Raleigh Grad Lands Prized Spot at Cisco
By his own admission, Beau Dorman knew next to nothing about computers. “I spent five years in the Army as a paratrooper,” he says. “I jumped out of airplanes and hunted-down bad guys in both Iraq and Afghanistan.”
After being medically retired, Beau moved from Fort Bragg to Raleigh, North Carolina. He had no idea what he wanted to do next. Then, he saw a commercial for ECPI University. After visiting campus, he came away with renewed confidence. Just as he did while training to become a paratrooper, he was ready to challenge himself.I had never been to college and had no background in computers. Heck, I didn’t even know anything about all of the big tech companies here in Raleigh until I came to ECPI. Click To Tweet
“I was a grunt in the army, worked outside, and lifted heavy things,” he says. “I had never been to college and had no background in computers. Heck, I didn’t even know anything about all of the big tech companies here in Raleigh until I came to ECPI. I learned that Cisco, Red Hat, and Lenovo were all right here. So, I figured I was in school for the right thing, and that there’d be job opportunities.”
What Beau lacked in technical training, he made up for with some other skills. “The Army gave me discipline and soft skills like communication, collaboration, and leadership. When things get tough, you don’t make excuses… you just keep pushing and keep studying.” This proved to be a winning strategy.“I started college nearly 15 years after I graduated from high school. I’ve come a long way from zero credits with no technical background to where I am now. Believe me, if I can do it, anyone can do it!” ~Beau Dorman Click To Tweet
Beau quickly became engaged not just in his studies, but campus life as well. He joined the Student Leadership Club, Student Veterans of America (SVA), and was later inducted into the Honour Society. Then came an opportunity that would change his life. Through SVA, Beau discovered the Cisco Veteran Talent Incubation Program and immediately applied.
“It was a pretty grueling process, both getting into the program and making it through,” says Beau. “After submitting my application and resume, I had to produce a video about myself for a committee. That led to an eight-hour day filled with three rounds of interviews. Once in the program, it was six months of self-study and job shadowing with technical milestones along the way, like getting certifications, and passing Cisco’s internal technical assessment.
“We began with sixty students and finished with about twenty. I then went on to pass my CCENT (Cisco Certified Entry Network Technician) and CCNA Routing and Switching (Cisco Certified Network Associate) professional certifications, both on the first try. My classes at ECPI covered 99 percent of what was on the exam. All the while, I was still attending school full-time, so I had a lot on my plate, but I made it work. As I was wrapping up my studies, Cisco offered me a full-time job as a Network Consulting Engineer!”
Beau says he can scarcely believe how his world has changed. He says making the transition to civilian life is often difficult for veterans and hopes more of them will take advantage of Cisco’s program. “I started college nearly 15 years after I graduated from high school. I’ve come a long way from zero credits with no technical background to where I am now. Believe me, if I can do it, anyone can do it!”