Cisco Live! draws the brightest minds in IT and communications
Each year, Cisco Live! draws the brightest minds in IT and communications – people who are eager to learn more about the technologies and trends that are the foundation for the future.
Jason Lachowsky, IHCC web content manager and student, was selected to be a part of the National Dream Team at this year’s event, held from June 7 -11, in San Diego, CA. Comprised of ten students and two instructors, the dream team was responsible for setting up wireless access points in the conference center and nearby hotels. Then, they provided help desk support and network troubleshooting during the event. Dream Team members now do the same work Cisco Live! once outsourced to contractors. “Although I loved constructing networks in the lab, being on the team installing and maintaining the physical network at Cisco Live! was real,” noted Lachowsky. “The network connected over 25,000 users, relied upon over 1200 wireless access points, and was supported by over 300 switches. Helping build a network of that scale was quite a thrill.”
Dale Henninger, adjunct faculty member, is a certified Cisco Instructor and has been involved with the Cisco Network Academy since 1997. Henninger also serves as Senior Manager of Global Network Services at General Mills, Inc. in Minneapolis. He returned for a second year as a Dream Team instructor, serving in the lead role. Lachowsky said, “Dale is a positive force in the classroom, and I learned, also in the field. His upbeat mood, contagious energy, and ability to see past small setbacks carried us to our end goal. He helped us set clear objectives, but wasn’t afraid to let us find our own path to meet them.”
Selections for the National Dream Team were based on geographical representation, diversity, technical and professional skills, instructor recommendations and activities outside of the classroom.
The National Dream Team was joined by a local Dream Team, comprised of 20 San Diego-based students and two instructors.
Each year, more than 160,000 students in the United States and Canada enroll in Cisco Networking Academy courses. They develop IT know-how and valuable problem solving skills in preparation for jobs.
In 2011, Cisco launched the Dream Team to give top students the chance to work side-by-side with engineers at the annual Cisco Live! customer conference. Dream Team members gain hands-on experience working under the direction of professional networking engineers matching top students with real world IT work.
The Dream Team gives students an opportunity to work under pressure, network with industry professionals, and showcase their skills for potential employers. The program has expanded to other Cisco events and organizations, including the National Basketball Association (NBA). The Dream Team gives a company’s employees an opportunity to mentor students and offer valuable learning opportunities. Veterans, who often struggle to find meaningful work after their service, and women, who are underrepresented in the IT field, earn many spots on the Dream Team.
The Cisco Live! conference offered in-depth technical education and training and cutting-edge insight from the experts and organizations that are setting the agenda for the future of technology and business. The program schedule included the following:
- In-depth training through Education Programs.
- Opportunities to visit hundreds of industry exhibitors.
- Informal one-on-one discussions with Cisco executives and engineers.
- Networking and meeting with peers during table topics discussions or at the social media hub.