Yasmine, who is originally from Algeria, studied ICT Level 3 programme at Reading College, part of Activate Learning. She also became Cisco certified before joining Cisco as a Cross-functional apprentice, working alongside different teams in the organisation.
Yasmine is about to start her second year with Cisco. She has completed two, six-month rotations with different teams, working as a lab admin and sales support, and is currently working with Cisco internal team for technical services. Her role is to support the team in managing the platform, understanding current issues.
She said: ‘The first year is all about exposure, learning more about the different parts of the business. The rotations in my second year will be longer, lasting for six months. I would like to work with the Global virtual engineering team. They support product information for systems engineers. Alongside my work, I have been working very hard in gaining my BSc in Digital and Technology solutions. It has been tough at times to combine a degree with working.. Time management and prioritisation skills have been key – these are skills that I learnt at college. Also communication skills, being confident enough to ask my lecturers for clarification when I didn’t understand something. I learnt to challenge myself to do it. These communication skills are invaluable at work.’
‘I have gone through a lot of personal and professional change in the last year. I feel more confident and capable at work now. It has been a challenge, but I feel like I have made the right choices along the way.’
‘Since I completed my studies at Reading College, I have had the opportunity to return and work with students across the campuses. I have been motivating them, talking to them about careers in IT and helping inspire them. I have really enjoyed this experience.’
Yasmine has clear ambitions set for her future: ‘I want to be a systems engineer when I graduate. Working as a cross-functional apprentice means that I will have more work experience and knowledge of the business, so I am in a better position compared to other applicants who come from the traditional degree only route. Hopefully I will be able to make the most of the opportunities ahead.’