University Relations and Communications

Recent COT grad to be a part of Cisco event's 'Dream Team' of technical support

May 7, 2012



Bruce Brumley, College of Technology, 247-3081
Dan Carter, University Relations, 657-2269


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES —  It has 18 miles of cable, supports 2 gigabytes of bandwidth, enough wireless access to support 15,000 heavy users on 200 wireless access points and more than 100,000 virtual attendees.


Ambrose at his computerAnd a recent Montana State University Billings graduate will help keep all of it running smoothly.


The “it” is Cisco Live 2012, a five-day conference providing the latest in computer networking support and information technology solutions. It will provide training and professional networking opportunities for about 60,000 people who attend the event in San Diego and likely more than 100,000 others who attend from 150 countries around the world.


Helping keep the event running smoothly from a technical standpoint will be Ambrose Taylor, a recent graduate of the Computer Systems Technology program at the MSU Billings College of Technology. Taylor was selected to be one of 10 systems support specialists as part of the Cisco Live “Dream Team.”

“This is pretty sweet,” Taylor said. “I’m so excited!”


Taylor is no stranger to the Cisco way of doing things. Last December, he finished fifth in the United States and Canada in the Cisco NetRiders IT Skills Challenge. He was the only American competitor west of the Mississippi to finish in the top 10.


The Cisco NetRiders competition is designed as way for students to showcase their IT/networking skills and gain visibility among talent recruiters in the growing networking field.  The competition is organized by Cisco and tests students’ networking/IT skills through a series of online exams and simulation activities using Cisco Packet Tracer that covers Cisco Certified Network Associate level curriculum and material.


These skills are in demand as companies invest millions of dollars in internet-protocol phone systems and video systems, wireless networks and data centers.


His performance last winter got the attention of the Cisco professionals, said Bruce Brumley, computer systems technology instructor at the COT. When it was time to find applicants for the Cisco Live “Dream Team” they sent Taylor a packet of information.

He was one of 80 people asked to apply to be a part of the network operations center support team.  Of the 80 applicants, only 10 would be chosen for the all-expenses-paid event. Once he found out he had made the team just prior to graduation, he started making plans for the June 10-14 event. He’s going to San Diego to work, but he also knows his skills will be on display for hundreds of potential employers and he wants to land his dream job with a large company. 


""“I’ll be going down there fully certified as a Cisco Certified Network Professional and I’ll be taking my resume,” he said.


Taylor will spend his days with a team making sure network switches are working the way they should when the IT managers gather for programs or any of the 1,400 white board sessions are under way or to ensure the 200-plus access points are working correctly.

Taylor credited Brumley and the MSU Billings COT program for giving him the foundation to take this next step.


“These opportunities are available to you as a network academy student,” he said.

For Brumley, the skills demonstrated by Taylor and his colleagues prove the MSU Billings program is on par with any in the country. And the lab, which includes state-of-the-art equipment, helps students maneuver through “real-life” scenarios.


“This is as close to a real system as you can get,” Brumley said, noting the lab at the COT allows students to work their way through a variety of challenges. “Anything they want to do, they can do it.”


The Computer Systems Technology program is one of a handful of programs in the Computer Technology area at the MSU Billings COT. The two-year college offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Computer Systems Technology, an Associate of Science Plan of study in Networking and a one-year networking certificate. Students can also study Computer Programming and Application Development and Computer Desktop/Network Support.


For more information on the various computer programs at the COT, call 247-3000 or go online to


PHOTOS ABOVE: Ambrose Taylor sits in a lab at the MSU Billings College of Technology. The recent graduate of the Computer Systems Technology program was recently selected to be one of 10 members of the Cisco Live network support “Dream Team” in June. The photo below shows Taylor (at right) working on a computer network project with another student in the lab.