Yesterday, over 25,000 Cisco customers, employees, and executives helped kick off Cisco Live US 2015 in San Diego, California, attending everything from John Chambers’ final keynote to the World of Solutions in the massive San Diego Convention Center. The venue, which measures over a quarter mile from end to end, features a public, secure wireless network for attendees to access from any room in the building.

Because of this network, they can tweet, post Facebook statuses, and share their favorite pictures on Instagram throughout the week, all without worrying about a faulty Internet connection. But who is keeping that network running, and who helped set it up?

As part of the Cisco Networking Academy Dream Team, students are building the skills they'll need to thrive in the connected economy.
As part of the Cisco Networking Academy Dream Team, students are building the skills they’ll need to thrive in the connected economy.

The Cisco Networking Academy Dream Team! As part of the Dream Team, 30 Networking Academy students have been working side-by-side with the Cisco IT team to maintain the event’s massive networks and develop the hands-on skills they’ll need to thrive in the connected economy.

Each year, more than 160,000 students in the United States and Canada enroll in Cisco Networking Academy courses, where they develop IT know-how and valuable problem-solving skills in preparation for jobs in the IT field. Of those thousands of candidates, 10 North American students are selected to participate, and another 20 local students join them to provide additional support.

Their experiences as part of the Dream Team give students an opportunity to work under pressure, network with industry professionals, and showcase their skills for potential employers. Below, two of this year’s Dream Team participants share their favorite memories from the event so far and explain how working in a live setting has prepared them to succeed as future networking professionals.

Kwame Ohemeng

Kwame Ohemeng attends Gwinnett Technical College in Lawrenceville Georgia, where he has completed Cisco CCNA 1-4 courses and is CCNA certified. In 2010, Kwame joined Cisco Networking Academy in his home country of Ghana and studied for six months as part of the CCNA Discovery program. After completing the program, he was hired by Ghana Television and worked as a network engineer before migrating to the United States in 2013, where he re-enrolled in Cisco Networking Academy courses and earned an opportunity to become a member of  the Dream Team in 2015.

Zoe Rose

Zoe Rose attends Red River College in Manitoba, Canada, where she is studying to earn her Cisco CCNA certification. Before starting her journey to become a networking professional, Zoe worked to become a botanist at the University at Manitoba, but was forced to change her career path after developing an allergy to the plants she was studying. She later joined an accounting firm as a financial analyst, but was curious to test her skills in the IT department. There, she found a passion for network architecture, enrolled in Cisco Networking Academy courses, and earned a trip to Cisco Live US 2015.

Learn more about the Cisco Networking Academy Dream Team on our Cisco CSR website and follow us on Twitter for more updates from Cisco Live US 2015. Use #CLUS and #CLDreamTeam to interact with the team and check back tomorrow for more blogs straight from San Diego.

Employers: Hire Networking Academy talent for YOUR business. Find out how at http://cs.co/employer2015


Austin Belisle

No Longer with Cisco