This post was written by Cisco Sales Intern Andre Brandao.

In early 2016, my last day at Cisco was one of the most difficult and saddest days I could remember.  I thought a door was closing, and I was devastated that my dream seemed to have ended so soon – sometimes, life just doesn’t go according to plan.

That was when a friend shared a great quote with me, “An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward.  When life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means it is going to launch you into something great.”  My friend, and the quote, were right and I used this as inspiration to build my future and begin my incredible journey back to Cisco.

Andrew standing in a Cisco shirt with his wife, son, and two daughters at Purdue University.

So, I dusted myself off and joined a startup which helped expose me to senior managers from the top Telecom companies in my region.  Here, I built fantastic relationships with inspiring leaders which helped to catapult my ambition of studying abroad and pursuing an MBA in the United States.  I knew that to take my career to the next level, I would need to take risks and improve my skills.  With that knowledge and motivation, my family and I moved to Indiana USA for our next adventure so that I could complete my MBA at Purdue University.

From the very first day, I was determined to excel as a strong candidate for the very competitive MBA internship process at Cisco.  I started by searching for current interns and those that had already passed the program to see if this was really the direction I wanted my career to head in.  It was fantastic to talk with Cisco employees that were MBA interns a few years ago and now had amazing careers paths after the MBA.  Each new conversation I had came with positive feedback and excitement for a program that has a long-term view – I knew I was on the right path!

The day that I received my offer to enter the Cisco MBA internship program myself was one of the happiest days of my life – all the hard work was paying off, and my dreams were coming true!

I am so happy to be back at Cisco and to be working towards my next big career goal.  This summer, I am working as a Corporate Strategy intern in the Global Partner Organization.  It is a fantastic experience to help analyze data and provide insights about Cisco’s partner strategy, especially in terms of IoT (Internet of Things).  IoT is a fast-growing market and to be working for Cisco in this domain is a major opportunity where I can learn from people that are developing our future, while also using my knowledge to bring results to my team.

Throughout my entire internship I was not only challenged to continue my career growth, but I also learned so many valuable lessons along the way.  Here are just three valuable lessons I took with me:

1. Cisco is not only developing new technologies but is changing the way we live.  In the near future, billions of devices will be connected to the internet, helping to improve our lives – and Cisco is building this bridge to possible through our IoT technologies.  I am proud to have had my internship experience in this field and get to see first hand how we are improving connectivity across the globe.

2. Diversity drives superior results.  Working at Cisco means working in a multicultural environment.  It is fantastic to work with people from multiple cultures, backgrounds, and ages. It is unique when you can work in such blended teams and surprising to see the results that insights from different backgrounds can bring.  This is what makes us stronger, as we work towards our goals together.

3. Cisco is dynamic and full of opportunities.  The only certainty that you have at Cisco is that things are always changing, all the time.  Technology is changing rapidly, and to be on top Cisco moves fast. This dynamic environment brings multiple opportunities, and I am glad that my career at Cisco can go down many different paths.

Andre and his colleagues stand in front of a Cisco IoT presentation.

I like to think that I’ve been able to show how Cisco’s amazing technology is on a path for fast growth – just like my career is. 😊

All in all, that “last day” in 2016 made me a much stronger person, professional, and Cisco intern.  I am excited to take on new challenges in the future, and hopefully one day accept a full-time role at Cisco.

Want to join our incredible teams?  We’re hiring.  Apply now.