Yasmine, Computing Level 3

Yasmine, who is originally from Algeria, studied IT and Computing Level 3 programme at Reading College, part of Activate Learning. She also became Cisco certified before joining Cisco as a Cross-functional apprentice, working alongside different teams in the organisation.

Yasmine is halfway through her second year with Cisco. She has completed three, six-month rotations with different teams, working as a lab admin and sales support, and managing the platform with Cisco internal team for technical services. She is currently Systems Engineer Apprentice in the Cisco Enterprise team.

She said: “The first year was all about exposure, learning more about the different parts of the business. The rotations in my second year are longer, lasting for six months. I would like to work with the Global virtual engineering team. They support product information for systems engineers. Alongside my work, I have been working very hard in gaining my BSc in Digital and Technology solutions. It has been tough at times to combine a degree with working. Time management and prioritisation skills have been key – these are skills that I learnt at college. Also, communication skills, being confident enough to ask my lecturers for clarification when I didn’t understand something. I learnt to challenge myself to do it. These communication skills are invaluable at work.”

I have gone through a lot of personal and professional change in the last year. I feel more confident and capable at work now. It has been a challenge, but I feel like I have made the right choices along the way.”

Since I completed my studies at Reading College, I have had the opportunity to return and work with students across the campuses. I have been motivating them, talking to them about careers in IT and helping inspire them. I have really enjoyed this experience.”

Yasmine has clear ambitions set for her future: “I want to be a system engineer when I graduate. Working as a cross-functional apprentice means that I will have more work experience and knowledge of the business, so I am in a better position compared to other applicants who come from the traditional degree only route. Hopefully I will be able to make the most of the opportunities ahead.”