Won H Cho, CCIE #46689
Hello INE, It's been a long time coming for me to get my CCIE. It wasn't an easy task for sure. Since 2009, I started dreaming about even how to obtain CCNA for Routing Switching. I never would have thought or guessed I would even attempt the CCIE ever! For me it was just trying to find a job and be satisfied. But when I started working in a networking environment, people were talking about this mythological CCIE; that it was supposed to be the greatest thing since the network came to our world. Everyone at work was always admiring the CCIE every job I had. So since then, I began slowly pursuing my CCIE journey one step at a time. To make the story short, by the time I reached CCNP, I wasn't satisfied with my certification. I felt like I knew more than what the certification has to offer and I felt like I was already qualified for CCIE, but without the actual CCIE certification, of course. One day I made a decision that I need full time commitment to focus on my CCIE, so I left my previous job in 2013 and I started studying for about 4 to 8 hours a day. Watching INE videos and all other resources that I could get my hands on. One time I had private classes with the teacher who was a former CCIE. During days of my private studies, I met so many great, smart, talented people that I still keep in touch with. During my CCIE studies without a job in 2 years it was really miserable. I went through so many different emotions and depression that I wouldn't like to speak about. One time I had to question myself: "is this really worth it?" Somehow, I knew I came too far and risked so many things I felt like there's no going back now. So I decided to continue my education through all the resources I had and kept going. By the time I had my first attempt, my body had so many aches that I couldn't even imagine. It was so nerve racking that I couldn't get my emotions together. My mind went blank on several occasions when I ran into a few problems that I couldn't figure it out within 10 mins or more. I saw one of the candidates slam the keyboard and walk out during the lab exam. Undoubtedly, it was the hardest test I have ever done in my life! At the end of the day, I thought I had a game plan all figured out but it did not go smoothly at all. I wasn't sure if I wanted to try again after all the massive stress I had. Clearly, I had to go back to the drawing board and review everything that went went wrong. I knew people weren't surprised that I failed since it was my first attempt. Thankfully, my wife and my mother were very supportive and they believed I would make it. At the end, my second attempt was the lucky charm. I prayed to the lord and to my family that I would give back once I get a job and everything. I knew I had to brainstorm what went down and what I needed to review before I entered the lab again for the second time. I had a perfect game plan in my head and executed it well. Thank you INE!!