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A Journey from WorldSkills to Cisco

closeupThis post was written by guest blogger Jean-Philippe Desbiens, 23, a Cisco Meraki consulting systems engineer. Cisco CCNA certified since age 17, Jean-Philippe is now CCNP certified and studying for his CCIE. He is involved in his community and is always eager to learn new technologies.

Did you know that every two years, a global competition for professional trades is held somewhere in the world? That event, called WorldSkills, happened last month in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

WorldSkills is an International competition that brings together young people from all around the world to fight for the title of “best of the world” in their trades. I was one of them, as I represented Canada in the category IT – Network Systems Administration in 2013 in Leipzig. I finished 6th out of 30 competitors and received a medallion of excellence. However, before getting in the world’s top 10, I had to follow a specific and special path.

Jean-Philippe competes at WorldSkills 2013 in Leipzig, Germany

Jean-Philippe competes at a prior WorldSkills event in Leipzig, Germany

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Digital Challenge Helps Young People Solve Social Challenges in Brazil

What better place to incorporate a Hackathon than at World Skills, an event already bursting with energy and excitement? This year, the organization introduced a Digital Challenge with the goal to help local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with real-world problems, and show that IT-related competitions can be fun and engaging.

As part of the Digital Challenge at World Skills, students will put their technical knowledge to the test while working with local organizations to solve social problems with technology.

Fifteen local Brazilian problem solvers will join 5 past WorldSkills champions to help 5 Brazilian NGOs move social projects forward. The 4-day challenge takes place parallel to the WorldSkills competition and will leave behind a legacy.

The 5 challenges the teams will address are:

  • Opportunities for youth
  • Multiple disabilities game and play
  • Blood donation awareness
  • Recycling and social development
  • Cancer patient support

Learn more about the teams and the challenges.

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Young People Show Off Their IT Skills at Global Competition

It’s hard to believe 2 years have already passed since I first experienced WorldSkills in Leipzig, Germany. The intensity and energy of the week were unforgettable, so I’m excited to be back this year, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, to experience it again.

I always feel inspired meeting young people who take their skills to the next level. WorldSkills is one of the best events to do just that – this vigorous 4-day competition tests young people’s vocational skills, ranging from hairdressing to carpentry to robotics to IT network systems administration. More than 1000 competitors travel from 50+ countries around the world with the hopes to take home a medal at the end of the week.

Cisco is a strong supporter of World Skills and the opportunity it provides for young people to showcase their talent. Specifically we sponsor Skill #39, IT Network Systems Administration. This year we will meet top talent from 36 countries who will compete in Skill #39 – the largest number in this skill ever. And, approximately 90% of them are enrolled in Cisco Networking Academy courses.

Jean-Philippe Desbiens represented Canada in Skill #39 at WorldSkills 2013. He was later hired  by Cisco in Montreal.

Jean-Philippe Desbiens represented Canada in Skill #39 at WorldSkills 2013. He was later hired by Cisco in Montreal.

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#CiscoChampion Radio S2|Ep 27. Getting Started in I.T.

CiscoChampion200PXbadge#CiscoChampion Radio is a podcast series by Cisco Champions as technologists. Today we’ll be talking about getting started in I.T. with Cisco Champions Rowell Dionicio and Justin Parisi. Our guest hosts this week are Networking Academy members Tim Harmon and Nick Saylor.

Listen to the Podcast.

Learn about the Cisco Champions Program HERE.
See a list of all #CiscoChampion Radio podcasts HERE.
Ask about the next round of Cisco Champions nominations. EMAIL US.

Cisco Champion SMEs
Rowell Dionicio, @rowelldionicio, Network Engineer
Justin Parisi, @NFSDudeAbides, Technical Marketing Engineer

Networking Academy Guest Hosts
Tim Harmon, @harmont2004
Nick Saylor, @SalsaBeard

Additional Networking Academy Members
Jason Lachowsky
Sergio Salas
Zoe Rose
Nathan Pan
Ben Shirer

Rachel Bakker (@rbakker)

Up and coming skills for new professionals
Getting your foot in the door
What hiring managers look for
Overcoming lack of experience
The most important tools you’ll need to jump start your career
Networking and Tech Groups
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What 30 Years of History Means for the Future

Thirty years. What were you doing 30 years ago? Were you graduating from college? From high school? Were you starting your first career? Were you born yet? Thirty years is obviously going to mean different things to different people.

Here at Cisco, we’re celebrating 30 years. Thirty years of technology. Thirty years of innovation. Thirty years of growth. And while it may not have been a part of our original vision to change the way the world works, lives, plays, and learns, we’ve certainly evolved—making that mantra a part of our DNA. We’re also saying goodbye to our CEO John Chambers, who has led us through the last 20 years, and welcoming new CEO Chuck Robbins to carry the torch and lead us into our next chapter.

Our 30 years have not been without struggles or challenges. We’ve seen the rise and fall of other companies. We’ve walked among the giants and startups of the Silicon Valley, a region that has grown into an economic powerhouse for change. And, today—at this moment—we’re not only surviving, we’re thriving.

Our success means more than good things for Cisco. Ultimately, it amplifies our ability to change the world.

Cisco Networking Academy, our longest-running and largest Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program, has helped more than 5.5 million people develop IT skills and launch careers since 1997.

Cisco Networking Academy, our longest-running and largest Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program, has helped more than 5.5 million people develop IT skills and launch careers since 1997.

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