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How to Get a Tech Internship in 5 Steps

As a college student, the search for tech internships is key when determining your chosen career path. If you’re curious to find out what it takes to land an internship or how to stand out among the crowd, learn directly from those who’ve done it at Cisco.

Recently, interns in security at Cisco discussed how to get a tech internship by positioning yourself as an ideal candidate. Ready to take the next step? If so, check out our opportunities.

1. Apply Early 

To ensure your application is received on time, according to Pratham Shroff, a software engineering intern working on Duo, “apply now, apply early.” For many organizations, internships can often be posted up to a year out, including Cisco which has internships open now for the fall. Applying early not only reduces the possibility of an internship’s submissions closing ahead of time but also increases your chances of being hired.

2. Find your niche

As you progress throughout your career, being flexible and working cross departmentally can assist with defining your niche and strengthening your skillset to stand out when applying. Shroff states, “Cisco is a really great place to do that.” Shroff also recommends “making your own projects or going to hackathons” to align your interests and enhance your personal portfolio to showcase your talents.

3. Be passionate

Whether it’s your first or fifth interview, “enthusiasm goes a long way,” says Technical Product Management Intern Violet Yu. Not only is it important to research the company you are applying for but having a genuine interest in the cybersecurity industry is a benefit as well. As Shubhangi Tiwari, a technical intern, says, “It’s important to like what you do, otherwise what is the point in pursuing it?” By building a positive rapport from the beginning and showing you’re invested in the topic at hand, you can set yourself apart from other applicants.

4. Network

While it’s important to know what your role entails and what skills you need to perform your role successfully, growing your network is just as valuable. Front-end Web Development Intern Xander Hughes states, “If you can build up your connections within the tech industry, you can go anywhere.” Applicants often have greater success in finding meaningful internship opportunities through networking and establishing professional connections than with standard application methods.

5. Prepare

To better position yourself for a technical interview, preparation is necessary. In some instances, a key portion of the technical interview will center on your knowledge of a specific area in the field. A great way to train for this, as Xander Hughes suggests, is LeetCode, an online resource that allows you to practice real word programming scenarios. Because the technical aspect is only one part of the overall interview process, ensuring that your values align with the overall company culture and mission are also vital.

As a cybersecurity intern at Cisco, you will learn about our core principles and how we embody being kinder than necessary. Through hybrid work and continuous innovation, the possibilities are endless when it comes to the impact you can make in advancing our mission and your career. Implementing the strategies above can help you pursue and procure an internship that you’re energized by.

Ready for your tech internship?

To learn more, please visit our internship openings.


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