Coming Full Circle: Finishing up my Summer

I’ve ended my summer internship in a similar fashion to how I began: Rushing out of my room to the airport to begin my next adventure!

I successfully wrapped up my final week at Cisco! It’s been an incredible summer where I was able to develop professionally and personally as well, and I’m excited to say my internship has been extended into a remote position for the school year. During my final week, I finished up my current project in which I was creating a ‘playbook’ that outlined the offer creation process for newly hired product managers within Customer Experience.

It so happened to be that my manager was on PTO for my last week, so I navigated dealing with this lack management in a few ways. My manager and I defined what the expectations were, and I set goals. He connected me with another person on our team who would meet with me each day to discuss what I was working on and help me with my project. Since the ‘playbook’ was the only thing I had to finalize, I ended up having some free time during the work hours at my discretion. I’ve heard other students who have interned before comment that they had periods of inactivity, and this was the first time I faced this. For a few hours each day, I decided to take a course on SQL and Python. Although I’m not a computer programmer by any means, I had an interest in learning how to better utilize different programs in order to more effectively work cross functionally in my position, and this was the perfect way to do this. My advice to any student who feels bored in an internship is that you can always find something to do. Even if it’s not directly related to the company, learning a skill can help you be better for the company!

After finishing up on Friday, I packed my suitcases and flew back to Cleveland the next day. On Sunday, I packed some more of my bags and drove back down to Columbus for my Junior year. It’s been a whirl-wind, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

Thank you all for following my journey in California with Cisco Systems, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me. (esker.12@osu.edu)

Cheers,

Alli

Internship Experiences ft. Fellow Fisher Students

Hi Everybody! I’m super excited to bring you my next blog, in which I have 4 guest contributors who are Fisher students themselves. This blog features a diverse array of companies and industries, all in different cities, so keep reading to learn about their experiences. Hope you enjoy!

First, I’d like to introduce you to Zach Spangler, a third year studying Finance within Fisher. Most people know Zach by his sense of humor and willingness to help others, along with an energetic personality that brings everyone together. Zach took his talents to Spain this summer as a Corporate Finance and Investor Relations Summer Analyst.

Zach:

This summer, I had the incredible opportunity to intern with Carbures Europe in Madrid, Spain through Fisher’s Summer Global Internship Program. Being half-way around the world in a country where I did not speak the native language was quite daunting; however, I did not spend time dwelling on this thought. Instead, I found myself in the prime position to grow as a person, as well as a young professional, by learning from the highly successful corporate executives that I interacted with daily and by being challenged with intellectual work assignments that pushed beyond the academic classroom. Overall, this international internship exposed me to a new culture in which I was able to fully immerse myself in while gaining valuable work experience at a large European corporation.

The largest obstacle that I faced during my summer internship was not knowing the native Spanish language. Fortunately for me, everyone at the office had some level of English proficiency, but this was not sufficient in creating a warm and welcoming environment during my first week. Ultimately, this led to an opportune learning experience for me as I found myself in an unfamiliar situation. Stemming from this obstacle, my top takeaway from my internship was to continue to encourage myself to not change my personality nor work ethic due to challenges with communication amongst coworkers. Despite it being easy to quietly work on projects and keep to oneself, I learned in order to have a wholesome internship, I had to put myself in vulnerable situations by conversing and learning from coworkers from all levels of the company while continuing to display enthusiasm each day throughout the entirety of the internship.

 

Now, I’d like to introduce Aruni Prakash, who interned at PNC Financial Services this summer in Cincinnati as a Treasury Management Intern. Aruni studies finance and operations, and can be found on campus participating in the Honors Contract Program, OUAB, Net Impact, as well as consistently staying up to date on various public health policies.

Aruni (pictured middle), with some of her fellow co-interns.

 

Aruni:

Before my internship, I wish I knew: That I will have to adapt very quickly and learn new things constantly. I need to be willing to learn and face challenges constantly.

My favorite part about my internship was: How fun it was! PNC has an amazing company culture so I became close with a lot of different people and was able to volunteer, go to Reds games, and even play on the field of the Great American Ball Park!

My advice to fellow Fisher students trying to secure an internship is: Be yourself and find a company you actually want to work for. Cold email and talk to past interns to get a feel as to what kind of environment you want to work in. Company culture is everything!

My top takeaway from my internship is: Banking is EXTREMELY diverse. Always be alert and take advantage of every opportunity around you, and talk to everyone. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, no matter how “dumb” it might sound.

The most challenging part of my internship was: Learning about my line of business and banking as a whole. It is very convoluted, but that’s exactly why it’s interesting to intern in! Every day was different.

Next, is Frank He. Frank is an information systems major from Tiffin, OH (But originally from Kunming, China). Frank interned at EduSourced, a start-up in Columbus as a business development intern. Fun fact-Freshman year, Frank and I made it onto OSU’s official Snapchat story, with a video of us singing “Umbrella” by Rihanna under an umbrella on our way to class. We got thousands of views! 

My advice to Fisher students trying to secure an internship is: Networking is the most important thing when it comes to securing an internship. GPA only matters to a certain point, after that point, you have to network your way against everyone you are competing with. Especially for big firms, networking is essential to obtaining an internship.

The story behind me securing this internship is: Be involved with organizations on campus to build the network you need when you are looking for a job. I was looking for internships for the summer and then someone in the organization I am involved in on campus informed me about the internship and I applied for it. I got the job because the guy in my organization told me about it.

Last (But certainly not least) is Rooney Mantena. Rooney is a marketing and economics student in Fisher. You might find her on campus drinking coffee in Connecting Grounds, working on projects in Buckeye Undergraduate Consulting Club, or being a Columbus “Foodie” in her spare time. Rooney interned at the non-profit, Teach for America in Tulsa, Oklahoma this summer as an Operations Associate. 

Pictured above is Rooney (second to left) with her cointerns

Rooney:

My favorite part about my internship was: Definitely the team of people I was working with. Everyone at Teach for America was so kind and willing to go above and beyond to support the development of each other and our intern class. I have never been a part of a team that was as willing to do whatever it took to meet an end goal or was as open to two-way communication as I was this summer. I learned a lot about “managing up” and how to bring up my own ideas in a way that was productive rather than detrimental to my working relationship with my manager. I learned about when to push my own ideas and when to take critical feedback on them to make them better, and I ended up getting two of my own projects pushed through throughout the summer as a result which was awesome!

My advice to Fisher students trying to secure a summer internship is: Yes, platforms like Handshake and attending the career fair are definitely important to check out when trying to obtain an internship. However, especially when you’re an underclassmen (freshman or sophomore) trying to get that role, I would definitely recommend going above and beyond to try and network and reach out to companies on your own too. Ask your parents, friends, coworkers, professors, or mentors about opportunities you may be interested in because you never know what could turn up! Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to recruiters/people who work at those companies yourself. I got my internship by reaching out to the TFA recruiter on campus directly and setting up some time to grab coffee. Taking initiative in the recruiting process can go a long way, so don’t underestimate the importance of trying on your own.

A very special thanks to Zach, Aruni, Frank, and Rooney for contributing to this blog.

Hope you all enjoyed it!

Alli

 

Insight from Cisco’s CEO: Chuck Robbins

Chuck Robbins has served as Cisco’s CEO for 3 years. He’s gone from a humble upbringing on a farm in Georgia to Leading a fortune 500 tech company in Silicon Valley. It was an honor to hear him address us interns and to take some of his wisdom with me moving forward.Here are some of my thoughts from the event:

Background: This intern event was extremely hyped up! On Tuesday, hundreds of interns joined in Cisco Building 9 anxiously awaiting to meet Chuck in the flesh. We were met with a brief stint of disappointment when it was announced that he would not be joining us. This disappointment quickly dissipated as we were addressed by two other big names at Cisco instead, our Chief Information Officer Guillermo Diaz and Board of Director member and SVP Amy Chang. Guillermo reminded us to have fun and Amy was inspiring in talking about what it’s like being a women in an executive position. Also, during this event, we were informed that Chuck would in fact be meeting with us tomorrow morning instead.

The next morning, I headed to building J to finally meet the man himself! When he greeted the crowd my first impression was his calm demeanor and poise. He went on to show a lot of vulnerability when he revealed that the reason for him missing the original event was not in fact due to a customer emergency, which was assumed, but instead from dealing with some family matters. This theme of authenticity continued as he commented on how to treat coworkers, saying that they should be treated as friends.

Something strategic that he mentioned that has stuck with me is his comments on the hiring process. Chuck has a greater than 50% ratio of females as direct reports, meaning that those in the leadership positions at Cisco closest to CEO are women-and for a Fortune 500 tech company, this is essentially unheard of! He mentioned how when he looks to hire someone, he ensures an equal playing field, making sure the qualified candidates are approximately a 50/50 male to female ratio. He then mentioned how he always makes sure the interview process has equal representation for the interviewers themselves as well. This makes so much sense when a company is trying to diversify the people they hire.

I have a few Chuck quotes to share from him as well that hopefully will inspire you too!

“Be a leader before the org chart tells you you can be one”

“If you’re not excited for your job find something else”

“Always surround yourself with people who will make you better, don’t surround yourself with people who make you feel good”

“If you’re building networks to only use for what you get out of it, people are going to turn it off”

 

That’s all-hope you enjoyed!

Alli

My Weekend Trips in Cali (Part 1)

California is a huge state, so there’s so much to explore! If you consider yourself an outdoorsy person, there’s no lack of things to do in nature here. I’ve gone on a few weekend trips that I’d love to share. After a week in the office, I think getting outdoors is the best way to refuel and reenergize the mind and body. Hope you enjoy!

Big Basin Redwoods State Park + Castle Rock State Park

These state parks are about an hour south of San Jose, so it makes for the perfect day trip. The redwoods are a must see. Fun fact, the redwoods are the tallest trees in the world and can grow to be over 300 feet tall. With over 80 miles of trails, there’s no shortage of exploration. I got on the Sequoia trail, which was about 5 miles long, and took a slight detour to see a waterfall. I kept my eyes peeled for the infamous banana slug the entire time, but unfortunately did not successfully locate one. I did catch a few of the native stellar’s jays, which had a beautiful shimmering, almost holographic coloring.



Castle Rock State Park was my second destination on this trip. I found a great trail that climbed to sensational views of the basin below. I found a cliff to rest on at the top and to take all of the views in while in solitude.

Big Sur+Santa Cruz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big Sur is another natural area of California. One of my roommates and I made the two hour trip south, driving on Route 1 most of the time. From seeing people driving this route in movies, blasting music and appreciating the coastal views of this scenic drive felt surreal. It felt like I was in my own movie! We stopped several times to take in the views along the way, and eventually made it to McWay Falls, where we took in the beauty, and hiked around down to the bluffs near the shoreline. I’m a little bit of an adrenaline junky, so I had a blast free climbing different rock formations and getting close to the edge, watching the waves crash below me.

 

That night, we drove to Hollister, CA to spend the night in an AirBnB. Yes, contrary to popular beliefs, Hollister, CA is actually a place, not just a teen clothing store. It was surprisingly a small, quiet town, but our accommodation was outstanding. We stayed on a rescue farm in an ex-veterinarians office, where the exam rooms were converted to bedrooms (talk about an interesting place to stay the night). In the morning, the owner gave us a tour of the farm and their rescue animals, from horses to ostriches, they were so passionate about helping animals in need. If you’re ever in Hollister, or even California in general, I would highly recommend this experience! Check it out:

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/15785829

In the morning, we headed out to Santa Cruz, CA, where we spent time exploring the town. Two highlights were going to an ice cream shop that had roasted marshmallow topping for the ice cream, and going to the bookstore in the town, where I bought a book I’ve had on my reading list forever, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. So far, I’d highly recommend it.

 

 

And that’s a wrap! Notice how this is only part 1, well part 2 will be out soon, and may or may not include Lake Tahoe, Half Moon Bay, and Wine Country.

Cheers,

Alli

 

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