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Lab passed - First Attempt - At the age of 24 posted 10/03/2007
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Dear All,

 I have been waiting for long time to write this email. I was a silent
member of the group except some of my few questions like 'time management in
the lab'. I have got my number - CCIE#18988 - passing the R&S lab exam in
Tokyo yesterday 2nd October 2007. I will be the first CCIE to be counted for
my country - Ethiopia - in Cisco's CCIE database. Here is my journey to

My background is electrical engineering. I became CCNA when I was college
student and I had been working as part time network administrator of the
university for two years until I graduated. After graduation I haven't taken
any of the CCNP exams for two years but I was working as a network engineer
for a private company and I was doing many Cisco projects not only on
routing and switching but also on voice and security areas. That experience
was very useful for me and I had to do many readings to complete the
projects I was assigned to do. And the other advantage for a person like
me was that I had to do many advanced things without any senior
person helping me. So my only option was reading and I love reading.

Ok enough about my background. I took the written exam last October 2006.
After that I had to find a sponsor for my lab exam because, it was very
difficult to cover it by myself. My company director general accepts my
request immediately but the financial process took about 8 months. So my
study at that time was on and off. I have really started my lab preparation
at the beginning of July. For one month I revised all the technologies using
IEWBv4.1 volume 1 and most of the recommended books like Jeff Doyle's and
the others. I was also using CBT Nuggets. I have been studying the whole
month full time. Then I went to Harith's 12 days bootcamp in UK. It was
really nice in clarifying the core part of the exam - IGP/BGP. Then I came
back home and continue my preparation for another month. This time I
installed the IE dynamips topology in my pc at home and start IEWB for
Dynamips. I have tried to do the first 10 labs but time didn't allow me to
finish the other 10 labs from IEWB4.1 volume 2. So I have gone through the
last 10 labs by just reading the question and answering it in my mind and
checking the solution if I am right. I have also taken both of Cisco's
Assessor Labs and one mock lab each from IE and NMC. At that time I was good
in technology readiness but I was not good in time management. Then I went
back to UK for Harith's another 5 days bootcamp. It was really helpful in
making me completely prepared. Then I went directly to Tokyo for the lab. I
have finished exactly in time. Since I was doing verifications in every of
the questions, I was not worried by not having extra time for checking.

Generally my lab preparation was three months full time. My company (I can
say Ethiopian Government since I am working for government agency) was very
cooperative in many things from covering all my expenses up to giving two
years annual leave without counting the 3 weeks of the bootcamp.

Now I should take a little break to celebrate Ethiopian Millennium that I
missed during study and then to another track - most probably SP. I am
thinking of getting married in the time of the little break. My fiance was
all the way with me in the CCIE journey.

Thanks and Best Regards,

Meried B. - CCIE#18988
Network Operations Senior Expert
National Data Center (PMO)
Mob. +251 91 1349519