He's Going to Silicon Valley for the Summer to Intern at Cisco

Junior John Canela will intern this summer at Cisco.

John Canela loves technology. Therefore, he’s thrilled to have an internship this summer at Cisco, a world leader in computer networking equipment.

Right after the semester ends, John will fly out to San Jose, Calif., where he’ll work as an information technology analyst at Cisco’s Silicon Valley headquarters.

When he was in high school, John took a Cisco-certified class. Back then, he never imagined he’d one day work for Cisco. But in a few weeks, that’s exactly what he’ll begin doing. .

In this interview, John, a junior majoring in information technology (IT) with a concentration in network security, talks about his passion for technology and how he got the internship. 

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How did you get the Cisco internship?

Being an active member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers played an instrumental role in acquiring my internship with Cisco. Last semester, my local SHPE chapter was fortunate to host guest speaker Carlos Dominguez, Senior Vice President in the Office of the Chairman and CEO at Cisco. I met Mr. Dominguez after the presentation and expressed how passionate I was about technology. He advised me to forward him my resume and apply online for a position. He then forwarded my resume to the Senior Vice President of IT at Cisco, who helped me to set up an interview with human resources. A few days later, I interviewed with a recruiter via Cisco WebEx Web Conference and received an offer for the internship that same day. Earlier, I had attended the 2013 SHPE National Conference Career Fair, hosted in Indianapolis. I was blessed with five interviews, which led to four summer internship offers! In the end, I decided to work as an IT analyst intern at Cisco Systems.  

Which Cisco office will you be working in? 

Originally when I received the offer letter, I was placed in Research Triangle Park, N.C. Knowing that its corporate headquarters is in California, I asked if there was any chance of transferring to that location. The next day, I received an e-mail stating that I was approved to work in the San Jose, California, campus and that I’ll be starting in May 2014. Working in Silicon Valley as an IT analyst intern at Cisco is truly a dream come true for me.

When did your interest in IT start?

Growing up, I always had the desire of taking things apart and putting them back together to see how they worked. I really first took an interest in IT during my time in Kearny High School. Ms. Ferguson was my Cisco teacher at the time, and she was always willing to answer the numerous questions I had. This was a Cisco certified class that my high school offered. It’s crazy to think that only three years ago, she was writing my letter of recommendation to apply to NJIT. Looking back makes me realize how fortunate I was to have her as a high school teacher.

What are your NJIT affiliations?

I currently work as an IT technician at the computer maintenance facility here at NJIT. I troubleshoot hardware, software and networking issues for students, faculty, and staff. Along with my work-study job, I am highly involved as a resident assistant on campus. My affiliations are with the Equal Opportunity Program, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, Residence Life and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.  

Why are you so eager to intern at Cisco?

My goal has always been to work for a technology company that is passionate about changing the world. Cisco and I both share the same set of values, and they promote a culture that encourages employees to share new innovative ideas. I am excited for the opportunity to network with people who will generate a positive impact in both my professional and academic career.

Do you think this internship will help you later find a full-time job? 

I believe this internship experience will open many doors of opportunity when it’s time to apply for full-time employment. My ultimate goal is to obtain a full-time position at a technology company where I can utilize and further develop my skills in cyber security. The demand for cyber security professionals is higher than it’s ever been in history and I look forward to seeing what the future has in store for me. 

By Robert Florida