Grad overcomes learning challenges to succeed Grad overcomes learning challenges to succeed

Alexander Duncan’s determination to succeed helped him excel in his studies and secure a great job, despite his learning disorder.

Since childhood, Alexander wanted to be just like his dad. One of his fondest memories is spending time at the office with his father, a network architect for the global technology company Pitney Bowes. A desire to be successful like his dad led Alexander to choose a career path in the technology field.

Like Cisco CEO John Chambers, Alexander has dyslexia; a learning condition that makes it difficult to comprehend written materials. While preparing for his dream career at the London Metropolitan University, Alexander’s dyslexia made it somewhat challenging to learn new concepts. “I had to be more proactive in my learning,” he recalls. Cisco Networking Academy gave him an opportunity to be an active learner.

“The hands-on practical work, combined with instructors who have a real passion for teaching, helped me develop my understanding of computer networking,”.

His hard work paid off, and he graduated with a computer networking degree and a master’s certification in network management and security. “Not only was I able to practice configuring and testing complex networks,” he says, “I was able to push the boundaries of my knowledge and really develop myself as a network engineer through my education.”

Alexander credits the material covered in NetAcad courses with providing the knowledge needed to secure a job. Because of his coursework and hands-on learning, Alexander was able to demonstrate a higher level of understanding than his counterparts. “I believe that my passion and enthusiasm, as well as my presentation skills helped set me apart from other applicants,” he says.

His Cisco CCNA and CCNP certifications as well as covering the CCNA Security and CCNA Wireless curriculum has also helped demonstrate his readiness to provide technical support to Cisco field engineers and account managers in his position as an associate systems engineer at Cisco in the UK. When asked for advice he would share with job seekers, Alexander says: “Learn the materials well and apply for jobs, even if they require experience, then demonstrate your knowledge when you get an interview.”

Contributed by Cisco