The effort had paid off, so I kept working on myself.

Ondřej Jaroš Senior Team Leader
My career in OKIN started in 2012, with checking orders for technical validity. I wanted to know more about the technical aspects of the work, so I started attending a Networking Academy course. A few months (and courses) later, I found myself in a senior technical position in the Change Control team. The effort had paid off, so I kept working on myself. Interestingly, the time I spent studying made me appreciate the potential that people have, so I took a step away from my technical career and became DeputyTeam Leader. I have also been entrusted with the management of our internal Networking Academy – the very institute that helped me get to where I am today. I couldn’t say no to that I enjoy working with people, supporting them, helping them to advance in their careers and reach their potential. These activities are actually combined in the biggest challenge I am currently undertaking – leading not only the Networking Academy, but also four highly qualified teams working on an international computer network (GES, GLP, Change Control, Migrations). So, here I am, still learning new things and trying not to stop, as there are new opportunities to face every day.

1. Ondro, you have been a part of OKIN Networking Academy since the beginning. What was the driver for you to take charge?

The academy foundations were built by Miro Javorek, I took over what he created. It was a huge opportunity that I couldn’t have missed – a chance to build something unique – a playground for everyone who wants to learn and grow.

2. How has it changed from the beginning until now?

Oh, where do I start? Since 2015 we have built a completely new LAB and refurbished the “old” two. We were able to get loads of networking equipment (est. worth over 2 mil. CZK) and upgrade all LABs with newer routers. We have installed wireless equipment in the LAB’s ceiling and started a CCNA Wireless course. We have DOUBLED the training capacities – now we are teaching over 330 students each year. And we are not going to stop any time soon – this year we will launch a new networking course, open a whole new portfolio of Cloud courses, and introduce virtualized CCIE-topology and, last but not least, we will finish the Portable LAB solution for our colleagues in Prague.

3. What are the activities of the NA?

The NA is a very complex project. Apart from what everyone sees – the courses – there is a lot going on in the background. I have the privilege of working with 15 amazing technical lectors and we are constantly working on improving our skills and maintaining the highest possible quality of the courses. My team (Ondra Semer, David Sindler and I) keep the Academy running by maintaining the equipment, working on the administrative tasks, keeping our budget, dealing with suppliers, and presenting our results not only to OKIN management, but also to the client and other companies to show what OKIN has to offer. Most recently we have been working on a project to offer our services to other companies to generate revenue and invest more into the Academy development.

4. What do you like about the NA? What is your motivation?

There are two amazing moments that keep me going. The first one is when you see someone hearing and getting excited about the opportunities to learn and advance in their career through the NA – and you know that it is thanks to something that we built – that’s just awesome. The second priceless moment is when someone tells you an idea and you can say – “That’s cool. Let’s build it together.” – and then you do

5. What do you recommend to people thinking about participation in the NA?

Go for it! Nothing worth the effort comes easy in life. What we offer is an awesome journey that can take you very far, but you have to be willing to put forth the effort and invest your time. No shortcuts.