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After five years in the cleaning industry, Francis Okethwengu of Uganda left his job and returned to school in hopes of improving his family’s standard of living.
Opportunities for career advancement seemed limited for 37-year-old Francis Okethwengu, who had only attained a high-school level of education in Uganda. Although his ambition and drive to succeed had secured Okethwengu the position of operations manager at Jefkee General Cleaners, after five years in the cleaning industry he felt unfulfilled.
One day, while Okethwengu was cleaning the grounds at the Uganda Martyrs University, he learned about Cisco Networking Academy. He saw the program as an opportunity to embark on a new career path and decided to enroll in the Cisco CCNA course, despite the risks involved and the reservations of close acquaintances. By switching careers and gaining new skills, Okethwengu hoped to build a better life for his wife and five children, while supporting the development of the local ICT industry.
Despite the unfamiliar subject matter, Okethwengu excelled in his first semester of CCNA, showing great commitment and effort. The flexible course schedule allowed him to work on a construction project near the university to help pay for his CCNA 3 and 4 courses and provide support for his family. Upon completing the program, Okethwengu hopes to apply his skills at the university and set up networks at two secondary schools in the area. Improving connectivity at the schools is important to him since his children will attend these schools and others like them.
Okethwengu encourages other people to enroll in the program and realize their potential. He found the hands-on lab exercises and online curriculum to be challenging, yet straightforward. "I particularly enjoyed the networking basics and routing principles,” says Okethwengu. “It was a bit tough, especially the latter, but when I grasped the concepts, I found it manageable.”
There are many opportunities ahead for Okethwengu to improve his life and the lives of others with the skills he will gain through the Networking Academy.
To learn more about the program, visit www.cisco.com/go/netacad.