Major/Minor: International Studies - International Business
Class: Alpha Zeta
Position: Sales Strategy & Planning Intern
Company: Cisco - Early in University Sales Program
Location: San Jose, CA
Describe your internship in one sentence.
I wear a couple of different hats! I work with field sales team to research possible areas where Cisco technology can solve industry challenges, the marketing team to provide sales enablement decks to sellers, and the strategy/planning team to plan sales trainings and requirements for North and South America.
What does your day-to-day look like?
Webex & Powerpoint! My teams are spread out throughout the US so the majority of my meetings are over Webex. My program, account, and hiring managers usually give me a broad assignment that I can take my liberties on. An example of a project would be a sales guide - I'd schedule my own meetings with different managers from different parts of the business (marketing, advanced services, technical services) and get their insight on what is best to include on the guide. I'd consolidate all the information on a deck and report to my manager.
I have the option of working from home or the office. When I'm in the office, our open-workspace offices allow me to work from any of our 30+ buildings on campus, so I like exploring each building a lot! Work hours are pretty laid back and flexible, as long as you get your work done.
What is your favorite part of the company culture?
How open everyone is to meeting you! I've been able to set up coffee chats (and virtual coffee chats for East Coast employees!) with almost every employee I've met or worked with. I've never been turned down, and everyone is always so excited and happy to give you advice, insight into your career, and other connections (inside and outside of Cisco!). I've never felt stuck or confused, because there's always someone willing to help.
How has Delta Sigma Pi prepared you for your internship?
Delta Sigma Pi has given me the confidence and the motivation to approach different employees and set up one-to-one meetings with them and get to know them! Networking is such an important quality and I wouldn't have been prepared without what I've learned in Delta Sigma Pi.
What is the most valuable takeaway you’ve gained from your internship?
Confidence: Everyone takes you seriously, regardless of your role. I've presented to and worked with multiple Vice Presidents, helped lead Chiefs of Staff meetings, and scheduled meetings with Directors and I've never been brushed off.
Connections: Everyone I've talked to has offered to help and stay connected past the duration of my internship. These are people I've relied on throughout my internship and feel like I can rely on after, as well!
Do you have any advice for people who want to get into the field of Sales or Sales Strategy/Planning in Tech? There's more to sales than selling! Sales is an awesome place to be in a company, especially in tech! It's so much more than just making phone calls or convincing a customer to buy something. At company like Cisco, being an account manager means consulting the CTO/CIO/IT of our customers and finding solutions to their business challenges. If facing customers isn't for you, being in Sales Strategy & Planning is a great place to be. There's a lot of project management, marketing, and communications skills involved.
What types of internship programs does Cisco offer?
Cisco has variety of specialized programs, including sales, marketing, HR, finance, digitization, hardware/software engineering.
Does Cisco have snacks?
Yes, so many free snacks. I gained so much weight.