Jess's diary entry - Autumn 2012

Jess looks back over her first year at Cisco and how much she has achieved. She’s recently become project manager of the company’s apprentice team, which has given her great opportunities, as well passing her CCNA exam.

Jess Quinn The last few months have been a whirlwind, with an abundance of experiences and qualifications to boot. Building foundation knowledge of Cisco as well as gaining invaluable industry skills has been fantastic. I’ve had some fascinating experiences, from visiting the Houses of Parliament for the Apprentice of the Year awards to being made project manager of the apprentice team here at Cisco.

Becoming a project manager

I’d say that becoming project manager has been my biggest achievement over the past few months, and it is a very exciting turning point in my career at Cisco. I have spent the last three months planning, preparing, organising and implementing the opportunity for seven new apprentices to start with Cisco. This has given me some great project management skills and raised my personal profile within the company.

My highlight has been meeting our European service sales vice president, Paula Dowdy and John Blake, BT’s head of hosted IP telephony and hosted IP contact centres at an event in London. This was an exciting opportunity for me as I got to meet some influential and inspirational people. This later led to an invite to an executive review in July, giving me the chance to network with some very important people.

Passing exams

I’ve also passed a vital Cisco Apprenticeship exam: Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA). This is an exciting and useful qualification to have in any networking industry. It helps me to gain recognition from peers, co-workers, and supervisors. The CCNA, along with most other certifications, (MCSA/MCSE, SSCP, CISSP, the various CompTIA exams, etc.,) helps to show the industry that you've reached a certain level of knowledge and experience in your career and your education.

Looking back over my first year

To sum up the year, the apprenticeship is equipping me with the qualifications and experience I need to be successful in my career. It can sometimes be challenging, but for me that makes the experience more enjoyable. My first year has not only taught me great industry skills but has also made me more aware of my actions and abilities as a person.

Next year I hope to further progress my knowledge and understanding of Cisco and accelerate my development as a project manager. I’d like to become an integral part of the advanced services team and be a useful tool in the execution of day-to-day business.