If you have spent any time in the R&S forums in the IEOC, you have seen the username ndiayemalick. Malick has achieved Elite status in the forum and is always challenging and helping his peers with his excellent posts.
Thank you so much Malick, and we look forward to celebrating your number soon. We are placing 100 GradedLabs rack rental tokens in your account as a small gesture of our appreciation.
I am sure many are interested in Malick's story...here it is:
My name is Malick Ndiaye as you already know. I was born in Senegal, West Africa. When I was 15, I moved with my family to the US, precisely Columbus, Ohio. Two and half years later, in 2001, I got my High School Diploma. Since I finished high school early (January 2001 instead of June 2001) and got all the credits I need to graduate, I started preparing my MCSE. At that time, it was a very hot certification to have, but I never finished it.
Soon after high school, I had a choice to make, going to college or going for IT certifications. I always liked networking and fixing computers. Even as a kid, people used to come and get me at home to fix their computers and printers. At that time, college was a very long road (4 years) for me. With the support of my dad, who also had to approve, I decided to go back home and learn networking. Since Senegal is a French speaking country, it was hard for me to find the right course taught by the right people. Since I left the country 3 years ago, I almost forgot all my French believe it or not because I did not speak it for so long.
In 2002, I was able to find a networking academy in Ghana that was run by one of my dad's friend .When he offered to take me, I did not even hesitate. I went to Ghana. The CCNA was 8 months long but I did it in 4 months and I got my CCNA. What a great feeling it was. I went back home and decided to go straight for the CCNP. With that in mind, I came back to the US bought me 3 routers and 2 switches and went back home. I started my CCNP in November 2002 and finished it in July 2003, 8 months to pass the 4 exams.
While I was preparing for my CCNP, I created my company and started for working for myself and I have ever since. I worked with many companies in Africa, accumulated as much experience as I could. My work involved routing, switching, and voice over IP. If there is one thing I have learned during that period it's that experience and hands-on is very important. I learned a lot about VoIP when I was representing Net2Phone in West Africa. I used to sell their devices and unlimited plans to residential customers and businesses to call to the US and Europe unlimited for $30/month. All you need is a DSL connection and I will set you up the same day.
In 2007, I decided to go back to studying. Why? Because knowledge is never enough. It was very hard for me to restart studying. After being so long in the field I lost track of how to study properly. Since I did a lot of design for companies, I decided to go for the design track this track. I went back and got my CCDA then my CCDP.
I did not want to stop there. Why stop in such a good road? In 2008, I decided to go for the CCIE but I did not where to start. I goggled CCIE training and I had two choices, INE and IPExpert. I emailed both of them and guess who replied to me Brain McGahan himself. He put me in touch with sales, they hooked me up with a good discount and I took off for the CCIE. That's one of my best journeys so far in my career. I have learned so much it is just priceless. I passed the written in August 2008. I also bought me a rack just like iNE’s. Anyways I do not plan to top after the R&S, haven’t you seen Petr???
I was even lucky enough to win the first INE scholarship. I won the Bootcamp COD, and since I had the CCIE End-to-End package already, the sales team was kind enough to exchange it for $1000 worth of tokens. Man those guys rock!!!!!! I also took the Advanced Foundation Bootcamp in May 2009. It was an eye opener and I was able to gauge myself during that time.
In August 2009, I attempted the lab even though I knew that I was not ready but I had an opportunity so why not. Come to find out that I came pretty close to passing because the INE labs are way harder than the real lab. But I was not yet an expert so back to deep digging into protocols and IOS features and I have been doing that ever since.
I am heavily preparing for lab and I will make my next attempt in June. Also I am working with ARTP (our FFC) as a consultant to set an Internet Exchange Point (IXP) for Data and Voice in Senegal. Besides that I enjoy working out at the gym and watching movies.