Prize-Winning Graduate Demonstrates the Skills to Succeed

Csilla Bessenyei of Hungary has earned top placements in several national and global networking competitions, including NetRiders.

An Opportunity to Develop Networking Skills

Some people seem destined for a career in networking. Take 22-year-old Csilla Bessenyei from Hungary, for example. "My father is a jack of all trades, so at home I encountered a lot of things related to technology," she explains. "I was a little girl when I first showed an interest in computer science. I stayed in the computer room at school after lessons every day, and I started to use the Internet and design web pages. I used programming languages, but at last I found the world of networking in high school." Bessenyei was lucky enough to attend the Mechwart András High School in Debrecen, Hungary, where all students completing the general finishing exam can stay on for an extra year to complete a Cisco Networking Academy course. It was an opportunity she enthusiastically accepted. Bessenyei describes her academy experience as hands-on and interactive. "The interpersonal activities are really important," she says. "We had a Student Day, where we got tips for applying to Cisco to become an employee and information about graduate development opportunities. This was a great experience and I was happy to meet those people, because they were part of my life later." Bessenyei gained her Cisco CCNA certification in February 2010, after starting a degree course at the prestigious Budapest University of Technology and Economics, where she is now a Networking Academy instructor.

Gaining International Recognition

Many Networking Academy students enjoy showcasing their skills in networking competitions, and Bessenyei is no exception. In fact, she has earned first, second, or third place in six competitions. The highlight was winning the global NetRiders competition in 2008, with the prize being a trip to visit Cisco headquarters in San Jose, California. "It was an unforgettable experience," she enthuses. "I could look into Cisco's everyday operations and meet the professionals working there." More recently, Bessenyei's dream of working for Cisco became a reality when she won the Cisco "More Together" internship prize. As a result, she had an opportunity to work with the Cisco Innovation Consulting Engineering Team in the United Kingdom, where her excellent command of the English language gave her a significant advantage. In addition to teaching Networking Academy courses and pursuing her degree at the university, Bessenyei currently works as a sales representative for Fast Lane, a Cisco Learning Partner. She offers this advice for anyone who hopes to enter the networking profession: "Study hard, be curious, make new friendships, enter competitions, and be passionate in whatever you do. Find the thing that can inspire you and strive to be the best in your field."

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