After completing the Networking Academy program in China, Ye Jing was invited to address the United Nations General Assembly in New York to discuss the global rights of women and children.

Ye Jing was pursuing a master's degree in computer networks and digital communication when her school, the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China (UESTC), became the first educational institution in Southwest China to offer the Cisco Networking Academy curriculum. Jing enrolled in the program because she wanted to obtain a Cisco CCNA certification and didn’t think she could achieve this goal on her own.

"The content in the Networking Academy training was systematic and comprehensive, but not at all difficult,“ Jing recalls. “Even for those who had not learned about networking, it wasn't hard. If anything, the length of their studies varied."

Ye Jing successfully graduated from the Networking Academy program and received her CCNA certification in 2000. She believes the certification has increased her confidence in her ability to apply her networking skills to the field. "The Networking Academy program provided good training and the chance to put theory into practice,” says Jing, “which is very helpful in my work of network design and configuration."

After graduating from the program, Jing had no trouble finding a job. The main challenge she faced was determining which job would allow her to continue pursuing her master's degree. She received an offer from the Great Wall Broadband Network (GWBN) that enabled her to design and configure networks in Western China while completing her degree program.

After receiving her master’s degree, Jing was eager to put some of her knowledge to practical use. She accepted an offer to work in the IT department of the Shanghai Stock Exchange. Her work there was challenging and her responsibilities were immense, since the network demands a much higher standard of service than most. "The network cannot be interrupted for one millisecond or it can impact the economy," Jing explains. Nevertheless she enjoys the thrill of working on this expansive network.

United Nations General Assembly

Jing says her experiences within the Networking Academy made it possible for her to participate in the United Nations Beijing+5 Special Session, which focused on gender equality, development, and peace for the 21st century. The conference was held at the UN headquarters in New York City on June 4, 2000.

Jing looks back fondly on her experience, which was her first trip abroad and also provided an opportunity for her to make a statement about the rights of women and children across the world, especially concerning educational opportunities. "I went through a strict selection process and a one-hour telephone interview with Cisco before I attended the meeting as the only representative from Asia,” Jing recalls. “I delivered a brief speech about the influences of networking education on the new century," she adds. "This opportunity is not something I would have imagined gaining when I first joined the program."

Advice for Women in IT

Jing offers the following advice to women who are interested in pursuing a career in IT: "First of all, continue to study. Some women do not want to complete the exercises and labs, but I think they are very important, because when you design a network, information is not enough." Jing believes that the biggest obstacle faced by women in IT is a lack of practical training. "There are advantages for women to engage in information technology training, such as developing good communication skills and an ingenious imagination," she says.