This post was authored by Engineering Intern Dhwan Wanjara.
As my summer internship at Cisco Allentown came to an end I was filled with gratitude for the incredible opportunity I received to be a Cisco intern. My time was full of action, a bit of learning, a bit of growth, hard work and a lot of fun! As it is often said, the most valuable asset of a company is its people and that is definitely the case at Cisco.
The people who I worked with were absolute gems and the environment I worked in was outright delightful. I fit in right away with my colleagues and the initial excitement of interning turned into a regular feeling of satisfaction. At Cisco, I felt at home.
There were two factors that played into this sense of comfort. The incredibly diverse group of people I worked with and the conscious effort applied by Cisco to ensure a welcoming and inclusive environment to all.
On my first day after a quick walk-through of the office, I made myself comfortable in my cubicle as one by one all my colleagues came and introduced themselves. The diversity in the office was astounding. I was able to meet people from all over the world. I met Alex, who grew up very close to the Allentown office, Vito, who moved to the United States from Italy when he was around my age and Suhas who grew up in Pune, India not too far from where I lived for 14 years before moving to the United States.
I felt the effort for inclusivity on a local level every day, but I was genuinely surprised when this was a key topic during our all employee monthly meeting, The Cisco Beat. It was obvious that the mental health and happiness of employees was important at Cisco as this particular event stressed inclusivity and compassion for all. I loved how openly Cisco embraced and encouraged the differences each employee brings to the table, and how our strengths are found in those differences.
My Cisco internship taught me a lot. I got to take on three very interesting projects as I helped automate lab and verification functions for the Optical Systems Integrated Circuit Design team. I also got to pick up two different programming languages, C# and Python, and gain knowledge on an industry-standard interface bus GPIB (General Purpose Interface Bus). Those were all great milestones for me, but – even more so – it is the soft skills that I picked up here that really excite me. At Cisco I was able to witness corporate – or more specifically – Cisco culture in action. Each day was fun, competitive, and I was able to develop my work ethic and teamwork skills. I also experienced user to developer communication in the process of making lab automating applications. It’s incredible to think that I’ve learned all these skills in just one summer’s time.
One key take-away that I had from this experience was that, as I progress and grow in my career, I want to always remain an intern at heart – once an intern, always an intern. My fellow interns and I demonstrated some amazing attributes over the course of our internship which inspired me to challenge myself as I continue my career. I want to be as excited and enthusiastic throughout my career as I have been throughout this summer. I want to continue to have the same willingness to learn and grow while always trying to bring a fresh perspective to the table and above all I always want to be grateful for the opportunities I have.
I am excited for all that I’ve learned at Cisco, and for the ways this company has encouraged and supported me to grow by providing a comfortable and inclusive environment. Here is to always keeping my “intern” fire lit – to always be excited for the journey and to never stop growing.
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