Introduction+Internship Tips *Featuring The Office*

Hi everyone! My name is Alli Esker and I’m a rising junior studying finance with minors in economics and design thinking. This summer, I am interning in San Jose, California with Cisco Systems. I am so excited to use the MyFisherInternship Blog platform to share about my experience and help other students with the entire internship process.

I’ve been thinking about how exactly I want to use this blog. It’s about me, but I’m hoping it will ultimately serve the Fisher community as a whole as something useful. I think it’d be best to begin my first blog with an introduction about myself, give some recruiting advice, and talk about my personal recruiting experience in obtaining this internship. My goal is to share with you my thoughts as well as feelings in this blog.

About me: Background I was born in Columbus, but grew up in Medina, about halfway between Akron and Cleveland. Something I think is interesting about me is the closeness in age of all of my siblings. I have an older brother who’s 23, an older sister who’s 22, I’m 21, and my younger brother is 19. I was actually born the day after my sister’s first birthday!

On Campus: I have a few campus involvements that keep me busy when I’m not in the library studying. One of my main ones is in Undergraduate Business Women’s Association (UBWA). In this organization, I serve as the VP of Professional Development. I got introduced to UBWA my freshman year, and in it I found my passion for empowering women and helping provide equal opportunity to all. I also hold a position as a Peer Career Coach at the Office of Career Management. I have a passion for professional development and personal branding, and  in this position I get to help other students with resume critiques and LinkedIn reviews, among other things. I also am a recently certified yoga instructor. I’m excited to provide others with assistance on mindfulness, meditation, and movement through yoga.

In my spare time… I love to travel! This year so far, I’ve had the opportunity to travel domestically to Minneapolis, Chicago, and DC through conferences and case competitions. Internationally, I flew to Paris in May where I spent some time with friends who were studying abroad, before I headed to Portugal for my yoga teacher training. What I like about traveling is the experience of something new, and never quite knowing what to expect. My best example of this was when my flight from Faro to Lisbon was delayed. I missed my next flight to Newark. When I got off the plane at Lisbon, a worker handed me my hotel voucher and that was it. I magically had an extra night in Portugal! It wasn’t ideal because I’d be leaving for San Jose the next day. Long story short, I got to explore Lisbon and I made it home on the night of June 1st, unpacked my things from Europe, repacked my things for San Jose, and went back to the airport 10 hours later.

My personal internship recruiting process: I specifically had interests in technology and retail (I know-they’re completely different!) going into recruiting, so I applied to companies with either of those as their line of business. I began on FisherConnect, and submitted my resume to the companies I was interested in. I also went to the fall career fair to learn more about opportunities. This is where I spent 50% of my internship search efforts. The other 50% I spent researching companies, applying on websites like Indeed, and reaching out to people on LinkedIn. I was able to secure my internship with Cisco after an on campus recruiter for their Leaders In Finance and Technology program advised me to apply to other positions that would consider rising juniors. I applied for their product management internship online and had a few WebEx interviews within the next couple of weeks. Soon after, I received my offer for the advanced services product management position.

Getting an internship: Trying to obtain an internship can be one of the most stressful things a student can go through. I have a few fun tips for those with that as a goal.

  • Know yourself and know your brand. Sounds simple, right? Do you know your top strengths, personal mission statement, vision statement, passions, values etc? Basically, I think one of the most useful things you can do in trying to get an internship is to do some inward evaluation. What jobs have you had in the past? What did you enjoy or not enjoy about them? How did you add value in leadership roles you’ve had? Taking all of this information will be infinitely useful as you strategize for what companies and positions you want to target. 
  • Once you have a grasp on yourself, next is targeting. Do you love video streaming sites like Youtube? Are you applying to those company’s internships? Are you trying to chat with the recruiters and employees of these companies to learn more? Are you just “trying to get any internship” or “trying to get this internship? Authentic interest goes a long way. 
  • Be persistent and determined. You’re getting email after email of: “We regret to inform you that *insert company* has decided to move forward with other candidates” (It’s ok me too!) If it was your dream company, follow up and ask how you can be better for the next recruiting season. Either way, move forward and trust the process.
  • Stay organized. If you’re contacting employees or recruiters of a company, I think valuing their time is imperative. Being open and approachable with what companies you’re targeting will help with this. You don’t want to be that person that sends in the wrong cover letter for the wrong company.
  • Utilize your resources. The Office of Career Management is the best possible place for any and all of your professional endeavors. Go their to get your resume critiques (come visit me!) and QUIC certified. Make sure you know the answer to the, “What’s your greatest weakness?” question. Schedule an appointment for a LinkedIn walkthrough and review.
  • Have fun! It all can seem daunting, but try to find enjoyment through it all. Hate cold emailing? See if you can reframe your brain in a way that makes it more enjoyable. My favorite fact that helps me with interview nerves is this: There is no chemical difference in the body for nervousness and excitement. You’re not nervous, you’re excited! And remember, as Michael Scott-I mean-Wayne Gretzky says: 


Next Blog: As I get accustomed to my first weeks at Cisco, I hope to push out more content that will help you Fisher students regarding getting adjusted to a new city and beginning an internship. Stay tuned!




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