Timothy Holdiness is a graduate of NFTY from Monroe, LA. A NFTY-Southern alum, Timothy recently was named as Microsoft Office Powerpoint 2010 specialist Champion. We discussed this great accomplishment with Timothy:
Q: What exactly was the Microsoft office Specialist program you participated in?
A: Throughout the United States, students are taking Microsoft Office Specialist Certification exams to gain the upper hand in college and the job field. Being a certified Microsoft Office Specialist in Word, Excel 2007 and PowerPoint 2010, I can tell employers that I know how to use these Microsoft Office applications with a certificate to back me up. To gain these certifications, you must take an exam, with a fifty minute time limit, where you must complete tasks in the application.
Every year, Microsoft and Certiport invite the top scoring students from all over the United States to compete in the Certiport and Microsoft Office Specialist US National Championships.
From August 2013 to May 2014, more than 400,000 students in the United States entered this competition to show how much they know in using the Microsoft Office applications.
I had the honor of being invited to this competition where I competed against 9 other students. To be invited, I scored a perfect score in the PowerPoint 2010 exam.
Q: Describe the experience at the competition.
A: When I got to the competition, I kept positive thoughts about the whole competition. I was nervous and excited. Meeting all of the competitors was like a small NFTY event. I knew no one in the beginning, but by the end I was talking to everyone. It was also a bit intimidating because I felt like others were better because this was their second or third year competing. But after my interview, which I felt went really well, I was very confident. Then I took my exam. Not only did I get a perfect score, but finished in my best time.
Q: What were the results?
A: When the awards ceremony started, I was nervous but ready for anything. PowerPoint 2010 was the second to last category to be called out. When they got to my group my heart felt like it was going to beat out of my chest. First they said third place, and it wasn’t me. Then second, and it still wasn’t me. And then they said “the Microsoft Office PowerPoint© 2010 specialist US Champion, who will go and represent the United States at the World Championships at Disneyland in Anaheim, CA, is . . . Timothy Holdiness.” I couldn’t believe it. I was shaking as I walked up to the stage to receive the 1st place trophy and the Microsoft Surface tablet that all of the 1st place winners received.
Q: Where does the competition go from here?
A: Not only am I honored to be the 2014 Microsoft Office PowerPoint© 2010 Specialist US National Champion, but I am honored to be going to the World Championships to represent the United States against 109 other countries. I am not only representing the U.S. but I am also representing Louisiana, Ouachita Parish High School, and NFTY Southern. What an incredible honor.
Q: What role did NFTY play in this experience?
NFTY has showed me that anything is possible and that the sky is the limit. Every NFTYite can easily and proudly say that NFTY has helped them become a leader and to have faith in themselves and in others around them. With this faith and determination, anything is possible. Even becoming a National Champion.