McAfee Intern Blog

Sarah Toller, Consumer Marketing Programs Intern

One of the features I really enjoy in the McAfee Intern Program is lunches with the executive team. It’s a great opportunity to network and to learn from seasoned professionals. Last week, the Santa Clara interns had lunch with McAfee’s President, Mike DeCesare. He shared some great advice. Here are some of my takeaways from the event.

DeCesare revealed that it takes him about 30 seconds to determine if he is going to hire a candidate. Talk about pressure. So how do you make the right impression?  DeCesare said that winning candidates are sincere; they don’t have a “What can McAfee do for me?” attitude. They take the time to research the company, even if it is just five minutes on the McAfee homepage.  DeCesare also advised that you should prepare a few stories (ex. A time you overcame adversity, solved a problem, were a leader, etc) and weave them into the interview. Because, according to DeCesare, what you did in college is much more valuable in the real world than your grades. 

DeCesare stressed the importance of having sponsors in the company. They can mentor you and give you access to some great opportunities. When DeCesare worked at Oracle, his executive sponsor was none other than Larry Ellison. Because of that relationship, DeCesare’s first sales call was with Steve Jobs. Cool, right? Second, they can be the key to getting a future internship/job. So how do you find a sponsor? DeCesare recommended finding someone whose role interests you and asking to meet with them. That way you can pick their brain and start building a relationship with them.

Since we spend about 35% of our waking hours per week with our coworkers, DeCesare suggested that we figure out if we like our coworkers before accepting a job. DeCesare said to ask to speak to three people who have a similar role or are on your team. By talking to potential peers before joining the company, you get a better understanding of the company culture and you gain office friends to ease your transition if you decide to take the job.

Company Loyalty
Basically, don’t job hop. DeCesare told us that if a candidate has had 5 jobs in the past 10 years, he won’t consider them. When a company hires you, they are making an investment in you. DeCesare advised that in the first 10 years of your career, stay at a company for at least 5 years.

I learned so much in just 45 minutes with Mike DeCesare. I can’t wait to see what else I am going to learn here at McAfee!

Maria J. Araujo, Inside Sales Intern

I’m currently a senior at The University of Texas at Dallas majoring in marketing with a focus on professional sales. As part of the sales program, we need to have “Real World” experience in order to get sales certified. 

In between work, school, extracurricular activities and student organizations, and sales competitions I was anxious about where I would end up interning this summer. As my hectic semester was coming to an end, I was relieved that I was offered an Inside Sales Internship at McAfee – McAfee and Intel are well-known companies; so who wouldn’t be excited.

Before my first day at McAfee, I got the opportunity to tour the office with some of the student from the sales program at UTD. We got to network with some of the sales staff, walk around the sales floor to see what it was like, and we received a presentation from one of the directors  about the company and what the culture was like.

My first day, on my way to work, I felt confident with my expectations of the internship and the company – I thought I knew what I was getting myself into; little did I know, I was wrong. The sales floor is different than other departments, and from the first time sitting at my desk it was clear that every sales rep has the “Work Hard, Play Hard” mentality. There is a lot of joking around and playing around, but it comes down to work the reps, managers, and directors work hard until those deals are closed.

I quickly realized that it was going to take a lot of hard work to successfully accomplish everything I set out to do during my time at McAfee. There is some technical knowledge that needs to be acquired, presentation skills put to the test, and the right personality and attitude to fit in with the rest of the sales staff.

My recommendation based on what I’ve seen and learned so far on the sales floor is:

  • Network, network, network – most people are willing to help you learn, let you shadow and listen in on their calls, etc
  • Work hard, play hard – be ready to put in some work, but remember having fun is a must
  • Always be willing to help – aside from the normal intern project, ask around and see if other managers/director need assistance with other projects

With all of this said, I realized that a job at McAfee may not be for everyone, but If you are willing to learn, work hard, and have fun while doing it, McAfee can provide the right atmosphere for your success.

Vedanth Narayanan, MECOP Intern, Engineering

I Have Found My Place.

Choosing to become a Computer Science major was one of the best decisions I've made. My first influence was probably my dad. I love puzzles, and my dad has seen me solve them since I was little. In addition, he is a Software Engineer, so naturally he advised majoring in CS. One of my high school teachers recommended it too. I valued their opinions, in addition to independence, learning, creativity, curiosity, and problem solving. I did some research, which told me CS might support my values. This post talks a little bit about where and how I found those values.

The classes I took my freshmen year of college involved learning to program, but I wondered why I would take a course on it if I could learn it myself online. I also found the pace of these courses to be slow. When given a homework assignment, my peers and I were consistently told what to do and how to do it. I felt like a worker bee. I wasn't getting enough chances to exercise my independence and creativity that I thought I would get before joining.

I don't think it was until I started Pro-School in my Junior year that I saw the bigger picture. Higher level classes meant more in depth material. This was when I started putting the things that I had learned the past two years together. To solve problems, I was forced to be creative. My freshmen year doubts were no longer present at this point. I remember talking to a few peers about how and why they joined their respected majors. One of the guys bluntly stated that he was in it for the money. My friend and I tried to convince him that he was setting himself up for failure, but he wouldn't budge. I didn't know why, but it upset me. After I thought about it a little, I realized that what he said wasn't true for me. I didn't stick with CS for the money, but because I really enjoyed it. All the times that I was breaking my head to solve a problem, I enjoyed it. All the problems are really puzzles, so I needed no other incentive to stick with CS than that. Knowing this only helped me enjoy my classes more.

After a yearlong process through the Multiple Engineering Cooperative Program (MECOP) I was chosen by McAfee for my first six month internship. It's definitely had its ups and down, but I still love it. This experience has gone way beyond my expectations. I had a general idea that I wanted to be a software engineer, but it has really been this internship that has convinced me to become one. I learn something new every day. I love being surrounded by people smarter than me, because it gives me a chance to learn from them. I am in a very supporting community. I make use of opportunities to talk to people and quite often, they have advice for me in one thing or another. I've been given independence (to a certain degree) so I can explore projects on my own. I have the opportunity to learn what I want to. I've been trusted to be part of a team, so I am expected to contribute to team projects. I don't have a special project of my own, but I get to do what everyone else on the team gets to do.

I am satisfied and happy with Software Development. I like what I do and how it makes a difference to the end user. I genuinely love and enjoy coding. I don't know what I would have called this in the beginning, but I call it passion now. I enjoy it so much that I don't even consider it as work anymore. And I've learned that that’s how it should be. If I am having fun, it doesn't need to be "work." Everything has come full circle for me. I have got my independence, the option of learning new items, the chance for creativity, new material to satisfy my curiosity, and enough problems. This is what drives me. I can't wait to graduate, so I can continue to do this.