From Intern to Full-Time Employee

With the internships coming to an end, the one thing that some of you may have on your mind is, “How am I going to wrap everything up and try and turn this internship into a full-time offer?”. While this can be an intense question to think about, there are some things that you can do to get a feel for the potential and make your interest known.

It’s not uncommon for companies to start having these conversations with their interns before they leave the company to go back to school. With that being said, it’s important to keep in touch with the people at the company instead of just waiting to hear from them. This will show them that you take the initiative and are interested in the company. It will also help you to be remembered and give you a better chance of being placed sooner rather than later. Going along with the keeping in touch, it’s important to continue that networking that you’ve hopefully been working on throughout the entire internships. The more positive connections and relationships that you build with both the people on your team and in other departments, will help you stay in touch with the business and could also help make you known. You never know what doors these connections could open for you now or down the road after you’ve already been working for a couple of years.

Make sure that you finish strong with the internship and don’t slack off even though the summer may be over, and you’re headed back to school and your friends. Keep in mind that you’re still very much expected to give the company your all and learn up to the moment that you walk out of that door on your last day. It’s the least that you can do for the opportunity that they have given you this summer. In addition to that, make sure that you are continually talking to your manager and set up a meeting with them to discuss all of the things that you did well and can improve on in the future. This will help you develop yourself further and make you more marketable as an employee, but it also shows your willingness to learn and better yourself.

Finally, make your intentions known. If you are wanting to move on into a special rotational program or certain role in the company, don’t be afraid to set up a meeting with someone who oversees that program or an HR person to discuss that. Make sure that you’re not coming off too aggressive with it, but just show an interest. Ask good questions that will provide you with helpful information about how that job or program works. Inquire about interviews or potential opening and understand that while they may not be looking for people at that moment, you are showing interest can help you get that job in the future or a role that is similar in the meantime.

All in all, there’s nothing wrong with making your goals clear to someone in the company. A lot of time people make the mistake of not discussing their desire to work at a company and so they miss out on an opportunity that could have been theirs if they just spoke up. If you feel uncomfortable about bringing these topics up, lighten up the mood by getting lunch or coffee with the person and make it less formal by making it more of a chat and not a meeting.

Good luck wrapping up your internships and make sure that you get the most out of these last couple weeks!

Cheers!

Hunter

Perks @ Work!

There are a plethora of “extras” I receive by interning with Cisco. Let’s talk about them!

The Goodies:

On my first day at orientation, all interns were gifted with an embroidered Cisco backpack. This backpack has been extremely useful this summer from carrying my laptop to going on hikes with it. We also received a speaker as well, which is great to have by the pool on weekends or in my room after work. I’ve already accumulated a few t shirts from participating in events, and look forward to adding more to my closet.

 

Team Meals: Usually a few times a week, I get free lunches or dinner. Sometimes it’s Chipotle catered in for the team for a training we’re having, or sometimes it’s a celebratory meal and drink at the local sports bar after my manager and coworkers have worked a long day. Whichever it is, it’s free, and I’ll certainly never turn that down! Pictured is during our first week, when my manager held a luncheon for the interns to get introduced to the rest of the Advanced Services team.

Intern Activities: Cisco has planned lots of events just for interns. From speaker series, to internal job fairs, to an intern outing at Dave and Buster’s, there’s no excuse to not feel completely at home in Cisco.

Snapchat Takeover: Speaking of Dave and Buster’s, I actually had the chance to take over Cisco’s Snapchat and record this outing. It was a great opportunity for me to use my passion for social media in a way that benefited Cisco as a whole. Plus, it was super fun! Stay up to date with interns this summer and add WeAreCisco on Snapchat by scanning the image below:

Getting Tired?: It’s ok, me too! Working can sometimes be exhausting, and that’s when I head to the first floor of my building to relax in the massage chairs. They are extremely comfy and make for the perfect brief “getaway” if I need a short rest.

Flexibility: Cisco prides itself on its work life balance and our technological capabilities to let anyone work from anywhere. This has been extremely convenient for me when I’ve had 7:00am conference calls, because I can just take it from my apartment. I’ve also taken advantage of this by working from Cisco’s Meraki Office (one of our subsidiaries) in San Francisco for the day to to be able to attend a conference in the city in the evening.

Perks at Work (literally): Cisco has a website with this exact name, that is solely dedicated to bringing deals and discounts to the employees. They have car rental discounts, hotel deals, and (my favorite) reduced price movie tickets. I’ve enjoyed watching the Star Wars movie “Solo”, Jurassic World, and Incredibles this summer.

Do you want to work at Cisco yet? Follow this link to see open positions:

https://jobs.cisco.com

Best,

Alli

Knocking that Final Presentation Out of the Park!

With most internships coming to an end in the next couple of weeks, it’s time to start thinking about final intern presentations. Most internships that you have will have some type of period where you are expected to present to the leadership team about everything that you accomplished during your internship. This can be an intimidating experience if it’s something that you haven’t done before, so I have some tips to help you get started and get through that presentation.

The first and best way for you to start thinking about your presentation is to create some type of storyboard. Reflect on your internship thus far and think about a couple different things: what the executives want to see, what were the accomplishments, what were the goals and challenges, and overall what is the layout going to look like. The way that I have done my layout is a simple intro slide with an agenda, I talk a little bit about myself including goals, I move onto the actual projects, then wrap up with key takeaways, a thank you and finally questions. Once you have the storyboard laid out and you make sure that it flows well, your presentation will be easy to build in PowerPoint.

While you start writing the actual content of your project, make sure that you are keeping it high level and staying out of the weeds. Your slides should be simple with keywords and simple statements. Avoid putting sentences and paragraphs of text on your slide. All your detail should come from what you say, and your slides should just be used as a basic summary of that. Make sure that you pay attention to grammar and avoid acronyms and cliché sayings that will detract from what the message if that you’re trying to convey.

Since your slides won’t be taken up entirely by words, don’t shy away from using images to emphasize your points. Utilize clip art, graphs, charts, tables, screenshots from your project, whatever you think will help you jazz up that presentation. Make sure that you keep in mind the colors that you choose you for your charts and graphs. It’s important that they go with your template and that the colors aren’t too harsh, but still differentiable from other colors in the charts. In addition to that, the pictures should be applicable and appropriate for your presentation and your audience.

Finally, let’s talk about the actual presentation. Once the PowerPoint is done, it’s important to prepare for how you’re going to present it. It’s important to practice multiple times and get down what you are going to say about each slide or project that you are talking about. In addition, make sure that you practice in front of people (ex: other interns, mentors, coworkers in your department) this way you will work on getting the eye contact down and will feel more comfortable with this information in front of people. They should also be able to give you some great feedback on things that you’re doing well and things you could improve upon. Practice truly does make perfect when it comes to these presentations. The more you present it, the more confident and comfortable you will be in front of the leadership team.

While presentations can be very stressful, keep in mind that these are still only a portion of your internship. It’s not the end all be all, but to combat some of those stressors and knock this PowerPoint out of the park, the points above that I made can really help you out if you work at them. With that, I leave you with a simple good luck and go bucks!

 

Cheers!

Hunter

Start Your Engines! Week One

My first week at Reynolds was a huge switch up from my college schedule. There were no more 3 hour gaps in-between daily activities. I was nervous to navigate a busy work schedule, especially in a field I’d never experienced before. This was the first time I was working from 8 until 5. It was also the start of my professional story. Butterflies were fully present in my stomach as I walked through the entrance way into Reynolds. Luckily, I was paired with two other interns who lived with me in a community near Reynolds. We carpooled and embraced the first day in unison.

The internship started with introductions and a brief overview of what we should expect over the summer. I wrote down a few goals in my notebook: 1. Learn the corporate culture. 2. Develop professional business acumen. 3. Remember that this experience is on-the-job interviewing. That’s a phrase I heard all week, “On-the-job interview.” I believe it’s incredibly important to remember this as an intern. You are representing your school and yourself in every conversation. This isn’t meant to scare you. Let this inspire you! And most importantly, don’t be afraid to step up in your role. It can be as simple as writing articles about your experience. On the flip side, you are also interviewing the company. Embrace your experience, but be realistic. Ask yourself, “Do I feel comfortable in this role?”, “Would I enjoy working with this group 5 days a week?” If you’re lucky enough to say yes to both, you may have a bright future ahead of you.

The best part about my first week was seeing the passion Reynolds has for interns. No matter their ranking, people stopped by and asked me my name. My cubicle was decorated with an Ohio State flag, personalized business cards, and my own Reynolds name tag. I was paired with a mentor in the Fixed Ops department and we started our relationship by having lunch together. The culture here is definitely work hard, play hard. Employees are constantly on the go, but know how to relax by joking around and possibly joining one of the many sports leagues or service excursions.

What I can do within 20 minutes of my apartment in San Jose

San Jose is the 10th  largest city in the United States by population, so there isn’t a lack of things to do here when I’m not working. In this blog I’m going to outline some of the fun things to do here.

Guadeloupe River Trail

This is a trail that runs all through San Jose. It’s right by my apartment, so I enjoy getting on the trail after work and taking a run with the river right next me.

Chill by the pool

The apartment Cisco set me up with has a pool, so when I need some relaxation I will head there to enjoy the sun and take a swim! The weather here is consistently hot -it hasn’t rained once-so anytime I want to go to the pool is a good time!

Tech Museum of Innovation

I had the chance to visit this museum with my roommates and had loads of fun! A highlight was putting on a brain wave scanner that gave me a report at the end-apparently my brain waves categorized me as:“nerdy inventor”.

Municipal Rose Garden

This was the most beautiful area of flowers I have ever seen. It just so happened to be that there was a wedding going on when I was there, so my roommates sat down and “crashed it.”

Mission Peak

Mission Peak is a must do in San Jose! It’s about a 2 hour hike up to the top, and the views did not disappoint.

For the foodies:

This blog wouldn’t be complete without an ode to the amazing food here! I’ve had a chance to eat some local fare, and have enjoyed every bite. I love the diversity of food here, from Japanese to Indian, there’s no shortage of really tasty meals! Pictured from top to bottom: Sajj (Mediterranean), Banana Leaf (Malaysian), Straits Café (Chinese) and In-N-Out Burger (American).

Hope you enjoyed this one, thanks for reading!

Alli