Cisco’s Intern Events

One of the perks of being an intern includes company provided events. Cisco has not disappointed me with their fun incentives. On our last day of training, we were rewarded with two hours of laser tag at Hard Knocks and concluded with dinner. Interns and those in the finance rotational program were invited as a way to form friendships outside the office and take a load off the office pressures. I did not get home that night until almost ten, but it was worth it because I got to know the people I worked with while doing something fun.

A week after, all finance employees were able to attend a Durham Bull’s baseball game. The game was at one in the afternoon on a Wednesday, so we all left after lunch to head to the game. After about an hour of watching the baseball, we moved to seek shade, because the sun was bearing down on us in ninety degree heat. I ended up talking to the first year employees and managers in the finance rotational program. After another hour we all went home; I was quite relieved to get home early compared to when I work in the office.

Last week we had two events back to back. One afternoon we had a bowling event after lunch that included finance interns, employees in the finance rotational program, and our managers. This event included arcade games, bowling, food and raffles. Sadly I did not win any prizes, but I did get to network with managers of the rotational program that I could potentially work for full time. This event allowed me to be on a team with a VP of Finance, who is the finance leader at the RTP location. I emailed him a few days after the event, saying it was nice to meet him and that I would like to hear more about his position in Treasury. We have a meeting this week to talk more!

The next morning we had a volunteer event at a day care and spent time with special needs and typical peer children. After playing with the kids for a few hours, the interns and some of the people in the finance rotational program went to lunch at a local Mexican restaurant. Then we headed back to work. That afternoon I attended another event in a large conference room with games, snacks and drinks, which included all of the finance department employees. I ended up winning a gift card for having the fastest time in one of the games.

Throughout the internship there are a lot of Speaker Series, along with Lunch and Learns. Some weeks there are as many as three events showcasing important speakers. Being in a technology company, many of these meetings are over WebEx, Cisco’s telepresence platform that is similar to Skype. These talks are usually with Vice Presidents, but sometimes they can be with people higher up. Last week, finance interns in my location had a meeting over WebEx with the CFO, Kelly Kramer. This week Chuck Robbins, the CEO, will speak to all interns and answer questions. These sessions are a great way to learn more about the company leaders and form connections with executives.

Cisco is open to suggestions, as well. I pitched an event to my program manager, and will soon be putting on an event of my own in three weeks!

Introduction to Cara Armstrong

Hello! My name is Cara Armstrong and I am excited to share my internship experience with you over the course of this summer. I recently finished my third year at Ohio State, majoring in Business Administration with a specialization in Finance and a minor in Leadership Studies. This summer I am interning at Cisco Systems in Research Triangle Park, which is located in North Carolina between Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill.  Along with two other interns, I am living in a house in Durham, near Duke University. Thankfully, my internship did not start until June 12, so I was able to relax for a few weeks of the summer. I am excited to dive into my internship, but first I will tell you a little about myself and how I secured my internship.

Beginning my freshman year at Ohio State, I was unsure of what I wanted to pursue within the finance field. I got involved in the Undergraduate Finance Association and went to their weekly meetings to learn more about different careers and companies within finance. These meetings helped me weed out jobs that I knew were not right for me, like investment banking and financial advising.  My sophomore year led me to a new job at Fisher College of Business in the Undergraduate Leadership and Engagement Office. I completed administrative work supporting different co-curricular programs, such as student organizations. Over the year, I networked with different companies, joined new organizations and decided that I was going to travel abroad to Europe for the summer. Deciding not to have an internship between my sophomore and junior year worried me because I did not wish to hinder my future chances at gaining an internship or job. In hindsight, traveling abroad did not hinder my career outlook, but rather broadened it. Interviewers and employers love that I had overseas experience and gained valuable skills that could seldom be taught through school or work. Over the course of the summer I traveled to New York City, went on the Sustainable Business Global Lab in Copenhagen and Rotterdam, spent time in Amsterdam with new friends, lived in Germany with extended family, traveled to the Alps, went to a Euro Cup soccer game in France, visited Rome and Barcelona, along with the Spanish islands of Ibiza and Formentera. The new experiences were invigorating and allowed me to become more independent and adaptable.

 

When I got home, I started my junior year and began my search for an internship for the following summer. During this time I became the Vice President of Operations for the Undergraduate Finance Association, switched my minor to Leadership Studies, and started in the Business Analytics Industry Cluster.  My responsibilities at work increased as I became Peer Impact Consultant, where I help students get involved in co-curricular activities to assist them in finding a career path and developing outside of the classroom. I applied to many different internships, but one company caught my interest. I had seen Cisco Systems on campus the previous year, and they came to the Finance Career fair where I was able to speak one on one with someone in the rotational program. Knowing the opportunities I would have at a giant technology company like Cisco, this company quickly became the place I wanted to work. I learned everything I could about the company and the rotational program. Going into the first interview I felt prepared and confident in my interest in the company. After the interview I emailed my interviewer, thanking him for his time. I also emailed the person I met the Finance Career Fair, telling her how my interview went. After about a week I received an email asking for a second round interview. I was ecstatic that my personality and passion for the company had paid off. Thankfully, I got an email a few days later congratulating me on getting the internship; I couldn’t have been happier! The next 8-9 months following were difficult because I desperately wanted this new phase of my life to begin. Rather than being nervous for my new internship, I welcomed my new work with open arms!

 

 

What Happens After the Fisher Fall Career Fair?

Congratulations on conquering the Career Fair! You have tackled the big day, but your road to finding a summer internship isn’t quite over yet.  Career Fair Pro, Jacqueline, provides advice on the next steps you should take following the Career Fair.

So the career fair is over and you’ve conquered the big day – what now?

Don’t forget to actually apply for different internships of companies you visited! Many companies will have given you handouts with the link to apply, or portals to apply can easily be found online or on the company website.

If you collected business cards or names of recruiters that you talked to at the career fair, be sure to send them individual, personalized emails – thanking them for their time, reflecting back to something you talked about, and reiterating your interests in the company. If you genuinely connected with a recruiter from a company you are interested in, ask if you can schedule some time on their calendar for a phone call to talk more about your interests in the company.

Prepare for interviews that might come your way! Glassdoor is a fantastic resource to read about others’ experience in interviewing with the same company. Valuable information can also be found on the company website, as they often map out what the recruiting process looks like as well as timelines in case you forgot to ask the recruiters at the career fair.

Start a spreadsheet to document your communication and applications with companies! Make note of the names of the people you spoke to at each company and throughout the recruiting process if you progress further. Keep note of your account and user names used for applications with each company.

Attend any follow-up events that you can! Companies will often collect your contact information when you speak with them at the career fair and host different recruiting or networking workshops, dinners, and other sorts of events on campus after the career fair for students interested in the company. Sometimes invitations or notifications of these emails go to spam or clutter, so be sure to check all email folders in the weeks following the career fair, and capitalize on any opportunity to network with companies that you are interested in!

But what if nothing comes of this career fair?

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get an internship directly out of the career fair! Every career fair can be used as a stepping stone, and there are countless ways to find internships that aren’t directly through the career fair.

Apply to companies that don’t recruit from Ohio State or post to Fisher Connect that you might be interested in! An incredible amount of companies recruit from Ohio State, but there are countless others that don’t come to the career fair! You can browse different companies’ websites to find information about how to apply for their internships.

Companies host events throughout the year that serve as ways for you to learn more about their company as well as opportunities for them to observe the way you work. Be sure to check Fisher Connect for such opportunities, as well as postings throughout Fisher, and emails from any Fisher-related organization.

Remember – there is always the spring career fair! Internships can be found at both the fall and the spring career fairs.

Best of luck!

The Career Fair has Finally Arrived!

The day is finally here, The Fisher Fall Career Fair!  As you get ready today, keep this advice from Career Fair Pro, Hannah, in mind!

After all the research and preparation, we are finally ready to embark on the glorious endeavor of employment. With that said, there are five things that you should prepare for and expect while at the Career Fair.

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  1. Professional Dress: Before you get to the career fair, ensure you’re wearing business professional from head to toe. For men, this includes dress shoes and socks as well as well-groomed hair and facial hair. For women, this includes comfortable closed toed professional shoes as well as groomed hair and nails. Be sure to invest in a black padfolio folder to carry your resumes and notebook for note taking. During my first career fair, I brought my resumes in a purple folder. Needless to say, I received many funny and discouraging looks.Blog Picture 2Blog Picture 3Blog Picture 4
  2. The Long Trek from Fisher to the Union: Before you can even approach a company booth, you need to make sure you are reflecting the best version of yourself. During the mile long trek from Fisher to the Union, there is plenty of time for your hair to fall out of place, your black suit to attract pollen, and for dreaded Buckeye back-sweat to appear. This year at the career fair, there will be a booth of “Career Fair Pros” on the Second Floor outside of the Ballroom. They are seniors who have been there and done that. They will be fully stocked with elevator pitch expertise, a mirror, lint rollers, and even breath mints. Make sure to swing by before you go to meet your destiny.
  3. People Everywhere: Nearly 2,000+ Buckeyes attend this Career Fair. This means that a lot is going on, as well as a lot of competition. Remember to use the OSU Career Fair Plus app to not get lost in the crowd. Even though many of your friends may also be there, make sure you aren’t approaching a booth in a group. It can be very overwhelming for a recruiter. Besides, the company is looking to hire you, not you and all of your friends. Lastly, the best way to stand out in a crowd is to wear your best smile!Blog Picture 5
  4. Waiting in Long Lines: Waiting in line is the best time to collect your bearings. Lines can last anywhere from 5 minutes to over a half an hour. While waiting in line, I recommend going over your elevator speech in your head to target it more to the company you are in line for. In addition, feel free to spark up conversation with people around you. As much as the line is a process to get to recruiters, it is also a social test to see how well you get along with others. Finally, be sure to listen into other student’s conversations with recruiters as you approach the end of the line. You may be able to catch some juicy insight that might better help your conversation.
  5. Introducing Yourself: The moment is finally here. You approach the recruiter, introduce yourself, deliver your elevator speech, and hit a home run! You soon realize that you forgot the recruiter’s name. I’ve unfortunately been in this situation multiple times before. I’m convinced my brain isn’t wired to remember names, and I have a feeling some of you are in the same boat. My advice would be to ask for a business card while you are delivering your resume. If they do not have a business card then that is when your handy dandy notebook in your padfolio comes to your aid! After leaving the booth, take some time to write down a few notes about your conversation on the back of the business card or in the notebook. This will help immensely when you go to write follow up emails.

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Get Organized for the Career Fair this LDW

There’s a 3 day weekend on the horizon … which means plenty of time to prepare for the Career Fair on Wednesday, September 7th!  Career Fair Pro, Hallie, offers more tips on ensuring a successful Career Fair.

And so it begins… CAREER FAIR PREP SEASON! With the career fair less than a week away (Wednesday September 7th), it’s time to finally sit down and figure out how you’re going to land your dream job. Here are some quick tips for adding those finishing touches to your resume and your elevator speech—and how you’ll avoid showing up to the fair completely clueless.

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Resume Tips/ Tricks

  • Always list your events in chronological order with your most recent events at the top. Along with this idea, make sure all the internships and clubs that you are currently still involved in are written in the present tense, and all experiences that you have done in the past are in the past tense.

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  • At the top of your resume, there should be a unique header that includes your name, address, phone number, and email. If you ever need to submit a cover letter along with your resume, your cover letter should use this same header layout.
  • Make sure all of your experiences include the company/organization you worked for, the position you held, the time frame you worked there, and the city and state in which you worked. With regards to writing dates, it’s fine if you just include the month and year of your start to the month and year of your finish. For example, September 2015 – April 2016.
  • Dates and cities should be aligned to the right side of your page.
  • Don’t be afraid to mess around with the margins of your resume. But at the same time, you still want there to be a solid border of white around the whole page.  1/2″ margins around the page should be the minimum.
  • ALWAYS use black ink and print your resumes a few days in advance. You want to make sure you have at least one resume per company you plan to visit, along with five to seven extras. The Resource Room in the Union has resume paper available for a small fee, but can often run out close to the career fair date.
  • For more information on preparing your resume, review the Office of Career Management’s Resume Guide.

Elevator Speech Preparation

  • Your elevator speech will include the key points about yourself that will help start off your conversation with the recruiter. Career fairs and interviews are your time to boast about yourself, so don’t be afraid to let companies know the amazing things you’ve done!
  • Start off with a friendly hello and a firm handshake – no dead fish!

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  • Introduce yourself by stating your name, year in school, and major. Feel free to also list some of the organizations you are involved in on campus, as well as some of your past internship experiences. Even include how they may relate to the company you are speaking with.
  • Sometimes the recruiter will then turn it into a conversation and start asking you some questions about yourself, but if that doesn’t happen, don’t be afraid to continue leading the conversation and maybe ask a question of your own.
  • Companies want to know that you did your research. If you’ve seen something in the news about them recently, feel free to mention it!  Make sure it is a positive comment!
  • Lastly, direct the conversation towards the programs they might offer. If you’re a freshman or a sophomore, and they say they’re only looking at juniors, don’t be afraid to ask what your next steps should be, or what you can do in the next year or so to work towards a position with that company.

Remember, career fairs are all about networking. Ask for business cards when you’ve enjoyed your conversation with the recruiter and follow up by emailing those contacts afterwards. Although you might not always directly get an internship or job, the career fair can often set you up for a great opportunity in the future!