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.
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!
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:
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.
The interns here at Beaverton got a chance to go to the beach last week for our intern event. Right off the bat, it was beyond what I thought it would be. It was a very exciting train of events. After seeing the interns having fun in other locations, we wanted to get to do something too. After much discussion, we decided to go to the Oregon Coast. Our excitement only rose when we got it approved. It was just going to be a day off work to have fun. Our excitement once again soared when we found out that we were going to be paid for the time we were out. To succinctly put, it was a paid day for a company-sponsored event, to essentially have fun. Although it started off like that, I don't think any of us realized what it was really going to be.
There were multiple things that stood out to me, but I would like to focus on three.
There's something about achieving a difficult task that pulls people together. For us, it was our five mile, round-trip hike to Cape Lookout. It was an arduous hike that took us approximately an hour, one way. Most of us had the experience, but not many of us had the proper attire, so we found the hike to be challenging. We helped each other through it. To a certain degree, I think it was empathy and respect. Clearly, we understood what everyone was going through at the moment. A few of us were tired, but we pulled through, together.
This idea was strengthened even more when we played volleyball on the beach. We didn't have a net, so we played with an imaginary net and boundary. We split into two teams and played an otherwise normal game of beach volleyball. As cliche as it sounds, we truly became a team. We offered advice to each other to do better, while consequently being open to criticism.
Depth to people
I sometimes take seeing people at face value for granted. Often at work, we talk about work related matters, and I almost forget that there is a side of them that I don't see. This event was a perfect opportunity to get to know everyone better. I think it was half way through the hike that I realized how much I didn't know about the other interns. I know I sound ignorant, but these people have depth that is missed in a work environment. I had a conversation that spread from science and technology to whether we were Human or dancer. Who would have thought I would find a Whovian in between the conversation.
We dealt with a mix of jobs being placed on us and independent decision making. There were a few rules that we had to follow, otherwise it was all our decision. It was clear that we needed to be safe and secure, as well as follow the Intel Code of Conduct, so it was in our hands entirely to make correct decisions. I don't think we had a problem taking things into our hands. I knew myself well enough to be confident and acted as the treasurer. While we could have easily rode two or three cars to the Coast, we decided to carpool. Someone brought a disc, a volleyball, and a couple of kites. We got to choose a restaurant that would work for all of us, and be within our budget. One of the interns couldn't drive to work that day, but we had another intern give him a ride, so no man would be left behind. It's understandable that these are menial tasks and responsibilities, but I see them differently. I see responsibility as something that is often placed on us, but this time, we went after it. We were eager to take up jobs for everyone's benefit.
Yes, I was glad to be paid to go to the beach for a day, but I am even more glad now to have been given this opportunity. I did not want that day to end, to be honest. I went from "Vee" to "we". Forgive me for sounding like Jeff Winger, but that day, we stopped being colleagues and interns, and became a community.