What's Your Story: Ronald Boestfleisch, Jr.

    Going from Virtually Unnoticed—to Highly Visible

     

    Ronald Boestfleisch, Jr.
    Network Engineer 2, Managed Services Operations, Ops Control

     

    Industry
    ISP MSO for enterprise customers with network needs

     

    Challenge
    Avoid career stagnation and improve skill set, to benefit his employers and career

     

    Certifications

    • CCENT
    • CCNA Routing and Switching
    • CCNP Routing and Switching
    • CCNA Security

     

    Professional benefits

    • Ability to market himself better to employers
    • Can help more customers more effectively, in less time
    • Is able to move up to Senior Network Engineer role

     

    LinkedIn profile
    https://www.linkedin.com/ in/ronboestfleisch/

    Certifications improve skills, knowledge, and opportunities

    There are so many advantages to having Cisco Certifications on your resume. For Ronald Boestfleisch, Jr., they helped him stand out above the rest.

     

    "Without certifications, nobody looked at me for potential advancement, and I wasn't considered for other positions,” says Ronald. “Once I got my first Cisco Certification, I got noticed. I definitely gained a competitive advantage. And since I was quickly able to support our customers more effectively on a day-to-day basis, my employer noticed, too."

     

    "Many employers offer incentives to employees who want to better themselves by getting certifications. That way, they gain employees who have more knowledge and skills, and really know what they're doing. When I say I'm certified, employers' ears perk up. It really helps with marketability and is a benchmark for a career."

     

    Working hard—and studying harder

    Ronald is one of 50,000 employees of a U.S.-based ISP multi-service operator (MSO) that handles all connectivity aspects of networks for enterprise customers, including router service, Internet, security, and Wi-Fi. He serves 20-30 end users outside of the company, and is responsible for maintaining tools and systems—and making sure operations stay on track.

     

    After graduating with an associate's degree in administration and computer repair, Ronald worked as a help desk rep for the next eight years. Feeling that his career was stagnating, he came to the realization that network engineering was what he wanted to do, and he decided to get CCENT and CCNA Routing and Switching certifications. He also pursued a bachelor's degree in Network Engineering. "It was tough going to school while still working a full-time job 40 hours a week," recalls Ronald. "But I’d been working in a help desk environment, where there’s never a dull moment, so I was used to working hard."

     

    Preparation helps him make the grade

    To get ready for his CCENT and other Cisco exams, Ronald studied previous materials he’d gathered over the years, including CCNA study guides, Cisco Press and Cisco Networking Academy materials, and videos. He also bought used Cisco equipment and used it as a "sandbox" to practice his skills.

     

    "It helps to have a good support network and devote your time," says Ronald. "Even if you only study for a half-hour to an hour a day, every bit helps. And do the training labs; the more hands-on you get with the equipment, the better; it solidifies your learning."

     

    Ron is also a member of the Cisco Learning Network. "The Cisco community is large, and I've kept in contact with former classmates and online contacts. We help answer each other's questions and stay up-to-date. Cisco has good peer-to-peer networks and resources, and they help people learn the technology."

     

    Ronald clearly took his own advice to heart, because in the last six months, he's received two more Cisco Certifications.

     

    A future of learning and advancement

    Next year, Ronald plans to pursue his CCDA (Cisco Certified Design Associate) certification, and possibly a CCIE after that, as he moves up to a Senior Engineer position. "I'm looking to progress and grow, and avoid stagnation," says Ronald. "I'm happy where I am, but there’s always room for improvement, and I'll go as high in the company as I can go.”

     

    "It helps to have a good support network and devote your time," says Ronald. "Even if you only study for a half-hour to an hour a day, every bit helps. And do the training labs; the more hands-on you get with the equipment, the better; it solidifies your learning."

     

    What advice would he give someone who was pursuing Cisco Certification? "Go for it; gain as much knowledge as you can. It will definitely help you grow and be a better person. Don’t be discouraged; once you get your first certification and see the benefits of it, you’ll definitely try for more."

     

    Outside of work, Ronald likes to spend time with his family and friends, and go hiking, camping, and bowling. He's finding that there's less of a need for him to unwind from his current Network Engineer job. "We do a lot of special projects, but it's a different type of stress level than when I was at the help desk. I like my job. There's always something interesting to do every day. It's really rewarding."

     

    "Once I got my first Cisco Certification, I got noticed. I definitely gained a competitive advantage. And since I was quickly able to support our customers more effectively on a day-to-day basis, my employer noticed, too. And more opportunities opened up for me."

     

    Ronald Boestfleisch, Jr.