Written by Olivia Gillespie – Foundation Intern, Spring 2021
(CLINTON, N.C) – Darien Knapp has always had a passion for playing video games since he was a young child. He has always had the interest in exploring activities that were not well-known to him. Knapp graduated from high school in 2017. Upon graduation from high school, Knapp went on to attend Sampson Community College (SCC). While at SCC, Knapp was a part of the Information Technology program and now works as a Customer Success Specialist for Cisco.
Reflecting on his childhood, Knapp remembers his love for technology. In his free-time, Knapp would play around with old laptops. He would get these old laptops back into a working condition. Knapp would also gain an understanding of how the operating systems of the older laptops would work. When it came to video games, Knapp loved to learn new ways to modify his game files to allow new special advancements to his games. Knapp’s love for video games and technology as a child is one of the main reasons, he went into Information Technology.
“Darien was a great student during his time at SCC! It was apparent early on that he had a passion for computer networking and worked very hard to learn all he could on the subject. He would often volunteer to help other Information Technology students and played a major part in completion of the new computer lab in the Occupational Building. I’m very proud of how far Darien has come and wish him all the best in the future,” Information Technology Department Chair, Nathan McKee, shared.
Once Knapp graduated from high school, he did not know what he wanted to study in college. When he began registering to attend SCC, he expressed his interested in video games and potentially game design. Knapp was informed about the Information Technology program that is available at SCC. Knapp then decided to sign up for this particular program.
While at SCC, Knapp had two main instructors that impacted him. These instructors being Nathan McKee and David Ruggles. McKee was also his advisor for the Information Technology program. Knapp believed that both instructors had a great understanding of the Information Technology field.
Knapp stated, “Both David and Mr. McKee were crucial to my success at SCC. They were both extremely knowledgeable and helped me whenever I needed it. They were also very patient with any questions you had, in which I had plenty! Their guidance was invaluable to me reaching the next level in my proficiency with networking.”
After graduating from SCC, Knapp started to work on-site in the role of Network Engineering in Cisco’s labs. Since starting at Cisco, he has moved on into the role of a Customer Success Specialist. At Cisco, Knapp specializes in Enterprise Wireless and Cisco DNA Center. As a Customer Success Specialist, he is in more directly in touch with the customer. His main duty is to teach customers how to use the technology that they have purchased or received but has never used due to having a lack of knowledge.
When asked how SCC prepared him for his future, Knapp replied, “I believe the knowledge I gained from my courses in the program really helped me build a solid foundation of knowledge for my resume and helped me feel confident and answer questions on the interview process for Cisco.”
Darien Knapp has many future plans for himself. He hopes to take advantage of Cisco’s tuition reimbursement to gain his bachelor’s degree. Knapp also plans on receiving his Cisco Certified Network Professional certification and his Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert certification. This path for Knapp all started here at Sampson Community College.
About Sampson Community College: Sampson Community College is a member of the North Carolina Community College System, located in Clinton, NC in Sampson County. The college offers many programs to include two-year degrees, college transfer, continuing education and workforce development options, and early college education.