NDU Alumna Doris Zaarour, who graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering in Computer and Communication Engineering (CCE), ranked first in the final round of the NetRiders CCENT Middle East competition organized by Cisco.
The Cisco Networking Academy NetRiders IT skills competition is a great opportunity for students in the Middle East to showcase their networking abilities, learn valuable new IT skills, and gain visibility among talent recruiters in the growing ICT and networking field.
Zaarour found the networking field to be interesting and decided to develop her skills and pursue a career in it. Even after graduating, therefore, she continued to surf the page www.netacad.com to stay abreast of the latest news and events. She stumbled upon this competition and decided to participate in it for a chance to test her skills and demonstrate her knowledge.
The competition is held through a series of online exams and simulation activities using Cisco Packet Tracer. This competition was held in two rounds and students participate as individuals. The first round consisted of two virtual exams: one online theoretical exam consisting of 80 questions. It contained mostly multiple-choice questions and some fill-in-the-blank questions. The test ran for 60 minutes. The other was a packet-tracer exam containing 10 questions that ran for 30 minutes.
The top five students per academy advance to the next round (a minimum score of 60 percent is required). Then, in the second round there were two 60-minute virtual exams: one theoretical online exam with 100 questions and one packet-tracer exam with 20 questions. (Packet Tracer is a cross-platform visual simulation tool designed by Cisco Systems that allows users to create network topologies and imitate modern computer networks. The software allows users to simulate the configuration of Cisco routers and switches using a simulated command line interface.)
Competitions are offered for students currently or recently enrolled in a Cisco Networking Academy course. Each region offers three levels of competitions: CCNA, CCENT, and IT Essentials. Eligibility requirements differ per competition level. The first round was held on May 11, 2017, and the second round was held on June 15, 2017.
Zaarour said, “I was really prepared for the tests; I studied well and practiced with several online exams. Plus my work at Connect as a network engineer allowed me to grasp all networking essentials and fundamentals. By winning the competition, I won a CCENT certification voucher that I will use in August and a personalized Certificate of Achievement.”
She added, “Other than testing my skills, I was also able to recognize my weaknesses, which will leave me better prepared for the CCENT certification exam. It’s also fun and rewarding to gain hands-on practice and experience in a competitive environment. I hope I will gain visibility among talent recruiters in the growing ICT and networking field.”
Zaarour believes that, “Winning is certainly an outstanding achievement; real success does not come from winning but for being ambitious and curious enough to engage in things that will enhance your skills, develop your career, and most importantly make you happy.”