Project Description

This page showcases the overview of the entry of a 2015 Peer Awards for Excellence finalist, which was judged at conference.

Interested in this year’s Peer Awards?
Entry Title: Work Experience Programme
Talk Title: Work Experience – More than making tea and filing
Category: Educating Young People (Corporate Responsibility)
IT & Communications

To improve what Cisco are able to offer we created a week long work experience programme for year 10/11 students.

With welcome and introduction to Cisco, interactive group sessions, Dragons’ Den style activity and soft skills development the programme is engaging, informative and fun. 100% of those attending last year said they would recommend it to a friend

As an organised programme we are able to reach students from more diverse backgrounds. Allowing students who may never have imagined working for Cisco to see that there are opportunities for all irrespective of background.



A well planned programme delivers more value to the young people and to the business.

Programme designed for year 10/11 students providing a broad and in depth look at the roles in a global IT company and allowing us to tell a clear and consistent Cisco story.

Able to reach students from underserved parts of the local community, many of whom would never have thought that it was the sort of place they could work.

The creation of the work experience programme delivers a big reduction in time and resource used, organising ad hoc work experience for individual students.



Our employees design and deliver the programme.

We invite parents and students into our offices for a briefing so they can experience the environment and learn about Cisco and the programme.

A senior management panel talk about their journeys to success. Demonstrating that attitude and aptitude not background are what’s important to Cisco.

In speed interviewing sessions employees interview students for 15 minutes about themselves and give feedback. They do this four times. What is learnt in an hour is useful for a lifetime!



We’ve collaborated across all departments. Bringing employees together to create a programme in which they are proud to be involved and deliver enthusiastically. They own their sessions.

We recognise the employees involved with a thank you email from our CEO and have a team debrief/celebration.

We piloted with 20 students three years ago in one location and it is now a programme for 100 students twice a year in two locations (200 students annually).

We’ve worked with the teachers and invited them to come along and visit during the week.

Provides opportunity to graciously decline individuals requests for work experience.