Cisco’s female university student mentoring program supports 170+ students

Cisco’s annual mentoring program to encourage women to consider a career in the technology industry runs over a nine-week program of professional development tips and insights into what it’s like at Cisco. As well, the program matches female university students with a Cisco mentor each week, to be able to ask questions and share their experiences in the industry.

The program was delivered in a hybrid style across Australia and New Zealand, with some attendees popping in the office but most joining remotely. It was amazing to see the network of young women engaged in the program, connected, and asking sharp questions of the speakers, mentors, and their peers to inform their perspectives of the industry. To reflect on the program, many shared how they were a ‘dynamic duo’ with their mentor, with some very creative videos and animations shared at the final graduation session.

Most of all, the program brings together aspirational women with a network of their peers across universities – without the limitations of physical boundaries and with an opportunity to build authentic connections near and far. For many, this is the start of an unexpected mind shift to consider a career in IT.


From Mentee to a role at Cisco: Meet Maggie

Maggie Morrison was part of the program in 2017 and recently joined Cisco as part of the virtual sales team, specialising in supporting customers with their networking, data centre, and security solutions.

We asked her to share what she thinks of her new role, and advice for fellow mentees. “I have really enjoyed the challenge of learning the ins and outs of so many products and services as well as talking to customers from different places around the world.”

“If you are wanting to get involved in the tech industry, find a mentor program with a company you are interested in. Within the company find those who are enthusiastic and passionate with not only their line of work but the company they work for. Ask A LOT of questions, ask for advice and suggestions. Find out what you can bring to the table that no one else can and make it relevant to the role you want (you’d be surprised how easily your talents could translate into MANY roles).”

As the program wrapped up, many mentees shared their impressions of the program as they celebrated the graduation, completing the program on top of their study load, work load and life load. As well, we know many of the mentors found the chance to connect with new people and fresh perspectives as a welcomed opportunity. Here’s what they shared with us:


Mentoring Moments: Impressions from the 2021 Mentees

“I feel so grateful to have the opportunity to grow though the MentorMe Cisco program. From the weekly sessions with various Cisco leaders across the world, I learned the art of personal branding, leadership skills, innovation, and future tech trends. I now see my strengths and turns out that I am an equalizer and creator.” – Adithya

“The journey within the Cisco MentorMe Program was one of the greatest opportunities I’ve been a part of this year! With an incredible mentor by my side, Emma Harris was able to take the time to help me discover what I was passionate about within the IT industry.” – Phoebe

“I made a lot of new friends through this program, from New Zealand and across Tasman. Please know that youMentorMe mentees ladies are so inspiring, and I’m delighted to have known and spent time with you all. Let’s keep in touch.” – Kel

Congratulations to all the mentees for making time to join the weekly sessions and meet with their mentors. Thank you!