The 2015 Cisco Networking Academy NetRiders Competition grand prize trip is coming to an end today, and the 17 winners will be heading home very soon. William Neumann will travel back to Brazil, Diana Polombo will fly to Colombia, and Kepei Xiang will be in China by Sunday, but the visitors will always be connected by the trip of a lifetime. Their success in the international NetRiders Competitions led them to Cisco headquarters, and their experiences in San Jose, California will change their lives forever.
Earlier today, students from 13 different countries met for the first time on Cisco’s San Jose campus. For some, like Odwa Yekela, the visit is a first adventure away from home in South Africa. For others, like Richard Brunner, it’s a simple two-hour drive from Sacramento, California. No matter where the 18 students came from, though, the visit is more than just a trip — it’s a life-changing experience and celebration of their achievement as global winners of the Cisco Networking Academy NetRiders Competition.
This post was written by guest blogger Bernd Überbacher of Austria, a top scorer in the 2013 international Cisco Networking Academy NetRiders competitions. He is currently a Cisco Networking Academy student in Innsbruck, Austria and attended the first-ever “Academy Day” at Cisco Live in Milan, Italy, on January 27.
As I’m curious by nature, I definitely wanted to attend the Cisco Live! Academy Day 2014. Just a couple of days prior, Julie Chrysler from the Cisco Networking Academy team posted in a Facebook group I’m in for Cisco NetRiders winners. We had met in early January during our study prize trip to Cisco headquarters in San Jose, and she wanted to share the information with us, so I made a pretty spontaneous decision to hop on the train to travel the 450km from my town Landeck in Austria to Milan, Italy! On Sunday I started in the morning, spent a couple of hours on the train and after some stops I finally arrived at Milano Centrale. After getting to the hotel and having dinner I didn’t do much more, because I wanted to be rested for the Academy Day.
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!
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.