Vaibhavi playing table tennis and smiling. This post was authored by Vaibhavi Chauhan, a recent technical intern in Engineering. 

Being academically inclined during my school and college years, I had never explored extracurricular activities or sports at all. I thought joining Cisco and beginning my professional career would be no different, but luckily, I was proven wrong.

I joined Cisco as a spring intern in January of 2023. I was amazed to check out the Bangalore campus and its amenities like the gym, massage lounge, and box office. The different sports centers included badminton, basketball, cricket, table tennis, foosball, and many more.

Among all the sports, I noticed that there was always a rush at the table tennis zones. But as I had never played it before, I was too shy to even try it. Then, one day while returning from lunch with my fellow interns, we passed by the table tennis table and found it vacant. My friends urged me to play at least one match. So, I got to know the rules and finally agreed to try a game. To my surprise, I had so much fun that I continued to play the next game. I found it really exciting, and realized that the more I played, the more my reaction and response time improved.

That day was the first time I ever played table tennis. Now, it is almost my fifth month at Cisco, and I still play it every day! I never believed I could learn and love something so quickly. This experience made me realize that I can learn anything, and there are a lot of things that I have yet to explore. Just saying a single “yes!” to a game made me so happy, and since then, my answer to every new thing has been a “yes.” This habit has changed my “Lazy Saturdays” to “7 AM Badminton Days,” my “Sapped Thursdays” to “Boxing Days,” and thanks to the Cisco LifeConnections Fitness Center, every day is now a “Workout Day.”

The most positively surprising change is that not only my body but also my mind feels better than it ever has before. Trying new things keeps each and every day happening and exciting. I feel more focused and recharged to do my work and have an enhanced approach to problem-solving the tasks assigned to me. Now, it’s easier for me to communicate my career-related struggles and ask for personal and professional guidance.

On my team itself, I have bonded with many senior engineers through such events and games creating a better understanding of one another. Accepting invites to various events and competitions has helped me to connect with new, amazing people and to build a huge network within the Cisco community.

My goal now is to maximize the wonderful resources available at Cisco and keep saying “yes!” to whatever new opportunities show up. I’m super excited to see where this takes me as I continue this journey here and return as a full-time Cisco Employee in the Engineering business unit in August of 2023!

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Vaibhavi at the Bangalore Campus, smiling.