Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

A Day in the Life of an Intern

October 28, 2014

Where do I even begin? The last 5 weeks have been an absolute whirlwind. Since graduating from University in July with a First Class degree in Brand Promotion and Photography, I have moved all the way from Leeds to London and landed my first job, at Cisco. Somehow, I don’t think my experience is what every graduate encounters in their first ‘proper’ job out of University.

Samantha with Phil Smith, Chief Executive, UK & Ireland

Samantha with Phil Smith, Chief Executive, UK & Ireland

To clarify, both an unbelievable and unexpected networking opportunity developed within my first week; the chance to not only meet the Chairman and CEO of Cisco, John Chambers, but to assist on his visit to the UK.

The first thought that struck me when I arrived at Cisco was the challenge of being a new face in the workplace, however I was pleasantly surprised at how friendly everybody was, from the bottom to the top, anybody will engage in a conversation with you no matter what your level is.

I am now in my 6th week of working at Cisco and my opinion hasn’t changed, this is what makes Cisco’s atmosphere so unique, the team environment is cultivating. In previous roles I’ve been treated as though I was invisible, but at Cisco I have senior execs asking if I’d like a cup of tea! You might be thinking, so what? But it makes such a difference when you’re new to the company and feel like a very small fish in a very large pond, it makes it much easier to network and ask questions.

I initially thought it would take a while to get myself settled and established within the team, but from day one, my role has been developing at lightening speed. I heard a quote from Rob Lloyd at the Global Company meeting that as a Cisco employee, you could take your job within Cisco and make it your own, you have the chance to go anywhere within the company – I am quickly learning that this is 100% true. I have only been here 6 weeks and yet the working culture I’ve experienced is infectious. I am addicted. From being introduced to so many people who are interested in where I want to go within my career, to them involving me in projects that will help me get there. I feel extremely lucky to be a part of a company that enables me to not only develop my career by building on the vast array of fantastic opportunities from all ends of the spectrum, but also increase my personal confidence and develop skills away from the workplace. Even as a temporary employee I feel respected and that my opinions count.

From what I’ve experienced so far, Cisco is all about working proactively, being innovative and collaborative and being able to work flexibly. Through working primarily for the Office of Phil Smith, the UK & Ireland Chief Executive, and having direct access to the UKI Operational Directors and their admin team I have been given the chance to assist in projects ranging from Cisco’s Irish Partner Forum, ‘We Are One Cisco’ Roadshows, and the company’s upcoming 30th Anniversary celebrations, to aiding the IDEALondon team to reach their target audience of my peers. These opportunities are dependent on what I make of them. The perk of working for an IT company is that everything works so well together, any phone, any office – it still baffles me how advanced technology is within business, how it enables you to work anywhere.

In a nutshell, Cisco is an amazing place to work; to grow and adapt, the working culture is open and unique. I love what my job is turning into. From springing straight out of university to my first job, I still can’t believe there is a free coffee machine on tap!

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