Cloud Computing

Collaboration Comes Together in San FranCISCO


This post was authored by Mira Kohen Morhayim, a recent Persona Audience Marketing Intern on the Customer Solutions Marketing team.

Mira with a large group of fellow interns. Readout Week is the culmination of a Cisco Marketing Internship, where teams present the projects they’ve worked on throughout the program. This year, more than 30 interns and I travelled to Cisco’s San Jose headquarters for our presentations and also visited San Francisco, the city where Cisco got its name. Little did I know that this week would end up being one of the most unforgettable experiences of my life.

At the start of the summer, we met with our program managers to learn that we would be split into six groups tasked with coming up with recommendations to improve Cisco’s marketing efforts in a key area of focus: its sustainability story. Each group was assigned to represent an area of Cisco’s product portfolio, ours being Collaboration. Collaboration was not just the business focus of our Readout project but a challenge we had meeting weekly as a team of interns from the U.K. and Singapore, finding compatible times for us and the sustainability experts we needed input from in the lead-up to Readout Week.

At the end of July, we travelled to San Jose (My first time in the U.S.!) to present our group project live on Cisco TV. Leading up to the Readout, we had a Q&A session with Cisco’s Chief Marketing Officer that was a super insightful and fruitful conversation. She got to tell us about some of her career experiences as well as give us some feedback and recommendations for our presentation. It was nerve-wracking but an incredible opportunity to present our recommendations for the company in front of an open audience. Once we shared our project, we took questions from the audience, including several VPs, and from the audience watching virtually — a true hybrid Cisco experience.

One of the highlights of the trip was meeting other interns from various nations as well as the program directors who coordinated the internship program and were critical in fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment from the start. It was amazing to see how, despite our diverse backgrounds, we all shared a passion for marketing, innovation, and technology. When we met face-to-face, we all had that big connection, yet everyone’s unique personalities really shined.

Golden Gate Bridge.Throughout the week, the other interns and I got to know each other better through icebreakers, meals together, social events, and exploring the San Jose and San Francisco offices. I expected to be wowed by the San Jose campus, but the technology in the San Francisco office was mind-blowing! We also participated in a volunteer event with Rise for Hunger, packaging 10,000 meals to help end hunger globally. It was such a rewarding experience to come together as a team and put our efforts into giving back.

On our last day together, we got to see the entire city of San Francisco and all the hallmarks of the city. I was absolutely blown away by seeing the Golden Gate Bridge — the inspiration for Cisco’s logo — in person with its incredible engineering, architecture, and breathtaking views of the city. We also visited Alcatraz Island, explored North America’s oldest Chinatown, and watched the sea lions as we enjoyed the sea breeze and lively atmosphere on Pier 39. That evening, we had a farewell dinner by a marina, greeted by the yachts and the bay before everyone began travelling home.

As I left the States, I thought to myself, ‘This is why I love working here.” When applying for this position, I never thought of myself going on TV and presenting in front of so many people. But throughout time, with the lead of our program managers, mentors, and their feedback, they instilled this confidence in me that I know how to stand in front of people, speak publicly, and, most importantly, I can convey a message. I had just proven that to myself at one of the world’s top companies.

I also reminisced about the amazing opportunities I had just experienced over the past week, the incredible cohort of marketing interns, and the executives who were actually there to listen. It was such a welcoming and accepting feeling that continued even when I went home, where I hopped on a meeting with a new team. Two people told me they had watched our presentation, which made them reflect on their sustainability choices and how they conducted their current marketing activities. It was a really nice moment to experience as my internship is coming to a close.

Overall, I couldn’t have asked for a better mix of work and fun, from growing professionally to exploring San Francisco’s amazing culture. This trip really left a lasting impression on me as an intern. It ignited a passion for my work, gave me a profound appreciation for the power of travel, and made me understand how many incredible possibilities exist in the realm of this company.

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