#CiscoChampion Radio is a podcast series by Cisco Champions as technologists. Today we talk about the Dream Team with Alumni Zoe Rose and Cisco Networking Academy Program Managers Gena Pirtle and Sara Shreve.CiscoChampionBadge

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DreamTeam Alumni Guest

  • Zoë Rose (@5683Monkey) Member of Cisco Live DreamTeam 2015

Cisco SME

  • Gena Pirtle (@@genapirtle), Marketing and Workforce Program Manager for Cisco Corporate Affairs which manages the Cisco Networking Academy Program
  • Sara Shreve (@SaShreve), Associate Corporate Social Responsibilities Manager at Cisco Networking Academy Program

Cisco Champion Guest Hosts

  • Josh Kittle (@Collab_Ninja), Collaboration Engineer & Technology Blogger/Freelance Technical Trainer



  • What is #CLDreamTeam? See all over Cisco Live 2015 San Diego
  • Read Josh’s blog post Cisco Networking Academy Dream Team for more details
  • History of the program, how did it all get started?DreamTeamTweet2
  • Networking Academy is a special secret that we actually want more people to be aware of. “This is Cisco’s flagship Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) Program, education program that is training individuals to learn IT skills leading to Cisco’s certifications.” – Gena
  • The DreamTeam was formed to support The Network Operations Center (The NOC) at CiscoLive events.
  • Over 200 DreamTeam alumni. Started five years ago. DreamTeam at all CiscoLive events for the past five years and the program is explanding to our partners like the NBA.
  • DreamTeam members are at CiscoLive for 10 days. A lot of hard work and long hours (comfy shoes and a first aid kit are recommended!)
  • The NOC team rely on the DreamTeam as first level of support, considering them part of their own staff.
  • “Opportunity to see design and execution of a network rollout in a hyper condensed format” – Josh
  • Sara was the #CLDreamTeam Mom
  • Lots of zip ties, tape and late late nights!
  • Q: How do people get involved or selected for the Dream Team?
    • A: Cisco CSR team reaches out to Networking Academy instructors and the instructors nominate students from NorthAmerica. They have to have technological knowledge, write an essay, video of “who I am” and business reference as well. This is a stepping point for their career.
  • Instructors are there as well. There are only two instructors selected, it is a two year commitment.
  • Q: Zoë- how did this experience directly impact you, if you don’t mind sharing?
    • A: Gave her contacts all over the world. She realized she really likes what she does. She made lots of friends and is going to other conferences. DreamTeam helped her gain contacts, confidence, get excited and passionate about what she is doing.DreamTeamTweet1
  • Q: How much caffeine did you have, Zoë? And how many tweets did it take to get to the top of the board?
  • 1059 access points and 200 switches set up for CiscoLive
  • 100 rolls of duct tape – There was ever enough duct tape or red tape
  • We encourage anyone hiring to hire a Networking Academy graduate #HireZoe or #HireNetAcadStudents
  • The Dream Team did an AMAZING job in making CLUS a success!

Cisco Champions Program Overview
Cisco Champions are an elite group of technical experts who are passionate about IT and enjoy sharing their knowledge, expertise, and thoughts across the social web and with Cisco. The program has been running for over two years and has earned two industry awards as an industry best practice.

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Lindsay Hamilton

Social Media Blog Program Manager

Global Social Media Marketing