Blog Archives

CCNP Route Study Update – 4/2/13

Just wanted to make a quick update on where I am at in my CCNP Route studies. Yesterday night I finished up with IPv6. For the rest of the week I am going to be reading Chapter 1 and 7 from the CiscoPress FLG Route guide. The following week is where I will begin Phase 2 of my study plan (I have a post with my study plan attached). Phase 2 will consist of me going through Chris Bryant’s CCNP Route video series along with labing each day for about two hours. This should take a little more than a month to complete.  I will continue update the blog periodically.

Suit Up and Show Up

So I have been coming across this question quite often lately. “Should I wear a suit to my interview?”; we are strictly talking about IT jobs here ranging from a helpdesk to director interviews. Personally, I wore a suit to both IT interviews I have had. One was for a desktop engineer position and another was for a network engineer (I got the job both times). I have read comments online saying that suits aren’t necessary for any kind of IT support role rather a suit should only be worn when going to interview for a management position. My response to this is that it is better to be over dressed than under dressed. Don’t you think an employer wants to hire someone that knows when/how to dress professionally?

I am going to be honest, I actually do really enjoy wearing a suit whenever I get the chance. I feel that it gives me added confidence during the interview. Even if the position allows the employees to “dress-down” I think the suit is still the way to go for the interview. Perfect example is Google, they allow all their employees to wear jeans and t-shirts to work, however they expect all their interviewees to be dressed professionally.

You have nothing to lose wearing a suit to an interview so I recommend you go out and buy yourself a nice tailored suit. It does not need to be super expensive or made by some famous designer. Their are plenty of alternatives including Jos A. Bank and Men’s Wearhouse. I personally recommend Jos A. Bank because they always have great deals and offers year round.

Caught between a Rock and a Hard place

Caught between a rock and a hard place…an expression I never fully understood until I began my Cisco Certification journey. I often find myself having to make tough decisions, for example, going to the bars with my friends or staying in for the night and working towards my CCNP. Just a little over a year ago I wouldn’t have even thought twice about the answer to this question; I would be out having a good ol’ time with my friends.  However since graduating college I feel that I have changed, and personally I think it is for the better. Most of my free time now is filled with studying/labing various Cisco topics. I usually give myself one free day a week to go out with friends, sadly though going out to the bars is no longer as appealing to me. People always tell me that I spend to much time in the books and that I need to go out and “enjoy” life. Why does going out to bars and drinking mean your enjoying life? I just don’t get it.  I want to make a good life for myself and for my future family (I am still young, 23).  I want to be able to travel and visit beautiful parts of the world, which thankfully I have been able to do once a year for most of my life. I need to push through with my studies, the results are already showing everyday.  Job calls are coming in daily, and without my determination and motivation I know for a fact I wouldn’t have half the success I have now.

Staying Focused and Keeping Track of your Goals

Staying focused and keeping track of your goals is often a very hard thing to do, especially during times when you can be easily distracted. Perfect example is the Easter holidays. We often overlook our goals after the holidays end and think that we owe ourselves some sort of vacation. Well not for me, I had a great Easter weekend but now that the family is gone its time to buckle down and get back to studying. Staying determined is a key to your success. Only you control your fate and how successful you can/will become. Also never take for granted the time you have, make every second of everyday count. Exercise your brain every day and never settle for anything but the best. So remember to stay focused, stay determined, and stay CISCO!!!

Cisco Study Motivation

Push through your Cisco studies day in and day out. You WILL persevere! Never give up on any problem you face.

Jeremy Cioara’s take on the changes to CCNA

Jeremy Cioara gives his opinion on the changes being made to the CCNA certification in 2013


My Resources for CCNP Route

Here is a list of what I am using to prepare myself for CCNP Route:

  • Cisco Press CCNP Route Foundation Learning Guide
  • CBT Nuggets CCNP Video Series
  • Chris Bryant CCNP Video Series
  • 101 CCNP Labs
  • Cisco CCNP Student Lab Manuals

I am hoping this will be enough to prepare me for the CCNP. I plan to sit the exam in about 4-6 months

Some Motivation Before Your Long Weekend

Great video for some motivation!!

My potential break into the networking field

About a month ago I was contacted by a company that had found my resume on monster. They were interested in me joining their networking team as a network engineer. I had a technical test that I guess they use to screen out people that do not answer them correctly. The questions ranged from packet analysis to how I perform under pressure.

After the initial screening the HR department wanted to schedule a phone interview. During that interview I was asked typical HR questions such as “What do you like to do outside of the workplace?” or “What are some of your future goals?”. I answered all the questions honestly and felt like I aced it after we had gotten off the phone.  A few hours later I received an email that said they wanted me to come in and have an in-person interview with a few members of the network team.  I was very excited but at the same time nervous for what was to come.

Upon interview day I woke up extra early to do some last minute CCNA review (I was expecting to get drilled with cisco questions, since the companies infrastructure is all cisco). I got changed into my new suit; had a big breakfast and was on my way. During the drive to the interview my mind was racing so I played some motivational videos that always get me pumped up and ready to go.  I arrived about 15 minutes early and met first with the HR person I had spoken to on the phone with.  She told me that she had another written technical test for me, this one consisting of more cisco CLI based questions.  Upon finishing the test I felt more then ready to meet the engineers. I knew I had aced the written test questions so my nerves calmed down a bit.

I was then taken to a room to meet with two engineers and the HR person. The interview was very relaxed and I feel like I could have talked with the engineers for hours. The HR person would chime in every so often and ask those typical HR questions again. All in all I feel the interview went great. After the interview was over the HR person took me to an office and told me that the engineers liked me a lot and that she would like to schedule another in-person interview so I can meet the CIO and Director. I was estatic.

The following week I met with the CIO and Director. The interview again was very relaxed and seemed just like a regular conversation. They were both very nice just like everyone else I had previously met at this company. After my interview I bid my farewell to the CIO and the Director took me on a tour of the IT department. The building wasn’t in the nicest shape but like many IT departments they aren’t. However…upon entering the data center….I was BLOWN away! Everything was on such a bigger scale then what I am used too at my current job. Their was even two Nexus 7010s still on pallets that are waiting to be configured for the data center relocation project. I couldn’t believe I could potentially work here! After about a 30 minute tour the Director walked me out.

Upon arriving home I sent out thank you note emails to the HR person, CIO, and Director.  A few days later I received an email that I would have an offer the following week. I almost yelled out in joy when I read the email! I can’t believe it’s finally happening! I am going to be a Network Engineer! is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to