Previously I wrote about how I started my CWNE Journey in Part 1. This post is about my essay writing experience for the CWNE application. Per CWNP Website, What it takes to become a CWNE: “CWNP has put in place a rigorous application process that requires candidates to pass four certification exams, complete commercial wireless LAN deployments, and have three recommendations as well as a peer review by the CWNE Board of Advisors. Additionally, all CWNE certification holders must agree to the CWNE Code of Ethics linked below.”
After passing all required certifications I needed to start writing my essays before I could submit my application. As I sat in front of my laptop and opened up Microsoft Word, my mind felt so blank. I had no clue where to start and what to write. I did come up with a title for my first essay however took me a day or two to figure out the content. I spent a few days to finish writing my first essay and the result was a disaster.
One of the things I struggled with, was the word limitation since the essay guidelines are 500 to 1000 words per essay. These essays needed to be a balance of everything, for example. Technical detail, which needed to be to the point and not extensive, yet it needed to explain your project to the CWNE board members. Writing style needed to be a balance of formal with an understanding that you are writing for highly skilled WLAN Engineers and at the same time not writing for an English literature class. Phrase, “pictures speak a thousand words” was also a key factor however finding the right spot to insert a picture and then able to provide a high-level overview of that picture to grasp readers’ attention is important. Content and picture flow is something I had to work on and had to completely rewrite a couple of my essays because when I started to read them they did not even make sense to me, because even though the content and pictures were correct their flow was not correct.
This made me realize the limitation of my writing skills and by now studying for the certifications seemed easier than writing these essays. I struggled hard re writing it and it just wasn’t right and missing something which I was not able to figure out. I almost was ready to give up at this point as the feeling of disappointment and embarrassment started to take over.
I wasn’t able to meet my goal of earning my CWNE in 2019 but at this time even my goal of applying for the CWNE in 2019 seemed far-fetched.
I tweeted about it on Twitter and I got some great replies on what is expected in the essays, WLAN community has always been so awesome whenever anyone needs help and it was true in my case as well. Specifically, I am very thankful for @cajundop, @AceHighWifi, and @wirednot for encouraging me through the process which helped me overcome my fear of writing and the negative feelings of disappointment and embarrassment.
I was able to complete all 3 essays and submit my application on December, 27th 2019. What I learned from this:
- WLAN Community throughout the world is awesome
- I gained insight into some skills and knowledge gaps
- Failure or not the ability to do something does not necessarily mean you suck. You can either be pessimistic and think you can’t do it or optimistic and think, “Ok I can not do this right now but I will and I will learn it”
- CWNP Certifications taught me more than just technical knowledge (I will talk about this later)