Sunday, May 26, 2024

Simply how far can an internship at Cisco take you? Meet a former intern nonetheless right here 26 years later.


Cisco hosted 1700 hundred interns this summer time as a part of its dedication to growing rising expertise which may at some point work at Cisco. The intern program has been round for many years, which Chris Harrison is aware of very effectively. He began as an intern and is in his twenty sixth yr at Cisco. We celebrated Nationwide Intern Day by sharing his story.

Deal with the Complete Internship as an Interview

As Program Supervisor, Position Technique and Enablement, Chris Harrison manages instruments and applications to assist staff leverage the abilities that they’ve. It’s a becoming function for somebody who acquired his begin due to pure curiosity, a capability to attach the dots between jobs and take dangers to be taught new issues.

Born and raised in New York Metropolis, Chris studied electrical engineering know-how at Rochester Institute of Expertise in New York the place college students have been required to finish co-ops (internships) as part of their sophomore/junior and junior/senior years. His first internship was with Motorola.

“At Motorola, I used to be turned on to Cisco as a result of I used to be within the buyer assist group trouble-shooting their modems, and each name I acquired was, ‘I’ve a Motorola modem related to a Cisco router’ so I needed to be taught extra about how this Cisco router labored with the Motorola modem,” mentioned Chris.

How Chris Selected Cisco and Vice Versa

Recruiters got here to Chris’ school campus searching for interns. Chris interviewed with Cisco after his curiosity was sparked interning at Motorola. Quickly after, Chris was flown to San Jose to fulfill the hiring supervisor and three check engineers who drew on the whiteboard and requested how he would clear up totally different conditions.

“Once I landed [in New York], I already had a voice message saying, ‘Congratulations, you’ve been chosen for this internship,’” says Chris. The intern place was a check engineer on Cisco’s Restore Operations crew. Chris had the chance to return to Motorola, however he was impressed that Cisco flew him to San Jose for an interview and nonetheless remembers the absolutely stocked break rooms with free drinks, popcorn, and sweet – totally different from something he’d skilled on the East Coast. It appeared well worth the threat to strive one thing new slightly than going again to Motorola.

“Individuals have been strolling round in shorts and flip-flops,” mentioned Chris. “In my thoughts, this was so California, a bit laid again. Northern California and Silicon Valley within the 90s had a distinct vibe, and that was one thing I used to be curious about.” He moved to San Jose and lived within the dorms at San Jose State College for the summer time.

Connecting the Dots Between Work and the Classroom

The Cisco internship was completely hands-on. The Restore Operations crew needed to handle gadgets in for restore from the second they arrived till they have been shipped again out. “Earlier than, I sat within the cubicle,” mentioned Chris. “With this job, I went to the manufacturing facility ground.”

They have been answerable for the movement, the check scripts to verify issues have been working accurately, and for updates. Chris would rotate each two weeks to be taught totally different components of the method. Additionally they developed a check line on the manufacturing ground and generally simulated a failure and requested the place the issue was.

“Studying the way to discover the place issues have been damaged helped me learn the way they labored, and my internship expertise was excellent,” says Chris.

Chris shortly made the connection between the restore work he was doing at Cisco and the technical assist work from his Motorola expertise and tied all of it again to what he was studying for his Electrical Engineering Expertise diploma. All of it got here collectively, and he may additionally apply what he realized on the job to the speculation he was finding out in class.

Shock on the Job

One Saturday, Chris stunned his boss. “It was Saturday, all my buddies have been, out and I had nothing to do, so I made a decision to go to Cisco, go to the lab and do some work,” he mentioned. “I put collectively some check racks to take to the manufacturing facility, blasted the music, and closed the doorways behind me. Then rapidly, the music stops,” mentioned Chris.

It was his supervisor, who checked out him and requested, “What are you doing right here?” Chris defined after which requested his supervisor the identical query. His supervisor mentioned his household was away tenting and invited Chris to the films after which dinner. It was an sudden second that left an impression on each of them.

Chris returned to high school across the Thanksgiving vacation. Weeks handed. Then, on January 5, Cisco’s recruiter phoned Chris. “How’d you want to return to Cisco full-time once you graduate?” requested the recruiter.

Chris was shocked at how early the supply arrived, as full-time presents are often made within the spring. In line with his supervisor, “Any 20-year-old prepared to return in on a Saturday is somebody I’d like to have on the crew.”

Chris doubts that this one incident was answerable for his touchdown the job however insists that it was the serendipity of this occasion and the constructive impression he made with crew members as somebody simple to work with that contributed to this consequence.

Twenty-six years and lots of roles later, Chris remains to be having fun with the alternatives at Cisco, and far of his work as we speak entails leaving a legacy for future generations to develop and develop satisfying careers.

He attributes longevity at Cisco to the power to have a number of alternatives and totally different careers and the assist of leaders and mentors all through the corporate.

“It was life-changing for me to return to school after the internship,” says Chris. “It was a number of work, however I didn’t consider it as a job. It’s at all times been about enjoyable and studying. This is the reason I’ve stayed so long as I’ve.”

His recommendation for these in search of internships and job alternatives?

“If you’re right here [in the job or internship] it’s at all times an interview, even once you don’t suppose others are paying consideration. The chance to make a very good impression isn’t once you get the internship. It occurs the minute you stroll by means of the door.”

Consider your entire expertise as an interview, since you’re not simply interacting together with your crew and different groups.

Chris says this expertise gave him his first glimpse into what professionalism meant, how folks interacted and engaged, and helped him mature in his profession as he returned to school.

“Even if you happen to’re there for 3 months, you don’t know what [others] will suppose,” says Chris. “Despite the fact that you might be labeled as an intern, consider it as an interview to see how you’re employed in that surroundings.”

Chris’ Recommendation for Interns

-Don’t be afraid of the chance; the employer doesn’t anticipate you to know every part.

-Employers need contemporary views from a school pupil – contemporary concepts and new set of eyes.

-Don’t be afraid to have interaction and meet new folks inside new organizations and this will likely broaden your community inside that group together with together with your friends. (Chris remains to be buddies with members of his co-op group from school, a lot of whom are actually administrators and VPs at different firms.)

-Networking is essential with group and together with your friends as effectively. Study as a lot as you may throughout and after the internship.

 

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