“You hear about so many opportunities and stories that happened because someone took a chance and something came of it. If nothing comes of them, then they still make for good stories and experiences,” said Jason Rewerts, recent SCTCC Network Administration graduate.
For Rewerts, Cisco Networking Academy’s NetRiders competition sounded like a fun opportunity to get more experience in his field. After encouragement from instructor Brian Volkmuth, Rewerts and his classmates Tristan Anderson and Klimber Gutierrez Salazar decided to sign up for the competition.
“One of the most important things I’ve learned at SCTCC and in my classes is to try almost anything,” said Rewerts.
The NetRider’s competition included Network Administration students and recent graduates of two-year and four-year colleges from the U.S., Canada and Guam. Rewerts and his classmates would compete with ambitious students from all three countries in an elimination round and a finals round. Each round tested both knowledge and practical skills application.
The elimination round took place in March and focused on content Rewerts and Anderson covered in their first three semesters of Cisco courses at SCTCC. At the time, Gutierrez Salazar was only in his second semester of SCTCC’s Network Administration program, which meant he’d be learning new content on the fly during the competition. All three SCTCC students passed the elimination round.
The final round of competition took place in April. For the practical skills portion of finals, students were given a set of scenarios involving networks for a store, home, factory and office building. With each network, participants had to gather network information to address the scenario and answer each question.
“Even after preparing for the exams, they still surprised us with questions on subjects we didn’t even think about,” said Anderson.
After successfully completing the competition, Rewerts and his classmates had to wait until May for NetRiders to release the results.
“We joined the competition for fun and just to see how we’d do, without any real expectation of placing or getting a prize,” said Rewerts.
Finally, just one week before graduation, Rewerts, Anderson and Gutierrez Salazar got the official results from NetRiders. Gutierrez Salazar, in the final week of his first year at SCTCC and in a competition involving competitors from three countries, learned that he placed 200th. Anderson placed 55th overall and was happy to be in the top 100. Rewerts placed 5th in the competition.
With a top NetRiders finish and Network Administration degree from SCTCC under his belt, Rewerts is currently looking for the right job to kick off his IT career. He plans to take the CCENT certification test with the voucher he won at NetRiders and he’s going to continue taking classes at SCTCC.