The Worldwide Competition on Microsoft Office is the best kept secret in Canada. Students who write their Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) exam in Word or Excel 2010, or Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 have this chance at their fingertips yet few realize how big of an opportunity it can be. All they have to do is select the option to enter their score and the score they get on the MOS exam will automatically be submitted. In June, CCI Learning Solutions Inc. will contact the top students and ask them to compete on behalf of Canada at the Worldwide Competition on Microsoft Office in August 2011. This year the competition is being held at the Torrey Pines Hilton in San Diego, California in conjunction with Certiport’s Global Partner Summit.

One might ask why this is such a big opportunity. Well, take it from someone who’s been through it all. Emily Daubert was the Canadian Champion in Word 2007 last year. Her score of 100% in 11 minutes beat the rest of the competitors in Canada and she was offered the chance to represent her country at the Worldwide competition in Park City, Utah. The fact that she can say that she is #1 in the country in Microsoft Office Word 2007 is not something you hear every day. Since this competition coincided with her graduating college and finding a job, this addition to her resume was definitely a talking point. She was offered multiple jobs that she would never have had the chance at before winning the Canadian competition.

Then, at the worldwide competition in August 2010, Emily surprised everyone by winning the Word 2007 category and the title of “World Champion”. Considering that there were 54 countries at this event and that no one from North America had ever won, this was something to celebrate. It truly changed her life and gave her a unique perspective on digital literacy that few have. Even more job offers came in after her win but she chose to work with the company that sponsored her to go to the competition – CCI Learning Solutions. Now she is building a career that she couldn’t have even imagined before she got her MOS certifications and participated in the Canadian and Worldwide competitions.

Hopefully her success story can motivate students to get certified and try their best on the MOS exams – to start thinking “imagine if…” and give students the inspiration to be more than they thought possible. If they are chosen to represent Canada, they will get to experience something that will be a once in a lifetime event. Students will meet Microsoft representatives, other students from around the world, and champions of digital literacy; the contacts they make at the competition will give their career a major boost.

If a student is ready to write their MOS exam, they need to go to an approved testing centre before June 15, 2011 and take the exam in one of the five categories mentioned above. June 15 is the deadline to write a qualifying MOS exam and CCI Learning Solutions will contact the top students soon after. The winning students must be between the ages of 13 and 22 in addition to being enrolled in an approved academic institution. For more information on the Canadian competition, visit the site at www.officecompetition.ca.

I hope this sparked some excitement in the minds of those reading this blog. It’s not impossible and it’s certainly not out of anyone’s reach. Good luck to everyone that’s hoping to score high on their MOS exam and I hope that I’ll see you in August!