Formula for Success: How Ali went from pizza delivery to networking designer


“My first job in the U.S. was as a pizza delivery driver. I knew I had to continue my education to fulfill my potential, so I enrolled in the Cisco Networking Academy.”


Migrating from Lebanon

Ali Yassine grew up in South Lebanon, where he attended college, and earned his bachelor’s degree in Mathematics.

“While the educational system in Lebanon is very strong, the opportunities for employment are scarce,” he says. “I knew early on that I would have to emigrate to fulfill my career and professional goals.”

With family in Paraguay, that seemed the obvious choice for Ali, so he moved there and started working as a manager in one of his cousin’s businesses.

Unfortunately, the economy at the time was not ideal and he made the decision to get a visa and move to the United States.

From pizza delivery to network design

“My first job in the U.S. was as a pizza delivery driver,” says Ali. “I knew I had to continue my education to fulfill my potential.”

Ali knew he wanted to further his interest in abstract math when a friend introduced him to networking. After some research he discovered Cisco Networking Academy, and when he was able, Ali attended Networking Academy at Henry Ford College, earning his CCNA and CCNP.
From there Ali was recommended to KLA Laboratories for a 6-month internship. He excelled and was taken on as a Junior Engineer.

At KLA I found a welcoming and supportive environment that allowed me to work with a wide array of major customers,” he says. “This experience helped to broaden my skills, as well as my contacts with other IT professionals.”

During his time at KLA Labs, Ali mastered routing and switching and has worked on wireless surveys and designs. Over the years, Ali has focused on gaining experience and continues to immerse himself in learning everything he can about new technologies.

As an engineer and now a Technical Solutions Manager at KLA Labs, Ali’s daily duties consist of meeting with clients and colleagues, building labs based on new technologies, participating in design reviews, and setting proof of concepts for clients.

KLA considers Ali a major engineering contributor to the company.

Advice for others

“I highly encourage potential Networking Academy students to dedicate themselves to putting in the work and focus it requires to succeed in this field,” he says. “It is highly rewarding, and it can open a plethora of opportunities. Be patient and keep your eye on your goals!”

“When I was introduced to my mentors and the IT contacts at KLA, I knew I was in the best possible position to implement the knowledge I had gained through Cisco Networking Academy,” says Ali. “I am very fortunate to love what I do every day.”


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