This has been an unforgettable week with the top networking students from around the globe. I’ve had the pleasure to meet 19 winners from the International NetRiders skills competition for Cisco Networking Academy students, and join them on their grand prize visit to Silicon Valley: an experience most students can only dream of!
On Monday January 13, 19 Cisco Networking Academy students from around the world will arrive at Cisco headquarters, where they will spend a week learning about the IT industry and making connections that could launch their careers.
As the top scorers in 2013 Cisco Networking Academy NetRiders International Skills Competitions, the students won a grand-prize, all-expenses paid trip to Cisco headquarters. They will meet with Cisco President Rob Lloyd, tour Cisco offices, visit the Stanford University campus, and experience local attractions in San Francisco and Santa Cruz.
The Cisco Networking Academy NetRiders competition champions have been enjoying a whirlwind tour of the Cisco San Jose campus and Silicon Valley this week. Their agenda has included both technical sites and locations of scenic and cultural interest.
The 17 champions from 13 countries started out their weeklong visit with a trip to Santa Cruz and a hike at Henry Cowell Redwood park in Scotts Valley. For many, this is their first trip outside their country. In fact, 5 champions had never ridden on an airplane before.
The NetRiders have toured Cisco’s Data Center and the Compliance, Cable and AST (Administrative Serviceability Tools) labs. They even got to visit Cisco CEO John Chamber’s office. He wasn’t in, but Rob Lloyd, Cisco’s President of Sales and Development, gave everyone a tour.
This week Cisco is proud to host 17 NetRider Champions from 13 countries around the globe at Cisco headquarters in San Jose, California. These tech wizards are students from the Cisco Networking Academy program who competed against more than 10,000 applicants in 85 countries. They range in age from 20 to 37.
The annual Networking Academy NetRiders competition is an interactive networking skills contest. It utilizes Cisco’s Web 2.0 technologies to challenge students to achieve high standards of competence, enhance classroom learning, and motivate them to further pursue technology education and training.
Cisco believes in educating people with new skills for life, as well as in providing aid to those in need. Networking Academy is Cisco’s largest and longest-running corporate social responsibility (CSR) program; it was established in 1997 to teach IT based skills to people around the world, helping them get good jobs and encouraging long-term, sustainable economic growth in communities by providing highly skilled network professionals to support local industries. The 10,000 Cisco Academies around the world teach more than 1 million students in over 165 countries each year!
Brian Forward, the NetRider Champion from Canada, was particularly attracted to the interactive element of the competition. “Participating means that I have had the chance to compete with the countries’ and continents’ finest, while showcasing my talents and skills, and enhancing them while representing my home Newfoundland,” he said. “On a forward-looking note, it has created confidence within me that propels my learning.”
The contest is such a good way to motivate students that Tracy Granlund from the Networking Academy Student Advocacy Team says, “We hope to see the competition grow to 50,000 student participants.” The winners are in California to meet with Cisco staff and tour our offices, labs and data center; the Stanford University campus; Intel Museum; coastal Redwoods and beaches at Santa Cruz; and attractions in nearby San Francisco.
We’ll keep you posted about what the NetRiders are up to throughout the week.