged me to take full advantage of this unique experience to my managers who included me in every aspect of sales and provided me the opportunity to meet with Cisco partners and different customers throughout the Montreal territory – I felt like a welcomed, valued, and intricate part of the team. They also made sure I was never out of tasks to dedicate my time to or learn from, and always made themselves available to answer any questions I had.

I was also able to visit Cisco’s Headquarters in San Jose, California for one week that enabled us to discover this beautiful company further. Not surprisingly, Cisco has been named Employer of the Year multiple times as they care about the well-being of their employees! This experience showed me how incredible it is to find a company that truly puts its people first.


We also met with fellow Cisco employees from all around the world and got to know them better, as well as learn about the projects they were focusing on. These meet and greets even included Cisco executives that shared their career journeys and advice with us!

I loved interning with Cisco so much that I even came back for a second year!

During this year, I represented Canada by sharing my first Cisco experience with new trainees in San Jose – I had, after all, just been where they were sitting now! Getting the chance to express my excitement and pride for working with an amazing global, innovative, diverse company – was a moment that left such a mark on my young career. This week of integration with the new interns allowed me to discover a real family at Cisco as we all share the same pride and gratitude for loving where we work.

The biggest difference I have seen between my Cisco experience and friends’ internships is that you learn by actively practicing your skills here. You never feel like an intern, you really feel part of the team. I spent my summer being deeply engaged in several projects that allowed me to learn more about marketing, communications, and public relations.

My one piece of advice to be a successful summer intern at Cisco is this – it is very important not to be afraid to ask several questions (as many as you can think of!) and to be open to learn as much as possible, because it is the best way to become better at what you love doing. Networking is also very important because the relationships you build in these foundational days of your career – may come to mean so much more in your future.

If you’re thinking of becoming a Cisco intern – what are you waiting for? Go and apply! I sincerely believe that it is the best internship on the market for sales and technologies. In addition to being a rewarding, interesting growth opportunity – this internship will allow you to take your first steps into the big Cisco family.

Want to become a Cisco intern? Of course, you do! Apply now.




Marie Pier Rivard

Business Development Intern

Cisco Canada - Sales