As a young kid, Yasmine Rasselkaf dreamt of working in science and computing: “When I was 6 or 7, I wanted to be a teacher, but when I grew a little older I used to say to my mum: “I will be an IT engineer".
Yasmine, who is originally from Algeria, found out about Reading College, part of Activate Learning, through some relatives living in the area. She chose to study ICT Level 3 programme after visiting the campus during an Open Event: ‘I thought the lecturers were great and the atmosphere really welcoming. I was very inspired by it all and, once my course started, I felt well supported by the staff.’
She says: ‘IT is such an exciting industry to work in. You get the chance to participate in creating and developing new technologies, with many exciting career choices after graduation.’
As well as achieving her programme qualification, Yasmine wanted to become Cisco certified, a highly regarded industry qualification in networking, a specialism that was completely new to her: ‘I was a total beginner in networking and I had to learn everything from scratch. However, there is no challenge in education if we truly want to learn … You just need to keep going when things start getting hard. Perseverance is the key to achieving your goals.’
Yasmine is now officially Cisco certified. She also holds the Cisco Certified Networking Associate - Routing and Switching one of the most sought after credentials in the IT industry, and now wants to achieve a Cisco Certified Networking Professional - Routing and Switching.
Having gained her qualification, Yasmine is now working as a Cross-functional apprentice with Cisco, working alongside different teams in the organisation. This helps her learn new skills and find out which area she would like to work in by the end of her apprenticeship. She has found it a very rewarding and exciting experience: ‘I have real work responsibilities. The next rotation I am starting involves me working in a customer-facing role. This will help me to build a network within the company and with clients.’ Yasmine is balancing her work responsibilities with assignments for a BSc in Digital and Technology solutions and revision for a CCNP qualification.
Yasmine has clear career goals and plenty of focus and enthusiasm to pursue her ambitions: ‘I want to help enhance people's lives by providing good services, and build broad-based knowledge through work. My dream is to become a CEO in the future. I am preparing myself, so when the opportunity comes, I will be ready for it. My goal is to make an impact in our society and to make great changes in the field of computing and in the world.’
“Reading College helped me develop my passion for IT. I would recommend to anyone thinking about studying IT with Activate Learning to go for it. If you are keen to learn and persevere, you will reach your goals. In IT there are plenty of opportunities to succeed if you work hard. ‘