Local students headed to Microsoft Office Specialist National Competition

Published: May. 11, 2022 at 10:35 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Two Mandan High School Students and several Bismarck State College students are headed to Texas to compete in the Microsoft Office Specialist National Competition in June.

They beat out dozens around the country and proved that their skills in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel are among the best.

“I didn’t even know how to like, place a file into my drive,” said Mandan High School sophomore Andi Nelson.

But now she has beaten out hundreds of other students on a nationwide exam testing her PowerPoint skills to earn her place in the Microsoft Office Specialist National Competition.

“I felt it was pretty cool, like being one of the top two people in the state against college students. That’s pretty cool,” said Nelson.

Ashley Stelter, a Mandan High School junior, has qualified for the national competition in the Microsoft Word category and says her skills come in handy.

“I am now able to write papers faster just because I know these little skills and then on, I can see my parents use Word probably almost every day, so it’s just a better skill to have,” said Stelter.

Bismarck State College Professor of Computer Support Specialist Vickie Volk has several students who have qualified for the national competition in different categories.

“North Dakota and especially Bismarck, you know, we’re a two-year college and the students will be competing against a lot of four-year colleges. And so anytime we get that kind of recognition, it’s just a great thing for BSC and for the Bismarck community and North Dakota,” said Volk.

The goal of the national competition is to encourage students to become proficient in Microsoft Office programs they can use in the future.

“I’ll be a really good resume builder and will look good when I apply to colleges,” said Nelson.

“If you look at a lot of the job openings that are available, it’ll say, must know Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel or access or PowerPoint,” said Volk. “These skills are needed out in the workforce. If students are proficient, it makes them more employable.”

The national champion receives a $3,000 scholarship and goes on to compete at the international championship in California this July.

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