1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
On the first day, we were instructed to build a robot; we were divided into several groups and each group had to build its own robot. The second and the third day we were divided into the departments assigned to us; I was in the Social and Corporate Responsibilities one. The department is responsible for organising activities for employees and raise money to donate to charities. Our task was to design posters to promote these activities and participate in meetings (always about the organisation of these activities). On the fourth and last day, we were divided into groups (again) and our task was to think of a way to improve security, and then present our ideas.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have not learnt a new skill but I have greatly developed one I was struggling with before: teamwork. At cisco I had the chance to develop this skills because we were constantly working in groups, but they weren
t the same groups. The teams were formed of different people every single time and even though it was a bit awkward at the beginning to present yourself and start talking, it helped me a lot with my confidence.
We dindt have training courses or external courses.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I really enjoyed the first day because programming it
s actually a thing I do at school and that Im (more or less) comfortable with. The Corporate and Social Responsibilities department activities though I didn`t enjoy so much because they involved a lot of creativity, and I'm not a very creative person, so it was quite frustrating. I enjoyed the meetings very much but I was a bit uncomfortable because I didn't know the people my host was talking too.
4. How valued do you feel by Cisco?
I felt very valued! I didn`t get told off for arriving late the first work experience day (I turned up in the wrong location) and the hosts kept asking us for opinions or ideas about the project or activities they were organising, and it made me feel part of the company, even if it was for a short period.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
It was very organised I think because we always had something to do, there were no moments in which we were bored and personally, I didn
t expect it to be so...frenetic!.
As I said before there wasnt any training or such, but the company had organised an evening to talk to parents about what we were going to do in our work experience, and I think that was quite a nice idea.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Our hosts were very supportive, we could ask them anything, even though I usually prefer to try and solve the problems myself in the first place. They were also very friendly and, as I said, they were ready to help us and it didn`t seem like they minded. I really liked my hosts and I enjoyed the time spent with them.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My employer was my host, so it`s basically what I said about my training provider.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Not very well. We weren
t paid because, of course, its a work experience. I really appreciated the vouchers for lunch, I actually didn
t expect to get any. Nonetheless, my travelling was very expensive because it cost 25 pounds each day for four days (so were talking about 100 pounds for my work experience). I would have rather gone to the location nearest to where I live because the costs would have been way less
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
We were only there for work experience so there weren
t for us, but working in the Corporate and Social Responsibility department gave me an insight of the companys opportunities outside of work (our job was to help advertise them through poster design etc.) and there were many! There`s almost one activity every week and each of them is structured for employees to have fun and to raise funds to donate to charities.
9. Would you recommend Cisco to a friend?
Because I had fun and a good time, and at the same time I had the chance to improve my skills and see how it is to work for an IT company such as Cisco. The hosts were very friendly and most of the activities were interesting and involved teamwork and problem-solving skills.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Cisco?
The application process was very easy. In the interview try to explain why you want to do this work experience and not do it only for the sake of it.
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