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Developing Local Talent in Technology

Instanbul is known for many things—impressive architecture, mouth-watering cuisine (in my humble opinion), rich cultural history, and so much more. That’s why I was particularly thrilled when I learned Cisco’s Middle Eastern Diversity and Inclusion (MEDI) group hosted a Developing Local Talent in Technology Workshop (DLTT) at the world’s third oldest technical university that focuses on engineering sciences, Istanbul Technical University.

With a particular emphasis on philanthropic and community outreach, MEDI hopes to increase technology awareness and enhance both technical and soft skills for local talent with the DLTT workshops. During this five-day workshop at Istanbul, 100 participants from education sector, public enterprises, and private companies were divided evenly into four groups. Each group focused on one track from DLTT’s curriculum each day. Imagine spending an entire day learning from network industry experts and discussing relevant topics of interest with like-minded peers on one of the four tracks—IP Telephony, Wireless, Network Security, and Professional Development. Three to four local Systems Engineers and Global Cisco volunteer instructors were assigned to each technical track on a rotational basis.

MEDI has been hosting workshops like this since 2009, so it’s little wonder how students and Cisco volunteers from all over the world who participated in DLTT responded to this well-put together and highly interactive program.

Cisco volunteers and students at MEDI's DLTT-Turkey workshop.

Fan Gu, one of the Cisco volunteers who taught Network Security at DLTT-Turkey, said

“It was a great life experience for me to meet these smart students, make lots of good friends, and visit this beautiful city! Hope our efforts will drive our students to the next career level!”

Nihat Burak Aksar, a student of DLTT-Turkey, said

“I found [the] IP telephony section interesting and [I’m] trying to learn more… some of us will get coaching support for our career in Cisco and [the] network world. I would be extremely happy if I get a chance to get more experience from Cisco trainers.”

Erkan Bayar, another student of DLTT-Turkey, said

“All of our instructors were very optimistic and eager to teach us something. Therefore, I listened carefully and took notes because everything they said were golden words for me.”

I wasn’t there to witness the event, but after hearing about it and watching this video documenting the five-day event, I sure wish I had been there.

If you’re as interested as I am as to what MEDI has in store next, check out their Facebook page for the latest updates. Their next DLTT workshop is in Indonesia from February 6-11, 2012. So if you’re in the area, check it out!

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