January 15, 2009
Co-op Experience: Dejan Petrovic
"Cisco Systems Inc. is at the very top of the list of the best companies to work for in the United States. Working conditions are amazing, and I have never heard this many positive experiences about other students' co-op positions."
Co-op Employer: Cisco Systems Inc.
Position: Technical Assistant Center Engineer
Co-op at Cisco Systems Inc.
Dejan Petrovic, a Wentworth student from Novi Sad, Serbia, found Wentworth over the Internet. He was attracted to the computer network and information systems program the school was offering, the urban campus, and the small class size. Dejan is in his senior year, enjoying his co-op experience working at Cisco Systems Inc. as a Technical Assistant Center Engineer (TAC Engineer) on the conferencing team. He provides technical assistance to clients that have implemented the Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Web Conferencing System. Along with his co-workers, Dejan takes ownership over new cases, talking to clients and identifying problems they are experiencing with the product. If he is looking for a solution and finds that there is no similar issue documented, and therefore no known solution, he opens a ‘defect case’ that will contribute to product improvement for the future.
“When I started, I was not taking cases for a month. I was reading and learning about the product, which I knew nothing about before coming to Cisco. After a month, I started taking simple cases just to get used to interacting with clients and using all the tools we have at our disposal. Now, midway through the semester, I am taking 3-6 cases a day with increasing complexity.”
Reflection on Co-op Experience
Dejan’s employer got him involved in team activities from the very start. They provided him with appropriate literature and sent him to a week-long boot camp to learn about the product. Cisco also encourages their employees to obtain Cisco certification, which allows students to learn even more. Dejan’s experience has provided him with the opportunity to evaluate what he learned in classes and apply this knowledge. He became familiar with certain technologies that helped him understand materials he had studied in class, and also identified ideas for his Senior Project.
“My plan is to start doing weekend shifts to prove that when I work alone I am able to deal with even the most difficult cases on my own, without any support from other engineers.”
Skills for the Future
Despite being an international student, Dejan plans on overcoming obstacles to be able to take on a full time position with Cisco once he graduates. He contributes the success and satisfaction with his co-op to careful preparation and professionalism in his everyday work attitude. His advice to others: work hard to get your GPA as high as possible, read and prepare before an interview, and start looking for jobs on time. Most importantly, put in the effort to go above and beyond.
“I would suggest that everyone go to mock interviews organized by Wentworth’s Department of Career Services. It provides you with the opportunity to meet people from the industry and practice interviewing skills. Also, go to the Career Center and get help preparing your resume. This will help you with full time employment after you graduate.”