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OT: I survive my first two weeks on the job. A story of a [7:81299] posted 12/21/2003
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I've actually survived the first two weeks on the jobs 

considering all the BS I got from all the "senior" 

network engineers who have neither a degree or

CCIE certified and who resented the fact that I am

their boss.  Here is my story.


I am 22 years old and recently graduated from

Cornell University with a master degree in 

Computer Science.  After graduation, I decided

to pursue a career in networking and looked for

a job so that I can start paying off my school 

debt.  The job market was very weak six months

ago even for someone who has an advanced

degree from one of the most prestige Universities

in the country.  After 2 weeks of looking for work,

I decided it's time to pursue the CCIE certfications.


I borrowed 10k from my parents to purchase all

the necessary cisco gears and started my 

preparation for the lab.  Six weeks ago, I finally

passed the CCIE R&S lab on my first try and

received my CCIE #.  Finally, it's time to look

for real work.  


I've gone through about 20 interviews.  Each time,

I've been turned down for positions because I have

no "hand-on" experiences.  In about 90% of the

interviews that I had been to, the people who

interviewed me have neither a degree nor CCIE

cert, but yet they wouldn't hire me because

they said that the CCIE lab is a joke and it has

no resembling on the "real world" applications.  

Some even referred as "lab rats".  After 3 weeks

of searching, I just gave up looking for work.


Three weeks ago, I received a call from a college

roomate of mine.  He was also my mentor.  He was 

doing  his Ph.D in Chemistry and Physics

at Cornell while I was still an undergrad.  He told

me that he is looking for a technical lead person in his

networking group to replace himself now that he has

been promoted to a director position.  He would like

to know if I am interested in the job.  Finally I was

hired for the position as a technical lead for the

networking engineering group.  I am sure that my 

mentor has a lot to do with me being hired.  It also

helped that his boss is also another Cornell graduate.

My salary is 110k which is a lot for a 22 years old.

I've been told that the salary has to do with my CCIE

cert in addition to my degree as well.


I started the job two weeks ago and trouble started

immediately.  Rumours flied in the office that I was 

hired for the position because I am a friend of the 

director.  "Senior" network engineers in the group

also referrred to me as "lab rat".  I can not believe

the level of anynomousity they had toward me because

I am their boss.  The talk among themselves is that

I have no business being here let alone be their boss.

None of these guys is neither CCIE certified or have

a formal education but yet they feel that "experience"

trumped everything else.  


After the first week, I felt really depressed and just

wanted to quit.  However, my mentor pursuaded me

to stay and he taught me everything I need to know

about the network that he designed and maintained.

I learned everything needed to do the job in 3 days.

This past thursday, we had an incident where the 

network went down for an hour.  None of the "senior"

network engineers know how to fix the problem.  It

seems like they couldn't "critically" think and apply

an engineering approach to solve the problem.  I was

able to solve the problem in 45 mins by applying 

the engineering approach to solve a problem when 
I was in college.  Needless to say, the network was

up and running in an hour.  


After the new year, I am going to recommend to my 

director to get rid of these "senior" network engineers

guys and replace the whole group except myself 

of course.  


What I don't understand throughout the whole ordeal

is that why do they have to feel threaten by me?  

What could I have done differently to avoid this?

Are they upset at me because I get this job by 

Knowing the director?  Granted that I know the 

director but he wouldnt hire me in the first place

if he knows that I am not capable of doing the job.

Its not like I am not willing to do the dirty work like

running cables and router configurations.  


The other thing I dont' understand is that if the CCIE

lab is so easy then why didn't many of them pass

the lab?  Our company does pay for the lab and I've 

heard that many of them did take the lab, in some

cases, three or four times, but they still failed.  It is

always interesting that those that didnt pass the lab

or didnt even attempt the lab are usually the one

with the biggest mouth denouncing the lab.  I 

confronted one the engineers and told him that if

he thinks that I am a lab rat and the CCIE is

overrated, then perhaps he should not have failed

3 times.   


Thanks for letting me blow of the steam.


Michael "lab rat" Lee

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