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Making the Web Change People’s Lives is What Drives Me to Study Cisco Certification

What makes Zhao Mengmeng different from many of the CCIE elites interviewed before is that she has a unique experience. She received a variety of educations and worked in many different jobs, and finally chose to pursue a Cisco certification and embark on a network engineer position. The reason why she chose to work in networking along the way and supported her ultimately stemmed from having the same goal at heart as Cisco’s –  that the network could change people’s lives and make them more convenient.

Zhao Mengmeng has three master’s degrees in education, human resources and information engineering. She has done recruitment, business analysis and project management of virtualization. Now, she is working as a network engineer in Australia’s second largest telecommunications company – OPTUS. Founded in 1992, OPUTS provides mobile, voice, broadband and TV-on-demand communication services to Australian users. Now it is a very mature communication company. After changing careers for three years, recalling several previous jobs and experiences, Zhao Mengmeng felt that it was the right choice to take the CCIE certification and set foot on the IT network position.

The earliest Zhao Mengmeng enrolled in Australian universities. Since the workflow is very manual during the admissions process, she felt that a lot of the knowledge she has learned is wasted on these manual tasks, which is very time-consuming and inefficient, and the services provided to students are not very timely. In order to make everyone’s work and life more efficient, Zhao Mengmeng began to plan to switch to IT and accept more technical work.

Cisco certification reflects as much real work as possible, and I can get started after passing the certification, which makes me feel very at ease.

In order to get in touch with the forefront of technology, Zhao Mengmeng gave up a good project management job and started to change careers. Although Zhao Mengmeng originally studied Juniper most of the time, she did not take the Juniper certification, but the Cisco CCIE certification, because she learned that no matter what equipment you use at work, with CCIE knowledge can be applied. For example, DMVPN will have a similar concept in Juniper, and the learning of Cisco certification is more systematic and richer.

Zhao Mengmeng’s husband also obtained two CCIE certifications a long time ago, so Zhao Mengmeng has always heard about CCIE. He told Zhao Mengmeng CCIE as a very practical certification, which is really practical in work. And Cisco certifications are constantly being introduced and linked to the needs of the job.

This was confirmed in Zhao Mengmeng’s conversation with CCDE’s Program Manager when she participated in Cisco Live in 2015. The program manager told her that the most important thing she wanted to do in designing the Cisco certification program was how to make the exam reflect as much of the reality as possible. After passing the CCIE exam, you will do related network work. This makes Zhao Mengmeng, who has changed careers and stepped into the IT industry, feel particularly at ease.

Zhao Mengmeng has learned a lot in the process of preparing for the CCIE exam, and theknowledge is highly related to the work. Exam preparation is not only about memorization, but also understanding. In the process of learning, she constantly imagined the connection with the application in reality, coupled with the laboratory practice, and finally began to participate in related practical work immediately after obtaining the CCIE certification.

Obtaining Cisco certification is a milestone, a “measurable” “SMART goal”

The advantages of obtaining Cisco certification are very obvious to Zhao Mengmeng. First of all, her annual salary increased by 15,000 Australian dollars after her first CCIE certification, which made her very happy. It is also more motivated for her to continue learning about Cisco certifications.

Second, her work has become more hands-on, and her ability to learn and expand technology has also strengthened. Because OPTUS where she works has a lot of projects to be done, in addition to the network, it is also constantly expanding to do server and cloud services. It’s not enough to just have knowledge of the Internet these days. This requires her to learn various aspects of network knowledge and become an expert in a short period of time. For example, they are currently working on the public cloud of AWS, and it takes her about a week to understand the architecture and two weeks to learn more details. Sometimes the project is down, and she may only have a week or even a day to figure out all the technical points. However, with the foundation of Cisco certification, it seems that Zhao Mengmeng has laid a foundation framework, and she only needs to fill in other knowledge. Work naturally and efficiently.

To make her even happier, the IT manager is also proud of her Cisco certification. Because of her certification, the number of CCIEs that OPTUS has as a partner has increased, helping the company win many projects and improving the KPI of the team led by the manager. In order to encourage her to go all out for the examination, the company also provides reimbursement of examination cost. Colleagues around her also came to her to help solve network problems because of her CCIE, and sometimes she was overwhelmed. For Zhao Mengmeng, the CCIE certificate is like a golden signboard, helping to dispel some prejudice against girls that may exist in this industry.

Finally, Zhao Mengmeng concluded that obtaining Cisco certification is a milestone: foreigners like to use a word called “SMART goal”, namely “Specific”, “Measurable”, “Achievable”, “Realistic” and “Timely”, which The initials of several words, indicates a goal that must meet these five points before it can be achieved. So CCIE is a very “specific” and “measurable” goal. And she chose to take Cisco certification to prove to employers that she has the ability to work in IT positions. In the eyes of employers and managers, Cisco certification is an indicator of her ability. And she did prove herself.

Suggestions for Cisco’s future and Cisco certification candidates

“I think Cisco is a very powerful company. I participated in Cisco Live in 2015, and I feel that Cisco is very willing to innovate, especially willing to spend a lot of money to cooperate with other manufacturers to develop new technologies. UCS is a good example. The quality of Cisco’s products is particularly good.” Zhao Mengmeng said. As a network engineer, her focus is actually in line with Cisco’s technology development. She hopes that network engineers can abandon more repetitive manual configuration and add more automation in the future, just like Cisco’s UCS, which establishes a standard for everyone, connects complex operations in series, and makes everyone’s life more convenient.

And her advice to students who are studying CCNA, CCNP, and CCIE is to regard Cisco certification as a milestone of a success and master the knowledge in preparation for the exam. Based on the experience of past people, she advises everyone not to think that CCIE exam is particularly difficult. There is an educational theory called self-efficacy (self-realization theory). Give yourself a psychological hint and tell yourself that you will definitely be able to learn, and that others can do it. I also can do it. I believe this trick will definitely work.

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