A teen from Cary, North Carolina, won the distinction as one of the best users of Microsoft Word in the country.
15-year-old Jesse Ssengonzi along with several other young people aged 13 to 22, beat out 147 other finalists at the 2018 Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) U.S. National Championship. He won first place for his proficiency at Word, while other young people took titles as champs of PowerPoint and Excel.
According to a press release from Certiport, an IT-certification exam provider and host of the competition, “147 finalists were given a printed copy of a document, spreadsheet, or presentation to re-create along with printed instructions and digital assets. They were then scored according to the accuracy of the re-creation compared to the original. The champions in each program, along with a chaperone, have won a trip to participate in the 2018 MOS World Championship in Orlando, Florida.”
As a first-place winner, Ssengonzi won $3,000, a medal of achievement, a trophy, a winner’s certificate, and an all-expenses paid trip to the Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship being held this upcoming weekend.
“We’re so impressed by all of these students—they’ve proven they can use Microsoft Office tools effectively which will be a key to successful academic and career pursuits,” said Raymond Murray, Vice President, Business Development, Pearson VUE in a released statement. “Our goal is to turn these students from learners to earners, and many of them go on to win internships and jobs as a result of proving their skills in Microsoft Office.”
When he was announced the winner Sengonzu said it was “surreal.”
“I didn’t expect to be called on. I thought I did well but I was kind of nervous. So, yeah I was really happy,” he said.
On how he prepared for the contest he says he practiced a lot even after school and took practice certification exams multiple times.
Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are business software solutions in Microsoft’s flagship Office suite and Office 365 product. Word may be the most widely-used word-processing software in businesses. Excel is spreadsheet-creating software capable of advanced calculations, and PowerPoint is used to create slideshows.
Certification centers such as Certipost offer timed examinations that show extreme knowledge of a software or technology. Holding such certifications can often help individuals advance in IT or business careers.