Career transformations take multiple forms and can occur at any stage of life. Technology is a great path for people who want to try something new, and Cisco Learning and Certifications offers an array of tools to help curious individuals grow their careers.
Nate Haleen’s story is a perfect example of career transformation into tech. Five years ago, Nate was in the prefectures of Japan teaching English to local students. Today Nate is the software practice lead at Procellis, a Cisco Partner in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
After a decade-long career teaching English in Minnesota and Japan, as well as raising a family, Nate was looking for a change that would improve his career growth and earnings potential. He returned home to Minnesota and engaged with local career counselors to discover available options and career-training programs.
Because he had exposure to math and science in college, the idea of a career path as a network architect resonated with him. Nate enrolled in the network engineering program at Inver Hills Community College, where he connected with the Cisco Networking Academy program.
Through his collegiate courses and the Cisco Networking Academy program, he began learning about network engineering. During the height of the pandemic, he passed his CCNA exam (earning his first Cisco career certification) and later completed his degree program.
Looking for a way to apply his growing network skills, Nate connected with the Minnesota-based SciTech Internship program. SciTech was founded to help connect STEM students with small businesses via hands-on internship opportunities. One of those small businesses engaging with SciTech was Procellis Technology, Inc.
Procellis, a Cisco Partner focusing on Cybersecurity and IoT professional services, is a member of the African American Cisco Partner Community (AACPC), a program created to increase the diversity of Cisco Partners. When CEO Damian Young founded Procellis, he had a vision of leading with Cisco DevNet software automation to help drive innovation into the solutions his company would deliver.
Damian viewed SciTech as a great way to develop the human talent necessary to achieve his vision. Procellis sponsored an internship program, so the team could upskill to meet requirements for the Cisco DevNet and IoT Partner specialization programs. This meant Nate and his colleagues would need to ramp up Cisco technical training and earn additional Cisco certifications.
In the summer of 2021, Nate was accepted into the Procellis internship, which focused on automation at first, preparing the team to earn their DevNet Professional certifications. Working with their distribution partner TD SYNNEX, the Procellis internship team upskilled in Cisco DevNet and IoT Automation curriculum through instructor-led training delivered by Cisco Platinum Learning Partner, NtrOne. With a combination of classroom training, collaborative group study, and DevNet Learning Labs, Nate earned his DevNet Associate and DevNet IoT Specialist certification by summer’s end.
This process helped Nate develop into a natural leader within the internship cohort. When he completed the internship, he accepted a full-time position at Procellis to implement automation capabilities into the company’s internal tools and service delivery. He also used online training from Cisco to prepare for the DevNet Core exam, and then he earned his DevNet Professional certification in early 2022.
Nate was promoted to automation practice leader in 2022, and he used his newfound skills to establish the processes and culture for an automation practice, helping Procellis earn the DevNet Specialization for Partners. The team creates customer solutions in enterprise networking and security. Nate and the Procellis team are currently preparing to host an apprenticeship program to kick off this fall as they help develop future talent and expand their practice capabilities in automation and cybersecurity.
Nate’s story speaks volumes about his dedication to transforming careers by learning and applying new skills. In fact, Nate was a finalist in two different categories as a Cisco Insider at the Cisco Global Advocate Awards 2023. We look forward to seeing new success stories from Nate and the Procellis team!
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