I often get messages from people just starting out their Networking career and others who are well on their way: they would like to talk to someone who has gone ahead on the path they are currently treading. Other times, they have questions (technical and otherwise) they would like answered. Generally speaking, what they want in one word is a “Mentor”.
Rather than randomly looking for a Cisco mentor, I decided to make it official. I recently launched a Cisco self-paced learning program that will include mentorship sessions. The aim is to encourage self study while also giving the participant access to frequent help from the “mentor” and a network of experts.
The program will include four 1-hour mentoring sessions on a monthly/quarterly subscription model. In these sessions, the mentor will help the participant to plan a reading schedule, set learning goals, discuss progress, explain areas of difficulty, and provide opinion on the participant’s level of preparedness/understanding on the particular topic or certification exam.
Although the focus of this program is self study with mentoring sessions, I also believe in real life hands-on experiences; therefore, internship opportunities may also be available.
Finally, the program is not only directed at certification exam preparation but also available for building skill in a particular area e.g. Firewalls, like many working professionals may want to do.
The benefits of this program to the participant include:
- Discuss progress and explain areas of difficulty through mentorship sessions
- Access to network of experienced professionals
- Access to real-life experiences and scenarios
- Access to library of resources
- Get opinion into level of preparedness and understanding through question/answer segment relevant to particular topic/certification
- Possibility of gaining job experience through internships
In a nutshell, here are the features of the program:
- Four (4) 1-hour Mentoring sessions per month
- Access to concept-explanatory articles e.g. articles explaining VPN
- Question/Answer segment for different topic areas to test understanding
- Help with drafting reading schedule and timelines
- Frequent email communication
- Internship opportunities may also be available
The program is available on all levels – associate, professional and expert. For those interested, you can drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.