Left to Right: George, Dennis and Rick
George, Dennis and Rick
Rick of California, USA was one of our first instructors who started teaching in 1997/1998. Rick taught CCNA, CCNP, DevNet and Security as an iinstructor, lecturer and teaching professor at the Cabrillo College and the University of California Santa Cruz.
“The joy of working with hundreds (or thousands?) of students over 25 years, and with friends and colleagues all over the world. Helping students find what they love in life (networking or not) and at the same time showing them how much I love what I get to do every day. The Cisco Networking Academy became more of a Cisco Networking Family. The biggest impact on me has been the many friendships (too many to list here) I have made over the years. The photo includes two of those friends, George Ward (left), Dennis Frezzo (center) and me (right).”
Mark of CA, USA in the United States thanks Thurgood Marshall for help with CCNA which led to a job in Software Consulting.
“The Cisco Network Academy was just starting when I attended. My journey through it is long and I haven’t reached the end yet. For me, it started with a great teacher and then later manager and mentor. He taught me that the best way to learn is to get into the guts of it and learn by doing. After I finished the CCNA course, I was immediately tasked with writing new labs for it and creating a “Teacher’s Guide.” When five routers were not enough to share with dozens of students, we sought out network simulations which I was tasked to QA. Eventually, I was tasked to develop our version of a network simulator that focused on learning and allowing learners to experiment freely. And that was just the first few years out of dozens more. Every task was new, challenging, and something that’s not been done before. Now, I cannot go a day without learning something new and most days involve creating software in that space.
My hope is that students who went through the program developed the same curiosity for learning by doing through the tools and guides that my mentor, Dennis Frezzo, and I had a part in creating.”
Mark of Minnesota, US thanks Wheaton High School & Alexandria Technical and Community College for help with Networking (CCNA & CCNP) which led to a job as a Customer Success Executive in the technology industry.
“My Cisco journey began in 1997 when my father, an industrial arts teacher in rural Minnesota, agreed to establish one of the first 100 Cisco Networking Academies in our high school. Since he knew nothing of Cisco or networking, his condition was that I take the class. Feeling both interested and obligated, I enrolled and unwittingly found my career path. I continued that journey by attending college for networking where I found myself piloting the first CCNP curriculum.
After college I spent 20 years consulting hundreds of customers with various technology initiatives. Just over a year ago I was pulled back into Cisco’s orbit when a friend, and fellow Cisconian, urged me to join Cisco. My current role is Customer Success Executive, where I leverage my prior experience to ensure customers are loving our solutions and realizing the value from their investments.
I still look back at the early days of the Networking Academy and cherish the people that I met and the opportunities that I was given as a result. An early highlight I have is presenting as a 17-year-old to George Ward, the godfather of the Networking Academy. We considered him a celebrity, but he was so kind and incredibly excited and passionate about the movement that was taking place. Much has changed with the Networking Academy since we accessed the first curriculum on CD (and later a local “micro-webserver”), but the spirit of curiosity and enthusiasm remains the same.
To say that Cisco has influenced my career greatly downplays the impact that this company has had on me. I am extremely grateful to finally be part of Cisco proper after all these years! Sadly, I lost my father 2 years prior to joining, but I know he would be proud and delighted that he agreed to embarking on the Cisco journey. Shout to Marv (dad)!“
Dominic of Canada and Hong Kong thanks Vocational Training Institute, Hong Kong for help with CCNA which led to a job as the Vice President, Government Affairs & Strategy in the tech industry.
“My first job when I joined Cisco in 1998 was as an Area Manager for the Networking Academy program. My job was to introduce the program to Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea. At the time, I had been unemployed for six months, my work visa was expiring, my money was running out and my girlfriend was getting ready to throw me out. So I knew when I was offered the Cisco job that I better not screw it up! I decided the best way to start was to learn the curriculum too, so I studied alongside the other teachers in training and managed to earn my CCNA. Now, 24 years later, I am still at Cisco and have done all kinds of interesting roles. One role I was particularly happy about was to oversee the Networking Academy program for all of Asia-Pacific as part of the Cisco APAC Social Innovation Group. There is no question that the Networking Academy program had a huge impact on my life, and I am so grateful for it and for all the wonderful people I met through it.”
Giuseppe of Italy thanks Birmingham University for helping with CCNA, CCNP, Java, IT Ess, CCNA Security which led to a job as a Principal Architect in the technology industry.
“I have the privilege of becoming the first certified instructor in Italy and being responsible of the National Cisco Academy Training Center to build the program from the ground up. The program gave me the opportunity to meet and become friends with Instructors from all over the world; has given me the opportunity to help tens of thousands of students to develop relevant skills and find a job. It has finally brought me to silicon valley and become part of the core NetAcad team. I cannot be more grateful for the opportunity that I have had.”
Kevin of USA thanks Moraine Valley Community College and Montgomery County Community College for help with CCNA, CCNA-Wireless, CCNA-Security (PIX), CCNP-BSCI, CCNP-BCMSN, CCNP-ONT, CCAI, which led to a job as Professor in the education sector.
“The skills learned prepared me for teaching technical education courses at the community college level. I was in a cohort of instructors taking version 1.0 of the Networking Academy curriculum back in 1998. We were learning the ins and outs of becoming NetAcad instructors. Oh, how things have changed. I have been blessed to teach some excellent students (and other instructors) as a Networking Academy Instructor over the last 24 years.”
Nancy of US thanks Forsyth Technical Community College, for help with the DevNet, CCNA, Networking Essentials, CyberOPS, Network Security, which led to a job as Associate Professor in the Education sector.
“The skills I received during my time with Cisco Networking Academy changed the course of my life forever. I am a first-generation college student and discovered a passion for teaching through my experience as a Networking Academy student. I started my career in the IT industry implementing and supporting networks all over the United States. After attending Networking Academy courses, I knew that I wanted to be a college professor and make a difference in the lives of others. I have been teaching Cisco Networking Academy courses for over 22 years and have worked with thousands of students. I am forever grateful for this opportunity.”
Adri of Jakarta, Indonesia thanks Faculty of Engineering, University of Indonesia for helping with CCNA, CCNA Security, Panduit (PNIE), Fundamental of Java, IT Essential 1 and 2, CCNP, CyberOps Associate, DevNet, Intro to Cybersecurity, Cybersecurity Essentials, Cloud Security, PCAP, Intro to IoT, IoT Security, Intro to IoE, intro network programming, Mobility fundamentals series: Wireless LAN Network, Mobility Fundamental series: wireless technology and standards, Wireless Router & Clients, Big Data & Analytics which lead to a job as Business Development Manager in Information Technology.
“I have learnt problem-solving at NetAcad, it prepared me to breakdown complicated issues into a smaller, beatable problems. NetAcad courses also help me to understand real-world implementation of theory that I learnt from college.”
José of Costa Rica thanks FUNDATEC for helping with CCNA, CCNP and Networking Security with led to a job as a Product Manager in education with a technology company.
“The Cisco Networking Academy program impacted me in many ways. I started first as student and very soon started as one of the first instructors in Costa Rica. In 2007, I join Cisco as Technical Manager for Latin America continuing to impact our community of instructors and partners. Recently, I joined the Product Team and now working on an instructor platform experience, bringing innovation and improvements for our program to continue impacting millions of users around the world!”
Tony of California, U.S. thanks Thurgood Marshall Academic High School for help with CCNA which led to a job as a Technical Project Manager in Software development with major tech firm.
“I was enrolled in the second year of the first Cisco Networking Academy institution in San Francisco. After graduating from the course and high school, I joined Cisco as an intern working for the Cisco Networking Academy team under Dennis Frezzo. I used what I learned in my classes to work in the lab as a lab admin, and also worked with others on prototyping educational tools and games for the Netacad. Over the years, I’ve used the networking skills to apply it to the development of Cisco Packet Tracer, Aspire, eSIMs, and various other tools we currently use in the Networking Academies.”
Mauricio of NL, Mexico of Tec de Monterrey for helping with CCNA which led to a job as a Meraki Technical Solutions Architect in the Communications industry.
“That course was pretty much my introduction to networking and the Cisco courses in general. Suffice to say that I liked them, so I kept pursuing that line of knowledge.”
Ezequiel of Argentina thanks Fundación Proydesa for helsp with CCNA and CCNP which led to a job as a teacher in the education sector.
“Having learned my skills as an instructor at Cisco Networking Academy has allowed me to obtain important skills, not only technical, but also communicative, that year after year, have given me the possibility to gain more experience in teaching classes and a better relationship with my students.”
Timm of Germany thanks Techniker Schule Butzbach for help with CCNA, which led to a job as Manager Network Access in the IT sector.
“The Cisco Networking Academy program enabled me to be unique in the job market, which was important for me starting my professional career. I had the ability to prove that I take continuous learning, as well as education while working, seriously. It made my profile shine more than the regular folks and got me my first job at an awesome company working on their Cisco gear. NetAcad was the enabler for my career, and I enjoyed the folks that I met there and absorbing the knowledge of the instructor. What a journey so far with Cisco and it all started with my classes on Saturday preparing me for my CCNA.”
Aziz of Turkey thanks Kocaeli University, for help with CCNA R&S, CCNA Security, CCNP Route Instructor, CyberOps Associate, PCAP-Python Essential, Introduction to IoT which led to a job as Instructor, in the Education sector.
“After my Cisco Networking Academy adventure, which I started as a student 21 years ago, I continued on as an Instructor and an Instructor Trainer for the last 8 years. I wouldn’t have believed it if they told me that I would be doing this since 2001. Thanks to my Student and Instructor Training, I have been involved with a very nice ecosystem. I continued with the motto “As I teach, I learn”. I have had very good experiences with my students of all ages.”
Earnest of Rome thanks Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology for helping with CCNA Routing and Switching and Network Programmability which lead to a job in the Inclusive and sustainability industry as an IT Network Delivery Specialist and the first Kenyan to achieve a Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert classification (CCIE).
“Cisco Networking Academy offers an education that’s second to none. These skills are needed now more than ever.”
Chris of Ohio, U.S. thanks Sylvania Southview High School for help with CCNA which lead to a job in the technology industry as a Systems Architect.
“Studying with Networking Academy set the foundation for my entire career, and the rest of my life! At the time, I never in a million years would’ve guessed I’d now be going on 14 years at a major technology company. I’ve been able to move up the ranks to CCNP and CCIE, and give back to others to help them develop successful careers as well. Speaking with the Cisco Live Dream Team is always one of my favorite activities! I’m not sure where I would’ve ended up without NetAcad.”
Paul of California, U.S. thanks Harbor High School, Santa Cruz, CA for help with CCNA, CCNP, CCIE which led to a job as a Senior Systems Engineering Manager in the technology industry.
“The skills I learned in Cisco Networking Academy have defined my career! I developed a passion for networking while attending the Academy in high school and did everything I could to get to Cisco. I interned at Cisco and started full time in the Sales Associates program upon graduating from UCLA. It was vital to my role as a Systems Engineer and led to me achieving my CCIE! I now lead a team of over 30 Systems Engineers across the Northwestern United States and rely on my fundamental technical knowledge to guide my technical and business strategy for the team?”
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