Cisco Talent Outreach Program for Schools
Chief Information Officer (CIO), International Operations and Senior Vice President (SVP), IT
People and Culture
At Cisco, we believe in nurturing innovative minds – within and beyond Cisco. And what could be more exciting than being part of an initiative that encourages innovations by the young innovators!
In 2017, we launched the Cisco Talent Outreach program for schools in Bangalore. As part of this program, we partnered with about 10 schools. The program is 6-months long where the school students collaborate with Cisco mentors to build a technology solution for a specific problem they want to address at their respective schools. They leverage Cisco technologies like WebEx and Spark to enable seamless communication and connectivity. They get guidance from mentors from Cisco to complete their projects. At the end of this 6-month program, teams present their work and receive a certificate from Cisco.
We concluded the graduation of the second cohort of this program with a resounding success. All the teams provided a demo of their respective projects and every single idea was noteworthy.
Here’s the summary of projects that these young innovators from 10 different schools delivered:
* NPS HSR worked on a website to create a well-defined platform and network for collaboration amongst the students and the school alumni.
* NPS Rajajinagar delivered a student portal to improvise teacher-student communication outside the school, facilitating sharing of study materials, keeping track of deadlines, timetable, booking rooms etc.
* NPS Koramangala came up with an application to reduce ambulance response time through early notifications by leveraging location data
* TISB developed a holistic college counseling platform with information on everything required to get accepted at colleges abroad
* TISB also created an event management digital solution called VIVUM Workbench to help manage its future inter-school competition/event.
* NAFL delivered an online attendance assistance, integrating technologies like RFID card for swiping, real-time dashboard and backend analytics for the teachers.
* Kumaran’s created an application that enables students to pass on their books to their juniors, hence reducing the efforts for book procurement and the problem of wastage.
* HeadStart created a Timetable Generating Algorithm to save teachers from the trouble of doing timetable generation manually.
* Oakridge delivered a platform called Stanza to helps connect book readers to make lending and borrowing easier within the bibliophilic community.
* NPS Indiranagar created a textbook summarizer called SumItUP leveraging Summa Python package to help compress reading material to suit student needs.
* And finally, DPS East created a canteen application that allows parents to manage and pay expenses online while kids can use the swipe card for the same.
I was amazed by the ability of these kids to identify and work on a problem, to collaborate with peers inside the school, to learn new technologies even when they sometimes did not have technology backgrounds! But one aspect that caught my attention the most was, when they pitched their ideas to us, not a single team exceeded the time limit that was given to them to do so. They were able to communicate their ideas with clarity and conviction in less than 15 mins.
I am glad that principals, teachers, and parents of these kids found this program to be a huge value add for these young innovators.
Here’s feedback that was shared by a parent of one of the student participants of the Cisco Talent Outreach Program:
“This project was more like a stress buster for my son in the midst of 12th-grade board Exam preparation. Thanks to Cisco for this great concept which has created a landmark in the school life of students. I am sure they will cherish their first association with the corporate world throughout their life. This opportunity will inspire them to do a great job in future. I found Cisco a homely place and the Cisco team, a family like. Hats off to the company culture that offered us such a warm treatment.”