Community Spotlight Awards - Congratulations To Our Winners

It’s time...The Cisco Learning Network is proud to announce the winners for this round of the Community Spotlight Awards.


Countless individuals participate on this site every day as part of an effort to enhance their skills and pursue their Cisco certifications. Not only do these members aim to reach their own personal goals but they also lend their support, knowledge, and strategies to others in their journeys as well. The peer-to-peer support in our community is truly incredible. Once per quarter we get the opportunity to recognize standout contributors in the form of the Community Spotlight award. We really appreciate all you do.


We also appreciate every one of you who helped us select the Members’ Choice winner. Thank you for your nominations.


It is our honor to present the new recipients for this round. Congratulations to our three new spotlighters:


Members' Choice: Mohamed

Technical Excellence: Leonardo Pena

Rookie: Edmond Gyampoh

We hope that you take a moment to learn more about our winners by watching the short video and reading the Q&A section below.



What education and training (including certification) led you to where you are now?



- I studied N+

- CCNA RS for INE videos , IPEXPERT Videos and Cisco Press Book

-I am currently studying CCNP RS for INE videos, IPEXPERT Videos and Cisco Press Book


Leonardo: I have a three years certification degree in telecommunications from the Université du Québec a Montréal, Canada. Also I have a System Engineering degree from Intituto Universitario Politecnico “Santiago Mariño” Venezuela. I earn a CCNA R&S, CCNP R&S, Cisco Advanced Data Center Networking Infrastructure Support Specialist, Cisco Data Center UF Support Specialist.


Edmond: Interestingly, I had my first degree in Biochemistry which is not IT related. I was given an offer to study CCNA right after my first degree and I have never looked back. I went on to study for CCNA Security and CCNP Routing/Switching and currently preparing for the CCIE R/S exam. I also studied for a Masters Degree in Computer Science mainly to get an understanding of how the programming side of things work. My focus during my studies was to thoroughly understand how the various technologies and protocols work, how they inter-operate, and the use case of one over the other. Passing the certification exams was just a by-product of this understanding.


What's your job title now and what's really cool about your job?


Mohamed: Network Administrator. I don`t have any job NOW, I am searching for a new job.


Leonardo: I work as a senior network engineer at the larger oil company in Venezuela. What I love the most of my work is that every day is a new challenge and an opportunity to learn and improve my technical skills on IT to contribute to the growth of the organization and my personal growth in an effectual manner.


Edmond: I currently work as a Network Engineer with a Bank. I really enjoy what I do because it keeps me up to date with the various technologies and protocols; from LAN Security, VoIP Implementations, Data Center Operation, WAN Connectivity to our various Branches, QoS implementations, third party integrations etc. This also helps me in my pursuit of various Cisco Certifications.


Why did you decide to go into IT as a career and how long have you been working in IT?


Mohamed: I love Networking Field, a friend of mine told me about this field for about 4 years. Starting N+ from 2014, and I am currently studying CCNP RS track and still don`t finish It.


Leonardo: Since a touch my first computer back in the end nineties, I knew that it was what I want to study.

Once I started my studies in Canada,  I had a networking teacher  Mr. Mongi Bhattacharya who spoke to me about the Cisco Network Academy that was opened at the university, it was a very good option for people like me loving computers networks, he told me. I decided to enroll in the CCNA program... the rest is history! I felt in love with Cisco technology and I have more than 12 years luckily working with it


Edmond: I decided to go into IT as a career because I saw IT as a basic necessity for most businesses. Coupled with the fact the IT industry is an ever growing and changing industry, meant that IT personnel will always be relevant to businesses. And it is also rewarding in terms of income. I have been in the field for just 10 years and counting ........


What professional achievement(s) are you most proud of and what would you like to learn or do next in your career?


Mohamed: In reality, I don't have any achievements on my personal life . I want to be like Brian Mcgahan on one day. I know it`s impossible for a person like me to achieve this, but I am trying.


Leonardo: I am very proud of all the projects I was involved but particularly:

1) Responsible for designing, installing, configuring and operating the merger of four different Corporate networks running different protocols including OSPF, EIGRP and RIPv2 across multiple sites with multiple points of redistribution.

2) Deploying and configuring of Cisco Nexus switches (7K, 5K, 2K) in the corporate Data Center.

3) Deploying, installing and configuring VPN site-to-site to granted the communication with our international offices around the world (Japan, Canada, Cuba, South Korea, etc.)

4) Deploying and configuring CUCM with more than 2000 thousand users.

5) Deploying and configuring WLC with more than one hundred Access Points.

6) Installing and configuring APIC-EM version 1.5.1 in a dedicated physical appliance to administrate more than fifty catalyst switches.

What I going to do next is to go deeper in Data Center Technology and Network Programmability. I will be a CCIE by 2019.


Edmond: I take utmost delight in imparting knowledge. I am a Cisco Academy Instructor and I see the many people I have trained as my biggest achievement. Aside that, I can also look at my contribution to the various redesigns of the Vodafone Ghana network where I worked as an IP/MPLS Operations Specialist, and the many greenfield deployment, migrations and network optimizations I have carried out.

I am currently focused on achieving my CCIE R/S certification. Beyond that, I want to go into full time comprehensive, practically oriented training for both students and IT Professionals.


What have you found most useful on the Cisco Learning Network?


Mohamed: I think when I identify with some friends here on CLN. AMAZING Friends with amazing knowledge, amazing explaining for hard questions.


Leonardo: Cisco Learning Network is a very useful tool that allows you to find solutions to any network issue, also helping people to improve their technical skills by sharing our experience. The most amazing thing is that you have the opportunity to learn a bunch of technical tips that you definitely won't find anywhere else.


Edmond: The People! The CLN is a rich community of some of the finest "brains" in the field. I just love the CLN. The contributions members make and the insight I get, is simply awesome! Thanks to the Community members, and Cisco for this.


What advice would you give to someone considering a similar career / certification direction?


Mohamed: The only advice I want to say is for peoples who will begin to starting any networking career is for non-English speakers to learn English first before they begin to study. They MUST TO BE GOOD IN LISTENING AND READING English videos, books. The most powerful instructors in the world are speaking native English, and that's the main problem facing me when I start to learn networking.


Leonardo: Definitely to be in this field you need to be passionate for what you do. Wherever technology or certification you choose if you fall in love with it, If you  feel passion about it, If you wake up every morning desiring get better and better as an IT professional you are in the right way!


For sure is not easy, you will fall once or twice but it is part of the game don't feel upset for reproving a Certification exam, it's worth! It's never late to begin.


Edmond: IT is an exciting and rewarding career. Having certifications to back your technical expertise and experience is very important in the job market. And with regards to certification path, strive to understand how the various technologies and protocols work. You will pass the certification exams as a by-product.


Bonus Question: What is your all-time favorite movie, book, or song?



Favorite movie: Gladiator, Saving Private Ryan, Lion Heart, The Hunted

Book: In reality I am reading only networking books

Song: Backstreet Boys Songs


Leonardo: The Pursuit of Happyness is one of my favorite movies. I love to read a lot the book that comes to my mind at this moment is “Awaken the giant within” by Anthony Robbins! I love music Marc Anthony, Linkin Park, Lara Fabian, Celine Dion, Adele, Maroon 5, etc.!


Edmond: I don't get tired of watching "Good Deeds" by Tyler Perry.