Cisco High School STEM Program: Empowering the Next Generation of Technology Leaders
Last summer, Cisco opened its doors to 67 high school students across the Lawrenceville, RTP, and Rosemont campuses, kicking off the second year of the Cisco High School STEM Externship program.
During this four-week program, these students began their exciting careers in technology, obtaining a unique experience of what it means to be a Cisco employee. They learned about Cisco’s history from humble beginnings in San Francisco to the networking giant it is today. They shadowed employees from account managers to cybersecurity professionals to technology patent lawyers. They built skills in data analysis, persuasive presentations, project management, and personal branding. They became Cisco ambassadors themselves, inviting elementary and middle school students for a STEM Day to excite the younger generation. And, at the end of the program, they embodied our culture of innovation, presenting their own ideas on how the Internet of Things will shape tomorrow.
As Larry Payne, SVP U.S. Public Sector and executive sponsor to Cisco High said, “Every year, I am amazed by the caliber of students in the Cisco High program, especially during their final capstone project presentations. Their ability to understand the customer’s business and challenge first, to then develop a proposal that demonstrates an incredible level of critical thinking and innovation, gives me confidence that this program is cultivating the next generation of technology leaders.”
Engaging with this “next-generation of technology leaders” starting in high school not only exposes us to fresh ideas, but also benefits our early-in-career talent pipeline. Jeff Sharritts, SVP U.S. Commercial Sales and another executive sponsor stated, “Cisco High offers students the opportunity to glimpse the day-to-day of the fast-paced technology industry, while giving us the opportunity to engage with the best and brightest students. My hope is that their positive experiences here will result in them returning in the future.”
Needhi Parekh, a Cisco High Summer 2016 alumna from the Lawrenceville office, returned this past summer as an intern coordinator to help lead the next cohort through the program. Today Needhi is a freshman at the University of Georgia, majoring in Information Systems Management, with plans to return to Cisco for a third summer as a university intern. She summarizes her summers at Cisco by saying, “I think that Cisco is a great place to be, with the kind of people that you want to surround yourself with to be successful.”
Alison Gleeson, SVP of the Americas, said, “As every company becomes a technology company, it’s vital to prepare students with the skills to become the digital workforce of the future.” And what better place for them to learn about a career in technology than at Cisco, a global technology leader!
Special thanks to the Executive Sponsors of the Cisco High School STEM program:
Want to learn more about the Cisco High Program and how you can volunteer? Fill out your information on this Volunteer Interest Form.
Know a rock star junior or senior high school student? Share this Student Interest Form with them and the program team will reach out with more information on the application process.
Other Questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Catch a glimpse of the Cisco High experience in Lawrenceville!