The time between graduation and starting your career comes packed with a variety of emotions: excitement, nervousness, and fear of the unknown. For me, however, I felt at ease – because I had already completed an eight-month placement at Cisco Galway and was offered a chance to return as a Software Engineer once I graduated.
I began my Cisco career during my third year at NUI Galway in Ireland, where the college offers the chance to complete work experience as part of their Electronics and Computing Engineering degree. I learnt so much during my first eight months at Cisco and made so many friends – that when I was given the opportunity to return, I was delighted as I had fallen in love with working at Cisco.
Why do I love working at Cisco as a Software Engineer? Here are my Top 5 reasons:
1. Knowledge and Learning – When I first started my placement with Cisco, I went in expecting an experience like those you’d see in the movies – where the interns are assigned the role of “coffee fetcher”. My experience was the complete opposite. I learnt so much about my field of engineering and got the opportunity to do coding in a work environment for the first time and loved every second of it. I received real world work experience and was challenged at the same time. In my full-time role at Cisco, I now have even more responsibilities and opportunities to learn.
2. Atmosphere – Cisco promotes a friendly work environment and has a wonderful culture. I started working at Cisco full-time in September of 2020 and felt nothing but welcomed from day one. Despite everything being remote, I immediately felt like part of the team. Cisco cares about your well-being and ensures everyone feels included, even when we’re working from different locations across the globe and remotely.
3. Career Growth – Career growth is a huge focus at Cisco. The leaders here, from when I was on placement to now in my full-time role, always helped me to grow in all aspects of work, from coding abilities to public speaking. One example of this is how leaders ensure everyone is involved in our bi-weekly demos. It’s not only the most experienced people that demo the work being done by the team, but everyone gets a chance to practice talking and giving presentations in front of a big crowd of people. They are always there to help and provide guidance too. Further training, and the time needed to complete those trainings, are always allowed and they help set goals for you to aim towards that will help you to continue to grow.
4. Events – While I was on placement, I had the chance to take part in many company events. These events varied from painting classes to go-karting to the summer barbeque, and each one was more exciting than the next. When I returned to Cisco this year, I had expected this to change, with it being a difficult time where everything is now virtual, but Cisco has continued their events online and they are just as fun and engaging as ever. It’s clear that team building is a huge part of the Cisco experience. It’s all about inclusion and being a part of the Cisco family.
5. Giving Back – Cisco also hosts many events that give us the chance to give back to our local communities. On top of this they also provide employees with 40 hours each year to give back in ways they are most passionate – allowing us to give our time to a cause that matters to us.
I chose to return to Cisco because I believe it is the best place to start a career in a software engineering role. When this level of promotion towards career development and learning is combined with the friendly atmosphere that Cisco is known for, it creates the perfect opportunity to grow.
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